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Antihistamines are drugs that are used to counteract the effects of histamines and treat allergies 1. While the use of antihistamines has helped many people with allergies, these drugs also have many side effects 1. One of these side effects can cause complications with your prostate, especially in those who already have prostate problems 3.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
The prostate is a small walnut sized gland that wraps around the urethra just under where it meets the bladder 3. Its main function is to secrete fluid that aid in the reproduction process. The secretion mixes with the semen during ejaculation and contains nutrients that help the sperm live longer in the vagina. During puberty, the male body produces male hormones and this spurs the prostate to grow 3. This growth usually stops around age twenty, but starts up again around age forty, causing a condition called benign prostate hyperplasia 3.
Antihistamines are a group of medications that treat allergies by preventing the effects of histamine, which the body releases in response to certain stimuli 1. Histamine creates an inflammatory response that you see as allergies. Antihistamines bind to the receptor sites of histamines and prevent them from completing their function 1. Antihistamines come in both prescription and over the counter forms, with the prescription ones being less likely to cause adverse side effects 1.
Effects of Antihistamines on the Prostate
Antihistamines are not recommended for use if you have an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems 13. The reason is that the prostate are surrounded by pelvic muscles 3. These muscles help the prostate secrete its prostatic fluid during ejaculation by contracting and relaxing 3. Antihistamines can cause these muscles to stop working properly and thus the prostate not to work properly either 13. Most antihistamines warn you not to use them if you have an enlarged prostate or other problems 13.
Prostate problems that arise from antihistamine use can vary widely 3. Most prostate problems from antihistamines affect those who already have an enlarged prostate 13. The prostate experiences a growth spurt that causes benign prostate hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate in most men over the age of forty 3. An enlarged prostate can also be caused by a prostate infection, which causes the prostate to swell, or prostate cancer, which causes abnormal growth in the prostate 3.
Whatever the source of the enlargement, though, it means that prostate is already causing more pressure on the urethra than normal 3. If the muscles that control its contracting and releasing are not working, it can exaggerate the symptoms of your enlarged prostate 3. This includes difficulty urinating, painful ejaculation, and increased susceptibility to infections.
Men who suffer from prostate problems should avoid most antihistamines 13. There are some newer antihistamines on the market that do not cause these side effects on your prostate, including Seldane 13. Your health care provider will be able to discuss which allergy medicines will not have adverse effects on your prostate 23. He may also suggest home remedies to treat your allergies if they are mild, such as castor oil.
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