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Table 2 Side effects of the different generations of antihistamines

From: Fexofenadine: review of safety, efficacy and unmet needs in children with allergic rhinitis

Class Central nervous system Cardiovascular Toxic high dose
First-generation agitation, confusion, dystonia, dyskinesia, hallucinations, headache impairment in coordination, learning, memory, psychomotor and sensorimotor functions, and sedation dose-dependent sinus tachycardia, reflex tachycardia, atrial refractory period prolongation and supraventricular
arrhythmias
severe CNS and cardiac side effects, may lead to death unless treated
Second-generation variable (such as sedation with cetirizine) Minimal or no side effects no side effects no severe side effects or deaths reported
  1. CNS, central nervous system