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Hismanal

Generic Name: astemizole (a STEH mih zole)
Brand Name: Hismanal

What is Hismanal (astemizole)?

Astemizole was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1999.

Astemizole is an antihistamine. Antihistamines prevent sneezing, runny nose, itching and watering of the eyes, and other allergic symptoms.

Astemizole is used to treat allergies, hives (urticaria), and other allergic inflammatory conditions.

Astemizole may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Hismanal (astemizole)?

Astemizole was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1999.

Do not take astemizole (Hismanal) with any of the following medicines: antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox); antibiotics such as erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab), clarithromycin (Biaxin), and troleandomycin (TAO); the malaria medicine quinine (Quinamm); or the medicine nefazodone (Serzone).

Video: Asthma

How to prevent and treat an asthma attack.

Take astemizole on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating food.

Do not take astemizole with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit products may increase amount of astemizole available in your body, which could lead to dangerous side effects.

Who should not take Hismanal (astemizole)?

You cannot take astemizole if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • an antifungal drug including ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox);

  • an antibiotic including erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab), clarithromycin (Biaxin), or troleandomycin (TAO);

  • the malaria medicine quinine (Quinamm); or

  • the medicine nefazodone (Serzone).

A dangerous side effect involving irregular heartbeats could occur if you take astemizole with any of the medicines listed above.

Before taking astemizole, tell your doctor if you have

  • asthma or another lung disease;

  • low potassium levels in your blood;

  • urinary retention or an enlarged prostate;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • heart disease, especially an irregular heartbeat.

You may not be able to take astemizole, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Astemizole is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether astemizole will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is also not known whether astemizole passes into breast milk. Do not take astemizole without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Hismanal (astemizole)?

Take astemizole once a day as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Take astemizole on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Do not take astemizole with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit products may increase amount of astemizole available in your body, which could lead to dangerous side effects.

Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets. Swallow them whole.

Never take more of this medication than is directed by your doctor. Larger than prescribed doses of astemizole may result in irregular heartbeats, and rarely, death. If your symptoms are not being adequately treated, talk to your doctor.

Store astemizole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an astemizole overdose include headache, drowsiness, irregular heartbeats, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking Hismanal (astemizole)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Astemizole may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking astemizole.

Do not take astemizole with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit products may increase amount of astemizole available in your body, which could lead to dangerous side effects.

Hismanal (astemizole) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking astemizole and call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • an irregular heartbeat;

  • fainting; or

  • seizures.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take astemizole and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • drowsiness or dizziness;

  • headache;

  • nervousness;

  • nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort;

  • dry mouth; or

  • dry skin or itchiness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Hismanal (astemizole)?

You cannot take astemizole if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • an antifungal drug including ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox);

  • an antibiotic including erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab), clarithromycin (Biaxin), or troleandomycin (TAO);

  • the malaria medicine quinine (Quinamm); or

  • the medicine nefazodone (Serzone).

A dangerous side effect involving irregular heartbeats could occur if you take astemizole with any of the medicines listed above.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • an antifungal including fluconazole (Diflucan), miconazole (Monistat), or metronidazole (Flagyl);

  • a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) including fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft);

  • a protease inhibitor including amprenavir (Agenerase), ritonavir (Norvir), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase), or nelfinavir (Viracept); or

  • zileuton (Zyflo).

You may not be able to take astemizole, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with astemizole. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about astemizole written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Astemizole was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1999.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.04. Revision Date: 2/22/07 2:23:11 PM.

Watch this video series to learn about managing severe allergies (anaphylaxis).

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