Mixing fruit juices with Allegra allergy medication lessens effectiveness

If you suffer from allergies, and your medication doesn't seem to be working well, take a look at what you're drinking to wash the pill down.

"I take my pills in the morning and I down it with a glass of orange juice," said Lauren Kelly.

That's a big no-no according to the FDA. Taking Allegra with apple, orange, or grapefruit juices can decrease the effectiveness of the drug.

"In taking those fruit juices in combination with Allegra, there's no risk or danger. It's just that the blood level of the medicine and the effect of the medicine will be lessened" said Dr. David Lang with the Cleveland Clinic.

Carl Mullins' father takes multiple medications and didn't know that fruit juice could counteract the cure.

"We are always stopping to get him something to drink like orange juice. I guess I have to be more aware of what I purchase for him," Mullins explained.

The main ingredient in Allegra is Fexofenadine, a non-drowsy antihistamine. That's why it's the most prescribed allergy medication. But doctors said taking it with fruit juice may decrease the absorption by nearly 50 percent, making it less beneficial than other popular allergy meds like Zyrtec or Claritin.

"Avoid drinking fruit juice for four hours before you take Allegra and for two hours after," explained Dr. Lang. That was a big surprise to other consumers like Kelly.

"I had no idea. None at all. My doctor never told me anything."

As for Mullins, he's going to make sure his father takes his medications the right way. "Well, I don't think he mixes them, but I'd like to go with him and have a couple of drinks to find out."

As with any medication, if you are unsure how to take it, or concerned about any type of reaction, talk with your doctor.

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