Cold Home > Tavist

Tavist is an over-the-counter medication approved for treating allergy or common cold symptoms. It comes in tablet form and is typically taken every 12 hours. The medication is a type of antihistamine that works by blocking H1 receptors and acetylcholine receptors in the body. Although most people tolerate this drug well, potential side effects include indigestion or heartburn, drowsiness, and coordination problems.

What Is Tavist?

Tavist® Allergy (clemastine fumarate) is a non-prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of respiratory allergies (such as hay fever) or the common cold.
 
(Click Tavist Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

Brand-name Tavist is made by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.
 

How Does Tavist Work?

Tavist belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines. Specifically, it is an H1 receptor antagonist. This means that it blocks a specific type of histamine receptor in the body (known as H1 receptors). Since allergic reactions are partly caused by the release of histamine from certain cells in the body, Tavist can help relieve or prevent allergy symptoms.
 
Tavist also blocks acetylcholine receptors, an action which produces some of the unpleasant side effects of the medication (such as dry mouth or difficulty urinating) but also helps to relieve a runny nose.
 

When and How to Take This Medication

General considerations include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth, usually every 12 hours.
     
  • You can take Tavist with food or on an empty stomach. If the medication seems to bother your stomach, try taking it with a little food.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as directed.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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