pack of telfast for hayfever

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Telfast for Hay Fever

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Telfast is a type of medication called an antihistamine that’s used to treat hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itching and watery eyes. After taking Telfast, your symptoms should get better in 1-2 hours, and you will be protected from hay fever for the rest of the day. 


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Telfast - 30 tablets £25

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Telfast is a  prescription medication used to treat hay fever. It works quickly to improve your hay fever symptoms, but it is not a cure for the condition. This means it will only work while you are taking it.

Telfast is a non drowsy antihistamine that contains the active ingredient fexofenadine hydrochloride. It is usually prescribed as one 120mg tablet once a day.
Telfast works by reducing the effects of histamines (the chemicals your body makes when you have an allergic reaction). Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, so when you have hay fever, your body makes histamines that cause hay fever symptoms. By reducing the effects of histamines in your body, Telfast clears up your symptoms.

How long does Telfast last?

Telfast lasts around 24 hours, so it is prescribed once a day. It will work until you stop taking it, but as it does not cure hay fever, your symptoms are likely to return when you stop if what's triggering your hay fever is still around.

How long does Telfast take to work?

You should start to feel better within 1 to 2 hours of taking Telfast. You should continue to take it every day to get the best effects, even if you start to feel better.

How effective is Telfast?

Recent studies show Fexofenadine, which is the active ingredient in Telfast, has been proven to be clinically effective in the treatment of hay fever.
Telfast is usually taken as a single 120mg tablet, and it should always be taken before a meal. You can take it any time of the day, but you should try to take it at the same time every day.

How long do you need to take Telfast for?

You can usually take it for as long as you need it, as long as your doctor has told you to. Your doctor will give you clear instructions on how long you should continue taking Telfast for.
You can buy Telfast from a pharmacy or online from a trusted seller as long as you have a prescription for it. This is because it is a prescription only medication.

Can I buy Telfast online?

Yes, you can buy Telfast from Superdrug Online Doctor. To order Telfast, simply fill in a brief medical questionnaire which a doctor will review. If Telfast is suitable for you, your order will be processed. The treatment will be sent to your address of choice in discreet packaging. 

If you have any further questions or need advice about your Telfast, you can message an online doctor through your account at any time, for free. 

Can I buy Telfast over the counter?

No, Telfast must be prescribed to you, so it cannot be purchased over the counter. You may be able to get other hay fever treatments over the counter, but they will contain a different active ingredient. 

Can I get Telfast on the NHS?

Yes, you can get Telfast on the NHS, but you will need to make an appointment with your GP beforehand to get a prescription. 
You may be prescribed the unbranded version, which is fexofenadine. It contains the same active ingredient and works in the same way. Your doctor may also decide that another type of hay fever treatment is more suitable for you.
Telfast can cause some side effects, but not everybody will get them. They usually go away after a few days once your body is used to the treatment. If they last longer or bother you a lot, speak to your doctor. If you get a serious allergic reaction to Telfast, you must go to A&E or call 999 straight away.

The common side effects of Telfast include:
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • dizziness
The uncommon side effects of Telfast include:
  • tiredness or sleepiness
Some side effects can happen, but it is not known how frequently these occur. These include:
  • diarrhoea
  • hives (an allergic skin rash)
  • difficulty sleeping
  • bad dreams
  • feeling nervous
  • serious allergic reactions
  • irregular or fast heartbeat

How long do Telfast side effects last?

Most side effects will go away within a few days of taking Telfast. You can speak to your doctor if they do not go away or you’re struggling to manage them 

What to do if you get Telfast side effects

If you get side effects from Telfast, and they are causing discomfort, you can try to treat them at home.
  • Nausea - eat smaller and simple meals and avoid spicy or rich foods. 
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness - try taking Telfast at the end of the day or try another non drowsy antihistamine. 
  • Headache from Telfast - rest and have plenty of water. You should also avoid alcohol if you have side effects like this, as it can make them worse. It’s safe to take painkillers like paracetamol with Telfast, so if you have a headache, you can treat it.
There are certain medical conditions and medications that can interact with Telfast. This can make the medicine less effective or potentially unsafe. Speak to your doctor before taking Telfast if you have any health conditions or take any medication. 

Contraindications

You should not take Telfast if you are allergic to the active ingredient fexofenadine or any other ingredients in the tablets. Speak to your doctor before taking Telfast if you:
  • have problems with your heart
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • are booked in for an allergy test, as Telfast could affect the results
  • have a health condition that can cause seizures or fits, such as epilepsy
Telfast is not recommended in pregnancy as there is not enough evidence to support its safety during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend another hay fever medication that is suitable for pregnancy. You should speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding. While there is no evidence that this is dangerous for your baby, it's usually not advised. 

Medications that interact with Telfast

Some medications should not be taken with Telfast, as it can affect how well they work. It could also increase your risk of getting side effects. You should speak to your doctor if you take any medications, especially:
  • cancer treatments
  • any medication that causes dry mouth, drowsiness, or difficulty peeing as Telfast may worsen these effects
  • ketoconazole, a fungal infection treatment
  • indigestion medications that contain magnesium or aluminium
  • dronedarone, a heart medication
  • teriflunomide, a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • some antibiotics, such as erythromycin or rifampicin
  • arthritis treatments, such as leflunomide or filgotinib
  • treatment for hepatitis C infection, such as velpatasvir or pibrentasvir
  • letermovir, a medication for stem cell transplants

Food or drinks that interact with Telfast

When taking Telfast, you should avoid drinking:
  • apple juice
  • grapefruit juice
  • orange juice
This is because you are more likely to get side effects from Telfast. You should also avoid alcohol when taking Telfast, as it can make you drowsy or sleepy.
If Telfast is not suitable for you or does not work, alternative hay fever treatments are available. Superdrug Online Doctor has tablets and nasal sprays for hay fever relief. You can speak to a doctor if you are not sure what’s best for you. 

Telfast vs Neoclartiyn

Neoclarityn is a branded non drowsy antihistamine like Teflast. It contains the active ingredient desloratadine. It is taken once a day for the relief of hay fever symptoms.

Telfast vs Nasonex

Nasonex is a nasal spray that can reduce some hay fever symptoms. It can help with symptoms in the nose, such as itching, inflammation, and nasal congestion. Unlike Teflast, Nasonex is a corticosteroid which can reduce swelling in the nose from hay fever. Nasonex can be used every day and the usual dose is 2 sprays in each nostril daily. 

Telfast vs Cetrizine

Cetirizine is also a non-drowsy antihistamine. It is an unbranded medication containing the active ingredient cetirizine. It can be bought over the counter or can be prescribed to you. Like Telfast, it is usually taken once a day. 

Telfast vs Loratidine

Loratidine is a non-drowsy antihistamine like Telfast. It contains the active ingredient loratadine. Like cetirizine, it can be bought over the counter or prescribed to you. Loratadine should also be taken once a day. 

Telfast vs Avamys and Flixonase

Telfast is a medication that is taken by mouth, but Avamys and Flixonase are nasal sprays. They both contain the active ingredient fluticasone, which is a steroid. They both work the same way. 

Avamys and Flixonase can help with cold like symptoms in your nose from hay fever. You can get them prescribed or find them over the counter. The usual dose is 1 to 2 sprays in each nostril, once or twice daily. It needs to be taken regularly for it to work.
Fexofenadine (2021) NHS (accessed 28 April 2022)


Hay fever  (2021) NHS (accessed 28 April 2022)

Telfast 120mg Film-coated Tablets (2021) EMC (accessed 28 April 2022)

Reviewed by: Dr Babak Ashrafi in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 6077866

Dr Ashrafi studied at King’s College London and specialises in cardiology, diabetes, and stroke medicine.

Last reviewed on: 20/05/22