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Medications That Cause Histamine Intolerance Symptoms

Histamine intolerance can be made worse with certain prescribed and over the counter medications. In today’s article we will review the most common medications that can cause histamine overload or exacerbate the symptoms of MCAS.

Histamine intolerance occurs when the body is making histamine faster than it can break down. While there is no singular reason for histamine intolerance, Drugs, medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies, environment (mold), hormones, and diet can lead to histamine overload.

What is Histamine

Histamine is a chemical responsible for a few major functions:

  1. communicates messages to your brain- wakes up the brain
  2. Triggers release of stomach acid to help digestion
  3. Released in response to injury or in response to an allergy (Food, Airborne, Mold, Chemical)

When histamine levels get too high or when it can’t break down properly, it can affect your normal bodily functions.

Root Cause Of Histamine Intolerance

Getting to the root cause of histamine overload should be a top priority unfortunately, because there is no one singular culprit, identifying the reasons behind histamine overload can sometimes be challenging.

While there are many foods, spices and drinks that can cause histamine intolerance, anything that disrupts the functioning of the DAO and HNMT enzyme should be investigated and that includes both over the counter medications as well as those that are prescribed.

Keep in mind that histamine intolerance is not a sensitivity to histamine (like a food sensitivity), but rather the inability to break histamine down. This is why it’s important to look at the Big picture when it comes to histamine intolerance and consider some of the medications that can cause histamine intolerance.

More On The Enzymes That Break Down Histamine.

The two main enzymes that are responsible for breaking down ingested histamine are DAO and HNMT. Certain medications interfere with how the enzymes DAO and HNMT work.

Boosting DAO Enzyme Activity Naturally| When You Have Histamine Intolerance 7

If you are taking any of these medications known to cause histamine intolerance you should be aware of any changes in your symptoms. Symptoms of histamine intolerance may include changes in blood pressure, hives, itchy skin, welts, anxiety, irritability, gas, bloating, headaches, diarrhea. If you notice any of these conditions when you take medications, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Medications That Cause Histamine Intolerance

  • muscle relaxants
  • pain medications
  • gastrointestinal medicines
  • nausea and gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD
  • airway medications, such as theophylline
  • heart medications
  • antibiotics
  • antidepressants
  • antipsychotics
  • diuretics
  • malaria drugs
  • tuberculosis medications

The list also includes over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and painkillers, such as:

  •  aspirin
  • Naproxen
  • indomethacin (Indocin)
  • diclofenac (Voltaren)

Other Cause of Histamine Intolerance

Deficiencies or dysfunction of DAO, HNMT or monoamine oxidase (an enzyme needed in the HNMT reaction). This is usually the result of a genetic fault although gut dysbiosis, certain medications and certain foods can also block the function of all these enzymes.

Nutrient deficiencies such as copper, vitamin C vitamin B6 or zinc (although some suggest this is controversial).


Nutrient excesses like histidine, or a protein excess in general.


Taking medications that may block DAO or release excess histamine such as analgesics, antibiotics, antidepressants, antacids, diuretics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)


Excessive histamine consumption (avocado, dried fruits, eggplant, fermented foods, high protein intake, aged foods, leftovers).


Excessive consumption of foods that trigger the release of histamine (citrus, bananas, pork, egg white, chocolate, crustaceans, spinach).


Hormonal imbalance (insufficiency or excess); an increase in estrogen levels in particular make women more susceptible to HIT


High levels of stress place high nutrient demands on the body.


Gut dysbiosis, IBS or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


Presence of pathogens (many of which produce histamine or block methylation).


 MTHFR genetic mutations.

People Who Read This article Also Recommend These Articles

  1. How To Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet – Part I
  2. How to Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet-Part II
  3. Supplements to help support Histamine Intolerances 
  4. Histamine Intolerance and Gut Health
  5. Estrogen Dominance and Histamine Intolerance- Hormonal imbalances that trigger Histamine/MCAS symptoms
  6. Why Adrenal Cortisol Testing is so Important for GI Problems
  7. Natural Ways to Increase DAO enzyme activity to help break down ingested histamine


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