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Can You Take More Than One Allergy Medicine

Can You Take Two Types Of Allergy Pills Together

Allergy Medications Explained – Can You Take More Than One?

There isnt a clear-cut answer to this question because it varies depending on the types of allergy pills. Dr. Aronica breaks down the dos and donts of allergy medication mixing.

  • Do find the antihistamine thats best for you. I generally encourage patients to find one that works and stick with it, Dr. Aronica says. That said, if youre in a pinch on a bad allergy day, its generally safe to take an antihistamine thats different from what you took earlier in the day. And if your allergist advises you that regularly taking two different antihistamines is the right course of action for you, follow their guidance.
  • Do take an antihistamine and a decongestant together as needed. On days when youre especially stuffy, you can take your regular antihistamine with a Sudafed. If there are days when youre having extra trouble, you can add a Sudafed to your antihistamine on an as-needed basis, he says.
  • Dont add a decongestant to any medication ending in -D. Remember, antihistamines that end in -D already contain a decongestant. So, if youve taken one of these, you shouldnt be adding a separate decongestant on top of it.
  • Dont take more than one combination allergy medication. If it ends in -D, only take one per day and, again, not for more than a week or two at a time.
  • Are Antihistamines Safe For Dogs

    Diphenhydramine is a common medication used to treat allergies, hives, food allergies, anxiety and other conditions in dogs. However, you should consult your veterinarian about the use of diphenhydramine in your pet. The dosage in dogs is based on their weight plus your veterinarian will want to examine your dog to be sure an antihistamine is the correct drug for the correct diagnosis. If an antihistamine is needed, your veterinarian will want to prescribe a brand that is specific to animals and at a dosage correct for your pet.

    Can You Take More Than One Kind Or Allergy Medication

    With more than 50 million Americans suffering from some type of allergy, according to Dr. Arthur Schoenstadt, allergy medications make up a high proportion of both prescription and over-the-counter drug sales 2. It’s not only possible but sometimes necessary to take more than one type of allergy medicine at a time, since different categories of allergy medicines accomplish different purposes. However, you should never mix medications without your doctor’s approval, even over-the-counter varieties. Taking two medications with different names but similar effects increases your chance of developing serious side effects.

    If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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    Tips For Staying Alert

    In treating allergies or a cold with antihistamines, you may experience drowsiness, a common side effect of the medication.

    How does this happen? Histamine is a chemical produced by the immune system to fight off allergens and germs. When there is a threat of allergies or infection , histamine is even more active. In its search-and-destroy process, it can cause allergy or cold symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing and itch eyes. Antihistamine medications relieve these symptoms by blocking the unwanted effects of histamine.

    Unrelated to the immune system, histamine is also produced in the brain, where it plays an important part in feeling awake. Antihistamines used to treat respiratory symptoms can get into the brain and interrupt this work, making you feel drowsy.

    What Is Loratadine Used For

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    Doctors usually prescribe Claritin® to help people suffering from springtime allergies, but the drug can also help with other types of allergies. As an antihistamine, Claritin® works by reducing the natural chemical histamine in the body, which is produced by an allergic reaction. When someones body begins building up histamine, they may experience itching, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Claritin® is used to relieve these symptoms, but some people use it to also treat skin hives or itching for people with chronic skin reactions.

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    How Do Antihistamines Work

    Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of a chemical called histamine. Histamine is made and released by your immune system to help protect you from infections. It makes small blood vessels more leaky around an area of damaged tissue. This lets immune cells and fluid go into the damaged area to fight infection and heal the tissues.

    If you have an allergy, your immune system reacts to something that isnt harmful like pollen. Your body then releases too much histamine. This can cause inflammation in your lungs, throat, nose, sinuses, digestive system and skin.

    Could Otc Antihistamines Cause Problems With Any Other Medicines I Take

    Antihistamines can interact with other medicines you take. Talk to your doctor before taking a first-generation antihistamine if you take any medicines that can make you tired. These include sleeping pills, sedatives, or muscle relaxants.

    Antihistamines are often combined with decongestants and/or pain relievers. If you take a combination medicine, its important to know each active ingredient. One or more could interact with other medicines youre taking.

    Be sure not to take too much antihistamine. Many OTC cold and allergy medicines contain them already. Some prescription medicines do, too. If you take more than 1 of these medicines, you may get much more antihistamine than is good for you. Second-generation antihistamines are less likely to interact with other medicines you are taking. Always talk to your doctor if you take other medicines to make sure they are safe.

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    Avoid Foods That Can Cause A Reaction

    People with seasonal allergies often have antibodies that can cause their immune system to overreact to certain foods. This phenomenon is called cross-reactivity. For instance, if youre allergic to ragweed, you may experience allergy symptoms like itching on your lips, tongue, and mouth if you eat bananas, melons, cucumber, or zucchini, Dykewicz says. If youre allergic to birch tree pollen, you may have allergy symptoms after eating apples, pears, peaches, hazelnuts, kiwi, carrots, or celery. These problems may only occur during the season in which your allergies are at their worst.

    Regardless of the season, help minimize your allergy symptoms by keeping all these triggers in mind and avoiding them as much as possible.

    Shower Immediately After Being Outside

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    When you spend a lot of time outside, particularly if youre working out in the yard, pollen can end up on your skin and hair, worsening allergy symptoms. If youre highly allergic to pollen, its a good idea to take a second shower after you come inside to rinse away the pollen and avoid allergy symptoms, explains Mark S. Dykewicz, MD, a professor of internal medicine and the director of allergy and immunology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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    Should I Take Antihistamines During The Day Or At Night

    This depends on the antihistamine and whether your symptoms are worse during the day or night. Levocetirizine should be taken at night, and it will provide relief while you sleep and through the next day. Cetirizine may cause drowsiness, so it may be better to take it before you sleep rather than during the day. Loratadine and fexofenadine are non-drowsy antihistamines that can be taken during the day.

    Dont Forget The Nasal Sprays

    Nasal sprays are one of the best and only ways to actually try to prevent seasonal allergies, and you can use them along with your daily antihistamine. But nasal sprays work so well that you may find that you dont even need the antihistamines or decongestants!

    There are two classes of nasal sprays for allergies: over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays like fluticasone and betamethasone, and prescription antihistamine nose sprays like azelastine and olopatadine.

    Nasal sprays really are the best medical therapies we have for managing allergic rhinitis, Dr. Aronica says. I tell my patients to start using nose spray at least two to three weeks before allergy season starts.

    To learn more about allergies from Dr. Aronica, listen to the Health Essentials podcast episode Dealing with Spring and Summer Allergies. New episodes of the Health Essentials podcast publish every Wednesday.

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    How Antihistamines Treat Allergies

    When your body comes into contact with whatever your allergy trigger is — pollen, ragweed, pet dander, or dust mites, for example — it makes chemicals called histamines. They cause the tissue in your nose to swell , your nose and eyes to run, and your eyes, nose, and sometimes mouth to itch. Sometimes you may also get an itchy rash on your skin, called hives.

    Antihistamines reduce or block histamines, so they stop allergy symptoms.

    These medicines work well to relieve symptoms of different types of allergies, including seasonal , indoor, and food allergies. But they can’t relieve every symptom.

    To treat nasal congestion, your doctor may recommend a . Some medicines combine an antihistamine and .

    How Are Antihistamines Classified

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    Antihistamines are divided into two major subtypes. The first subtype is called H-1 receptor antagonists or H-1 blockers. This subtype of antihistamines is used to treat allergy symptoms. The second subtype is called H-2 receptor antagonists or H-2 blockers. They are used to treat gastrointestinal conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease , peptic ulcers, gastritis, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting. The naming structure tells doctors and scientists the cell type the location of the histamine receptor that the antihistamine medication blocks.

    The H-1 blocker subtype is further broken down into two groups first-generation antihistamines and second-generation antihistamines.

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    How And When To Take Antihistamines

    Take your antihistamine as advised by your GP or pharmacist, or as described in the leaflet that comes with it.

    How much you should take can depend on your age and weight. Some types of antihistamine should be taken just before bedtime. This is because they can make you feel sleepy.

    If you’re not sure how to use your medicine, such as eye drops or a nasal spray, ask your GP or pharmacist.

    You can use some types of antihistamine for a long time, but some are only recommended for a few days.

    What About Oral Decongestants Like Sudafed

    Sudafed can be pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, says Dr. Gels. The former now requires showing an ID and is behind the counter, though it does not require a prescription. It works a little better than the latter, which is on the shelves. Both may trigger insomnia or rapid heart rate especially when combined with caffeine, so talk to your doctor before going this route.

    However, Sudafed should be avoided in patients younger than 4 because of an increased risk of toxicity, which can be fatal. Also, if you are on or have been on monoamine oxidase inhibitors antidepressants in the recent past, it should also be avoided.

    And remember, you should always follow the dosing recommendations on the drug label, as overdosing on any medication can cause side effects. High doses of antihistamines can cause drowsiness and rapid heart rate, even the non-sedating kind. Medicines such as Zyrtec and Claritin are only non-drowsy at the FDA-approved dose. Whats more, an overdose of the sedating antihistamines can cause seizures and hallucinations.

    Furthermore, some antihistamines are combined with pain medicine or decongestants. If you take another pain killer or decongestant at the same time, that could cause an overdose as well.

    Heres to a healthy allergy season!

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    Comparisons With Other Allergy Medications

    Researchers are often studying, comparing, and improving antihistamines. Other popular brands on the market today are Allegra and Benadryl.

    • Allegra contains the active ingredient fexofenadine. Allegra is non-sedating, so it should not make a person feel drowsy. Allegra is also a second-generation antihistamine.
    • Benadryl contains the active ingredient diphenhydramine. This acts faster than the other three and aims to treat minor skin reactions, not seasonal allergies. Benadryl is a first-generation antihistamine, which makes it sedating, so people tend to feel drowsy after taking it.

    When a person comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system reacts and produces a chemical called histamine.

    Histamine causes many allergy symptoms, including inflammation of the skin or sinuses, pain, redness, and wheezing.

    Immune responses also encourage extra mucus to develop, which helps to clear allergens from the nose and throat.

    Allergy medications block histamine responses. This dulls the bodys response to minor or harmless allergens, such as pollen, dust, and pet dander.

    Claritin and Zyrtec are effective and safe for most people with minor allergies. However, as with all medications, there may be some side effects.

    Loratadinepresent in Claritinmay not be safe for people with severe liver conditions. The liver has to break down loratadine. The kidneys break down cetirizinefound in Zyrtecand the body excretes it in the urine, largely unchanged.

    Who Can Take Antihistamines

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    Most people can safely take antihistamines.

    But speak to a pharmacist or GP for advice if you:

    Some antihistamines may not be suitable in these cases. A pharmacist or doctor can recommend one that’s best for you.

    Loratadine is usually recommended if you need to take an antihistamine in pregnancy. Loratadine or cetirizine are usually OK to take while breastfeeding.

    Always check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to see if it’s safe for you before taking it or giving it to your child.

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    Whats The Difference Between First

    Just like the name implies, the first generation antihistamine were the first type approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They began to be approved in the United States in the 1930s and are still prescribed today.

    They work on histamine receptor in the brain and spinal cord along with other types of receptors. Most notable about this generation of antihistamines is that they cross the blood-brain barrier, which results in drowsiness.

    Second-generation antihistamines were approved by the FDA and first came to market in the 1980s. The second-generation antihistamines do not cross the blood-brain barrier to the extent that first-generation do and therefore do not cause drowsiness at standard dosage levels. Second-generation antihistamines are considered to be safer than first generation antihistamines because they dont cause drowsiness and interact with fewer drugs.

    What Happens If I Miss One Dose Of Antihistamine

    If you miss a dose of your antihistamine, histamine release in your body will eventually resume and result in allergy symptoms. Take your missed dose as soon as possible, or wait for your next dose to maintain your established schedule. Do not exceed the daily limit or double your dose to compensate for a missed dose.

    Are there questions that you have that we havent answered yet? Feel free to send us an email at and wed be happy to help!

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    What Is The Generic For Claritin

    The generic for Claritin® is loratadine. Loratadine is one of the newer second antihistamines that are non-sedating. People use it to treat sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, skin rash, itching, and other cold or allergy symptoms.

    Other antihistamines like loratadine that do not usually cause drowsiness include cetirizine and fexofenadine . First-generation antihistamines include chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine .

    Stay Away From Chlorine And Strong Perfumes

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    Odors such as chlorine from a swimming pool and strong perfumes can irritate the nasal airways and lungs and make you cough. Irritants such as perfume and dyes in cosmetics and cleaning products can also cause an allergic skin reaction, known as contact dermatitis. Dermatitis can cause a rash and lead to itching, which will make your other allergy symptoms feel even worse.

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    Can You Combine Allergy Nasal Sprays

    I would suggest topical nasal steroids, assuming they dont have a contraindication, says Dr. Gels. Those are nasal sprays. Flonase, Nasacort, and Rhinocort are available over the counter.

    He continues, However, if itchy eyes are the patients main issue, a topical antihistamine is better. Some choices include Ketotifen over the counter, or a prescription like Olopatadine .

    You should avoid nasal decongestant sprays such as oxymetazoline unless absolutely needed. Even then, do not use Afrin for more than use three to five days. These drugs cause rebound congestion and are addictive.

    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    • What type of antihistamine would work best for me?
    • How do I proper take the prescribed antihistamine?
    • What side effects might occur with the recommended medication?
    • What antihistamine wont interfere with the current medications I am taking?
    • When, or for what conditions, does taking an antihistamine that would make me drowsy make sense?
    • Can I live my life normally while using this medication? Can I drive? Can I operate heavy machinery?
    • Can I take antihistamines if I am pregnant, planning to become pregnancy or am breastfeeding?
    • Can antihistamines be safely given to my child?
    • What are the consequences if I dont take an antihistamine to help with my allergies?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Histamine is on your side. The chemical does its best to regulate help your heart and lungs and protect your body from foreign allergens, among other roles. But it can be oversensitive, and it can overreact, and thats where antihistamines can help. If youre have allergies, stomach symptoms or any of the other conditions and symptoms mentioned in this article, talk to your healthcare provider about your options. Your symptoms may be able to be treated.

    Always check with your healthcare provider and your pharmacist if you have concerns about antihistamines, and always follow the directions on the labels!

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