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How Long To Take Allergy Medication

Stay Away From Chlorine And Strong Perfumes

Allergy Medications Explained – Can You Take More Than One?

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.

What Other Treatments Can I Try For Allergies

If you are concerned about side effects or drug interactions, there are alternative treatments.

Allergy sprays can be an effective treatment option. Nasal corticosteroids are safe for daily use, and dont cause the same systemic side effects or interactions that daily pills can.

Certain supplements may alleviate symptoms. Research suggests quercetin, a bioflavonoid derived from plant sources, helps block histamine production and release. works best when started two to three weeks prior to allergy season. Continue to take it throughout the season, says , a holistic health practitioner and naturologist. Vitamin C, bromelain, butterbur, and apple cider vinegar may also help to boost your immune system so it can better respond to allergens.

Lifestyle changes, such as reducing your exposure to allergy triggers or using a HEPA air filter, can help reduce your chance of experiencing symptoms during peak allergy season.

The Importance Of Diagnosing Your Kids Allergies

The first step to correctly using allergy medication is to get an expert diagnosis. Self-diagnosing your childs allergies could lead to treating the wrong condition or using the wrong medication. Its best not to risk it.

If you think your child is showing signs of pediatric allergies, schedule an appointment with a top allergist near you. This doctor will diagnose your kids symptoms and create a care plan, which will include clear directions about which medications are best for your childs situation.

Getting a proper diagnosis and care plan from an allergist is the surest way to keep your child safe from medication risks.

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Fighting Back Against Tiny Allergens Before They Strike Can Help You Avoid Or Reduce Symptoms

The spring allergy season begins next month, and if you want to avoid symptoms, you must act now. “Pretreating allergies will lead to better control of symptoms, and maybe prevent symptoms from showing up,” says Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Take An Antihistamine But Choose The Right One

Best OTC Allergy Medications Reviewed and Rated

As soon as allergy symptoms set in, Dr. Hays says your first line of defense should be antihistamines.

“Antihistamines are really effective for treating allergies,” says Dr. Hays. “They need to be taken every day while you’re experiencing symptoms, and people with seasonal allergies should proactively take them throughout both the fall and spring allergy seasons.”

There are two things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right antihistamine. Dr. Hays says the best antihistamines are ones that are long-acting and non-sedating. To find one that meets this criteria, look for the following types of antihistamines:

  • Cetirizine
  • Loratadine

Some antihistamine drugs such as diphenhydramine are effective, but can make you very drowsy. Dr. Hays recommends taking this type of antihistamine only before bed.

Whether you’re buying name-brand or generic, the antihistamine drug name will be mentioned somewhere on the box typically on the front.

“One of the main advantages of antihistamines is that they help with the majority, if not all, of your allergy symptoms,” Dr. Hays explains. “In addition, they kick in pretty quickly. You should notice a reduction in your symptoms in just a few hours.”

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Which Allergy Medications Can You Mix

Depending on your symptoms, some allergy medications can be safe to use in combination. Generally, you can use an antihistamine with a decongestant .

However, you dont want to double up allergy medications. For example, you generally wouldnt want to take Claritin in the morning and Zyrtec in the evening .

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Avoid Opening Windows Once Spring Hits

It can be hard to resist the allure of a warm spring breeze once the temperature rises, but opening your windows when seasonal allergies are at their peak is like giving pollen an open invitation to invade your living space and cause allergy symptoms. Keeping your windows closed and using an air conditioner with an allergy filter can be an effective way of treating allergies and may help you breathe better, says Dykewicz.

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Allergy Pretreatment: The Importance Of Control

According to the experts, the secret to living with allergies is being prepared. If you can anticipate when and where youâll have allergy symptoms, you can often prevent them from developing. This is why allergy pretreatment is so important.

âControlling allergy symptoms is really important in reducing complications like chronic sinusitis and the progression into asthma,â says Bernstein.

Donât be passive. Instead, work with your doctor — or a specialist such as an allergist and immunologist — and come up with your allergy pretreatment plan.

âEven if you have allergies, you should be able to enjoy the outdoors, your home, your pets, and your job,â says Kelkar. âAs long as you take the proper precautions, you should be able to do whatever you want.â

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How Do You Minimize Drowsiness

Allergy Shots Overview

Older antihistamines, such as Benadryl , can cause significant drowsiness. Newer antihistamines, like Claritin , Allegra , Zyrtec , and Xyzal , are less likely to cause drowsiness, but many patients do report some sleepiness.

Be careful when choosing any combination product for allergies or cough and cold because many of them contain sedating antihistamines. Ask your pharmacist to help you choose a product that wont immediately put you to sleep.

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What Happens If I Stop Taking Antihistamines Daily

Side effects are rare if you abruptly discontinue antihistamines after regular use. There are typically no rebound symptomsit is important to keep in mind that if the antihistamine is working well and is withdrawn, there will be a recurrence of the symptoms the antihistamine was treating, Dr. Tilles says.

If you do experience side effects after ending a daily antihistamine, they are usually mild. Some people who use antihistamines regularly and then stop suddenly may have side effects of itchy skin and disrupted sleep, Dr. Lin says.

How To Take Antihistamines

Depending on your symptoms, you can take antihistamines:

  • Every day, to help keep daily symptoms under control
  • Only when you have symptoms
  • Before being exposed to things that often cause your allergy symptoms, such as a pet or certain plants

For many people with allergies, symptoms are the worst around 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Taking an antihistamine at bedtime may help you or your child feel better in the morning during allergy season.

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How Often Can I Take Allergy Meds

This article was published more than 11 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.

The question

I seem to have allergies all year round and suffer from watery eyes and congestion/sneezing regularly. Is taking anti-histamines regularly a bad idea?

The answer

Allergies can cause a significant decrease in quality of life by interfering with enjoyment of everyday activities and can affect work and school performance.

As you mentioned, symptoms can include watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. It is a common problem that can begin at any age and symptoms vary from person to person and can change in severity throughout a person’s lifetime.

Antihistamines are effective medications for allergies as they block the action of histamine, a chemical released when the body responds to something in the environment .

Increased histamine sensitizes the respiratory tract, nasal passages to these allergens which can trigger allergy symptoms when exposed. Allergies can be seasonal or they can be present year round. Allergies that last year round are commonly triggered by pet dander , dust mites, fungus, or cigarette smoke.

To answer to your question, it’s important to clarify how regular is your intake of anti-histamines.

For my patients who suffer from allergies, we work to get to the potential root causes of their symptoms by identifying and avoiding triggers. If it is not possible to avoid the triggers, a combination of medications may be helpful.

Articles On Drug Allergies

Hardluck Asthma: The best allergy medicine is cold medicine

You need your medicine to manage your health. They can make a huge difference in your life. But sometimes, people have an allergic reaction to a medicine.

When you have an allergy, your immune system mistakenly sees something thatâs harmless as an invader. Your body responds with certain chemicals, such as large amounts of histamine, to try to get rid of it.

If you think you have a drug allergy, tell your doctor. There may be another treatment you could try instead.

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Which Type Is Best

There’s not much evidence to suggest any particular antihistamine is better than any other at relieving allergy symptoms.

Some people find certain types work well for them and others do not. You may need to try several types to find one that works for you.

Non-drowsy antihistamines are generally the best option, as they’re less likely to make you feel sleepy. But types that make you feel sleepy may be better if your symptoms stop you sleeping.

Ask a pharmacist for advice if you’re unsure which medicine to try as not all antihistamines are suitable for everyone.

How Do Allergy Shots Work

Allergy shots work by decreasing symptoms from particular allergens.

Each injection contains small amounts of the allergen so that your body builds up immunity to it over time. The process works much like taking a vaccine, where your body creates new antibodies to combat the invasive substances.

Allergy shots also improve the way other immune system cells and substances function in response to allergens. Eventually, successful immunotherapy helps the body fight off allergens and reduce adverse symptoms.

Allergy shots aim to decrease overall allergy symptoms over time. If you have allergic asthma, reduced asthma symptoms are also possible.

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Can You Take Antihistamines When Pregnant

Drug companies are naturally pretty reluctant to go around testing medicines on pregnant or breast-feeding women, so there aren’t any studies to guide them. They tend to advise against to be on the safe side, although there is no evidence they cause a problem. Discuss this with your doctor who will talk you through the options. If the benefits of treatment are thought to outweigh any possible risks, the one usually advised is loratadine.

Who Can Take Antihistamines

Long-term Effects of Antihistamine Medication

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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What Is The Best Seasonal Allergy Medicine

The short answer is it depends on your symptoms.

If you feel itchy and have a runny nose or watery eyes, you would most likely benefit from an antihistamine, preferably a non-drowsy one such as Claritin. You can add a nasal steroid such as Flonase to help relieve those pesky nasal allergy symptoms. Nasal saline is a great option to keep nasal passages from drying out. OTC allergy eye drops can help relieve itchy eyes.

If you have a stuffy nose, you may want to add a decongestant. Many non-drowsy allergy meds include a decongestant, such as Allegra-D. But if you have high blood pressure, you should avoid these medications because they can raise your blood pressure further. Also, some antihistamines are not safe for people who have glaucoma or prostate problems. Your pharmacist can help you pick the best product for your symptoms, considering any medical conditions you have and other medications you take.

What Is The Typical Xyzal Dosage

A Xyzal 5mg breakable tablet once daily in the evening is the dosage for adults and children from 12 to 64 years of age. A 1/2 tablet once daily in the evening may be appropriate for less severe symptoms. Childrens Xyzal is also available in an oral solution for children 2 to 11 years old.

For additional dosing information, please refer to the product labeling.

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Side Effects Of Antihistamines

Ask your provider if antihistamines are safe for you or your child, what side effects to watch for, and how antihistamines may affect other medicines you or your child take.

  • Antihistamines are thought to be safe for adults.
  • Most antihistamines are also safe for children over 2 years old.
  • If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, ask your provider if antihistamines are safe for you.
  • Adults who take antihistamines should know how the medicine affects them before driving or using machinery.
  • If your child is taking antihistamines, make sure the medicine is not affecting your child’s ability to learn.

There may be special precautions for using antihistamines if you have:

  • Diabetes

Allergic rhinitis – antihistamine Hives – antihistamine Allergic conjunctivitis – antihistamine Urticaria – antihistamine Dermatitis – antihistamine Eczema – antihistamine

Who Should Not Take Antihistamines

Drug Allergy

Most people can take antihistamines safely. Antihistamines should not be used by people with a rare metabolic disorder called acute porphyria. In addition, they may not be suitable for people with liver or kidney problems. First-generation antihistamines may not be suitable for men with prostate enlargement . They may also not be suitable for people with raised pressure in the eye or who are at risk of glaucoma.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are usually advised not to take antihistamines. This is because it is not known if they do any harm and studies cannot be done on women in this situation just in case. However, they are not known to cause harm. If certain conditions such as hay fever or morning sickness make you very unwell in pregnancy, the benefit of treatment may be more than the very small risk of any harm. Your doctor would talk this over with you and prescribe one of the antihistamines believed to be safe in pregnancy if you choose to take one. Similarly, in breast-feeding women, in some cases the benefits may be more than the risk. Antihistamines do come through in small quantities into breast milk, although they are not known to cause any harm.

A full list of people who should not take antihistamines is included with the information leaflet that comes in the medicine packet. If you are prescribed or buy an antihistamine, read this to be sure you are safe to take it.

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Are There Different Types Of Antihistamines

Generally, antihistamines have been classified into two groups:

  • First-generation or sedating antihistamines can cause significant drowsiness and are generally more associated with the antimuscarinic side-effects mentioned above. These include alimemazine, chlorphenamine, clemastine, cyproheptadine, hydroxyzine, ketotifen and promethazine. These medicines may be used for their sedative effects should your sleep be disturbed by itching.
  • Non-sedating or second-generation antihistamines are newer medicines which generally cause less drowsiness. However, anyone taking these medicines while performing skilled tasks – for example, driving – should be aware that a sedative effect may still occur and, in particular, in combination with alcohol. Second-generation antihistamines include acrivastine, cetirizine, desloratadine, fexofenadine, levocetirizine and loratadine.

Liquid Allergy Medicine And Nasal Sprays Expire Earlier

While most antihistamines are tablets, corticosteroids are in liquid form, and used to treat symptoms like itchy noses, sneezing, and nasal congestion.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays can be over-the-counter, like Flonase, or by prescription, like Nasonex. They contain preservatives to keep the liquids fresh longer.

Prescription liquid medicine expiration dates are no longer than one year, , although sometimes the manufacturer sets the shelf life at six months or earlier. Expiration dates for over-the-counter liquids are usually around two years.

And liquid allergy medicines shouldn’t be stretched as far beyond their expiration dates as tablets, Frank says.

Frank says nasal sprays, as well as liquid forms of antihistamines, can last for one year beyond the bottle’s expiration date. After that, the efficacy dwindles. “Like tablets, these drugs won’t be unsafe when expired,” Frank says. “They’ll just become ineffective.”

To extend the potency of liquid drugs like nasal sprays, Frank suggests keeping them at room temperature. “Storing in a room that’s too warm, in sunlight, or colder like a refrigerator would make it go bad faster,” she says.

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How Often Can You Take Allergy Medicine

Good news for bad allergies: Antihistamines are OK for everyday use.

Long-acting, non-sedating antihistamines can be used daily, and theyre generally very safe to use, even in the long-term, Dr. Aronica says. In a pinch, you can take two in one day, but if you frequently feel like antihistamines dont help your allergy symptoms, try another type or see your allergist for their input.

And dont take a decongestant every day.

Decongestants can be used on an as-needed basis to cover difficult days but certainly for no longer than 10 to 14 days at a time, Dr. Aronica warns. They have a caffeine-like effect on your body, so they come with a risk of side effects like increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.

In other words, save the decongestants for your absolute worst allergy days.


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