What Are The Risks Of Decongestants For People With Other Types Of Conditions
Wozniak: Sudafed® can affect your heart rate. Thats why its not recommended for people with heart disease or abnormal heart rhythm. People with overactive thyroid should also avoid it, because this condition can make your heart beat faster.
Similarly, you might also want to avoid Sudafed® if you have glaucoma or diabetes. And because it can cause urinary retention like those older antihistamines, men with an enlarged prostate should also stay away from this medication.
Allergy Medicines And Hypertension
Allergy season is in full swing in many parts of the country. For some, that means battling symptoms, such as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itching, and watery eyes. If you are among the over 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies each year, you may be headed to a pharmacy near you for relief of your allergy symptoms. Choosing allergy medication that is right for you may be tricky if you have hypertension . Read on to learn how some allergy medicines may affect your blood pressure and your blood pressure medication.
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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Do Allergy Medicines Interact With My Blood Pressure Medication
Most antihistamines are generally safe to take with your blood pressure medication. However, keep in mind the following drug interactions if you are taking medication for your blood pressure:
- fexofenadine : Carvedilol may increase the effects of fexofenadine. Use fexofenadine cautiously if you are taking carvedilol.
- cetirizine and levocetirizine : You may experience increased drowsiness if you take cetirizine or levocetirizine in combination with methyldopa .
- diphenhydramine : Any product containing diphenhydramine may counteract the effects of many of your blood pressure medications. Be sure to talk with your pharmacist before taking any diphenhydramine products.
How Should Benadryl Be Taken
A typical dose of Benadryl is 25-50 mg every 4-6 hours. Benadryl may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors , other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or insomnia medications, anxiety or sleep medicines, antidepressants, or any other medications that make you feel drowsy, sleepy, or relaxed. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Benadryl has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Benadryl is secreted in breast milk. Because of the risk of stimulation and seizures in infants, especially newborns and premature infants, antihistamines should not be used by nursing mothers.
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Can You Drink Alcohol With Claritin
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a… read more
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in… read more
Many people turn to over-the-counter drugs like Claritin to relieve the discomfort of seasonal allergies. If you drink alcohol, however, you may wonder if it is safe to drink while taking Claritin or other allergy medications. Notably, Claritins package labeling does not discuss if drinking is safe to do while on the medication. This may lead people to believe there is no risk of side effects if you drink while taking Claritin. However, doing so can compound the side effects of both alcohol and Claritin.
Are There Other Things Older Adults Should Consider When Taking Allergy Medications
Wozniak: In general, since theres so much available over the counter and its hard to keep track of whats older or whats newer, talking with your pharmacist, doctor and health care team is pretty important. That way we can consider those other conditions, the other medications youre on and the individual factors of the medication to make sure its safe and effective for you.
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Who Should Not Take Claritin
While Claritin is generally well tolerated by most people, there are some individuals who should not take Claritin or who should speak to their doctor prior to using the medication. People who have had an allergic reaction to Claritin or desloratadine should not use Claritin. If you have experienced other allergic reactions to medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist so that they can ensure there are no inactive ingredients included in Claritin that could cause an allergic reaction.Be sure to share a complete medical history with your doctor prior to using Claritin. Although Claritin is available over the counter, people with a history of kidney or liver disease should not take Claritin prior to consulting with their doctors.Although Claritin is less likely to cause drowsiness and have a sedative effect than some other antihistamines, some people will still experience these side effects. You should not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you determine how taking Claritin affects you. Older adults may be more likely to experience these side effects and may also be at increased risk of experiencing confusion, which could increase the risk of falling.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
Some medicines affect how loratadine works or can increase the chances of you having side effects.
Tell your doctor if you’re taking:
- amiodarone, a medicine used to treat an irregular heartbeat
- cimetidine, an indigestion medicine
- erythromycin, an antibiotic
- ketoconazole, a medicine to treat fungal infections
- any medicine that makes you feel sleepy, gives you a dry mouth or makes it difficult for you to pee taking loratadine might make these side effects worse
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Are Antihistamines Bad For Your Heart
Antihistamines, which are commonly used to treat symptoms such as a runny nose or sneezing, are generally safe for patients with abnormal heart conditions. However, the FDA has warned that antihistamines taken in conjunction with some high blood pressure medications may cause a spike in blood pressure.
How Do I Safely Take Otc Antihistamines
Read the directions on the label before taking any medicine. Learn how much to take and how often you should take it. If you have any questions about how much medicine to take, call your family doctor or pharmacist. Keep track of which OTC medicines you are using and when you take them. If you need to go to the doctor, take the list with you.
Follow these tips to make sure you are taking the right amount of medicine:
- Take only the amount recommended on the medicines label. Dont assume that more medicine will work better or quicker. Taking more than the recommended amount can be dangerous.
- Mixing medicines can be dangerous. If you take a prescription medicine, ask your doctor if its okay to also take an OTC antihistamine.
- Dont use more than 1 OTC antihistamine at a time unless your doctor says its okay. They may have similar active ingredients that add up to be too much medicine.
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Check With A Healthcare Provider
Always check with a healthcare provider to be sure if Claritin or any medication is OK for you and your babys specific health situation. Deciding whether Claritin is safe while breastfeeding depends on a person’s past medical history, notes Silverman. Before starting any medication while breastfeeding, please discuss with your doctor.
Can You Take Cold Medicine And Allergy Pills
Sometimes its hard to tell whether your childs runny nose and sneezing is caused by allergies or a cold thats spreading. In spite of this, the Food and Drug Administration warns that knowing the difference is crucial to avoiding over-medication.
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Common Questions About Loratadine
Loratadine is a type of medicine called an antihistamine.
When you come into contact with something you have an allergy to, such as pollen, animal hair or fur, house dust or insect bites, your body produces a chemical called histamine.
Usually, histamine is a useful substance but in an allergic reaction it causes unpleasant symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, running or blocked nose, sneezing and skin rashes.
Loratadine blocks the effects of histamine and so reduces these symptoms.
Loratadine is a non-drowsy antihistamine, so it does not make you feel as sleepy as other medicines like it.
You should start to feel better within an hour.
It depends on why you’re taking it.
You may only need to take loratadine for a short time or as a one-off dose. If you have a reaction to an insect bite, you may only need to take loratadine for a day or two.
You may need to take it for longer if you’re taking it to prevent hay fever symptoms when the pollen count is high.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure how long you need to take loratadine for.
Loratadine is unlikely to do you any harm if you take it for a long time. However, it’s best to take it only for as long as you need to.
It’s best not to drink alcohol while you’re taking loratadine, as it can make you feel sleepy.
You can eat and drink normally while taking loratadine.
Loratadine is classed as a non-drowsy antihistamine but it’s still possible to feel sleepy after taking it.
Tips for when you’re outside
What Is The Cost Of Claritin
Since being offered over the counter and since the release of the generic form, loratadine, Claritin has become considerably cheaper. Most pharmacies and drug stores offer the generic version of Claritin in a store brand, which can help keep costs low. The costs for both brand name Claritin and generic loratadine are compared in the table below.Cost of 24-Hour Claritin versus Loratadine
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Treats Mild To Moderate Inflammation In Allergy Sufferers
Mast cell stabilizers are often used alongside other allergy treatments to help alleviate mild to moderate inflammation. These treatments work by preventing histamine from being released by the mast cells, which are the cells that produce and store histamine.
Mast cell stabilizers are available as eye drops for itchy eyes, also called allergic conjunctivitis, and as nasal sprays for nasal allergy symptoms. As with many drugs, it may take several weeks to start working at its best.
Which Common Drugs Dont Mix Well With Allergy Medicines
Wozniak: For the antihistamines, its the medications that have similar side effects or are also very sedating. These include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Tranquilizers and other sedatives
Medications for overactive bladder also dont mix well. If youre taking Benadryl® on top of your OAB medicine, it could cause too much urine retention and may lead to urinary tract infections.
People who take medication for high blood pressure need to avoid Sudafed® because it can reduce the effectiveness of those blood pressure medications. And it can raise blood pressure on its own. There can also be severe drug interactions with older antidepressants called MAOIs .
But its just 1 reason why its important to tell your provider and pharmacist about everything youre on, whether its prescription, over-the-counter or herbal. Because they will check for those rare interactions.
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Blocking Allergy Symptoms: How Pretreatment Works
Tackle allergies before they start, and you could be breathing a lot easier.
For lots of people, allergy treatment is reactive. You get stuffed up, your eyes water, and then you go to the medicine cabinet for relief. But many doctors say that weÃ¢ve got it the wrong way around. Instead, we should be taking the medicine before we have symptoms. Call it allergy pretreatment.
Ã¢We always tell people to start taking medicine before the allergy season begins,Ã¢ says Jonathan A. Bernstein MD, an allergist and professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati. Ã¢People often come to me in the middle of the allergy season, and theyÃ¢re already a mess. Once the symptoms start, they can be like a runaway train.Ã¢
By waiting, you could be risking more than mild discomfort. Once allergy symptoms start, you might need more heavy-duty medicine to get them under control. In some people, allergy symptoms quickly turn into allergic sinusitis and more serious problems. That requires even more intensive treatment.
So the key to getting through the allergy season is to have a good defense. By arming yourself with medicine before the trees unleash their pollen â or before you go visit your sister and their five cats â you can save yourself a lot of suffering. How does allergy pretreatment work? Here are the answers.
You Didnt Start Taking Claritin Soon Enough
In order for Claritin to be most effective, you should aim to start taking it one to two weeks before allergens or other histamine triggers are in the air. Doing this helps your body begin to build up resistance so its prepared by the time the allergens arrive.
If you only start taking Claritin once you have allergy symptoms, you may not get immediate relief, but the good news is itll begin working after several days or up to two weeks after you begin using it.
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What About Other Types Of Antihistamines Do They Have Side Effects And Are Older Adults More Susceptible
Wozniak: All drugs can carry side effects. Unfortunately, older adults can be more susceptible to them because of some of the natural changes that happen in the body with aging and how medications break down. Their liver and kidneys cant flush out medications as well, so they stay in the system longer. They might weigh less and need lower doses.
What Medications Should Diabetics Avoid
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Which Allergy Medications Affect My Blood Pressure
You should avoid decongestants if you have high blood pressure or heart problems. Decongestants constrict blood vessels to open nasal passages and facilitate breathing. Because decongestants constrict blood vessels throughout your body, they can worsen hypertension. Additionally, decongestants stimulate the release of norepinephrine in your body, which raises your blood pressure and your heart rate.
When choosing an allergy medication, be aware of combination products that contain decongestants. Products that contain a decongestant typically have the words sinus, cold, congestion, or on the label. They may also be labeled with the letters D, PD, or PE after the name.
Examples of allergy medicines that contain decongestants include the following:
- Allegra D
- Benadryl D
- Clarinex D
- Claritin D
- Sudafed Sinus and Allergy
- Zyrtec D
The list above is a small sample of allergy medications that contain decongestants. Always check with your pharmacist before choosing allergy medications.
Is It A Good Idea To Change The Type Of Allergy Medication Youre Taking
If you feel like your allergy medication has stopped working, youre not alone. This is a relatively common problem. But changing medications may not be the right solution.
Although some people say that switching to a different antihistamine provides better relief, studies have not shown that antihistamines stop working when they are taken for a long time. For instance, research shows newer antihistamines like cetirizine provide the same amount of relief 180 days after first starting them.
If you experience more allergy symptoms while taking your antihistamine, it may mean that your allergies are actually worsening. Therefore, you should speak with your provider to discuss potentially raising the dose of your antihistamine or adding a different medication, such as a nasal spray.
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Can I Take Allegra Or Claritin If I Am Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Allegra is classified as pregnancy category C, which means that you should use it only if the potential benefits of taking the medication outweigh the potential risks to your baby. Be sure to discuss your options with your OB/GYN.
Claritin is classified as pregnancy category B, which means that the medication is generally safe to use during pregnancy if it is clearly needed. Other medicines in category B include prenatal vitamins and acetaminophen .
Claritin passes into breast milk, and you should not take it while you are breastfeeding. Researchers do not know if Allegra passes into breast milk. Given the lack of information, you should not use Allegra if you are nursing. Antihistamines, in general, tend to dry up breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about safe options to treat allergy symptoms.
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