Who Shouldnt Take Allergy Medications
Non-sedating antihistamines are relatively safe for most patients, but you should not take older antihistamines if you have prostate problems or glaucoma. You should not take decongestants if you have high blood pressure. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a healthcare professional before using allergy medications .
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.
Can I Share My Prescription Antihistamines With Friends Who Have Allergies
No. Even if your friend has a similar allergy, do not share your medicine. You should never share a prescription medicine with another person. Your doctor has examined you and has picked a medicine that is right only for your problem. Some antihistamines can cause serious side effects if they are given to people who are taking another medicine, or who should not take antihistamines for another reason.
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Additional reporting by Katrina Cossey
Which Antihistamine Is The Best
All antihistamines work pretty well to reduce symptoms of allergy. Your doctor or pharmacist may advise or prescribe a particular antihistamine depending on the cause of your allergy and on whether you require a sedating or non-sedating medicine. For example:
- In general, antihistamines are probably roughly equally effective in reducing the symptoms of hay fever and hives . However, non-sedating antihistamines tend to be used more commonly as they cause less drowsiness.
- Second-generation antihistamines are generally advised for most allergic situations as they cause less drowsiness.
- Cetirizine, fexofenadine, or loratadine are often recommended for urticaria.
- Antihistamine eye drops may be advised when itchy eyes are a particular problem – for example, azelastine eye drops or ketotifen drops.
- A sedating antihistamine may be particularly helpful at bedtime for children who have allergic symptoms. Cough medicines containing sedating antihistamines are not suitable for children under the age of 6 years, and a pharmacist’s advice is needed for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years.
For other conditions, specific antihistamines may be used. For example, cyclizine and promethazine teoclate are used for feeling sick and being sick , not for hay fever. Chlorphenamine is the antihistamine most used in an emergency situation such as anaphylaxis, and may be given by injection in this situation. Diphenhydramine is sold over the counter as a sleep remedy.
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Can I Take My Prescription Antihistamine With Other Medicines
You shouldnt take prescription antihistamines if you also are taking certain other prescription medicines. These include erythromycin or certain medicines used to treat fungal infections. These include itraconazole or ketoconazole. When your doctor gives you a prescription, always ask if its safe to use with the other medicines youre taking. Your pharmacist can also tell you what is safe to take. If you arent sure, ask the pharmacist or your doctor before taking another medicine.
Best First Thing In The Morning: Thyroid Meds
To do their best work regulating your bodys hormones and metabolism, a thyroid med like levothyroxine needs to be the star of the show and make its daily debut in your stomach before you eat or drink anything else. When taken on an empty stomach, thyroid medication does not compete with anything else to be absorbed, says Eric M. Ascher, DO, a family medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. He advises taking it approximately one hour prior to eatingand definitely before having any dairy. In fact, you should avoid calcium- and iron-rich roodsincluding milk, yogurt, and green, leafy vegetablesfor four hours before or after taking the medication, since they can interfere with absorption and, as a result, make your dosage less effective. Thyroid meds also happen to be one of the medications you should never stop taking abruptly.
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Best In The Morning: Adhd Meds
Taking your ADHD meds when you wake up wont just start your day off rightit will also end your day just right. Thats because ADHD drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, are stimulants that work to increase alertness and energy levels. If taken in the afternoon or nighttime, you may have difficulty sleeping, says Dr. Ascher, as common side effects are irritability, restlessness, and insomnia. For that reason, Dr. Ascher says its best to take these meds when you first wake up, at least 45 minutes prior to eating.
What Is The Proper Way To Dispose Of Unused Or Expired Zyrtec Products
Do NOT dispose of any ZYRTEC® product by emptying it into your sink, toilet or storm drain. Check to see if your pharmacy or community has a take-back program in which you can drop off your expired or unused medicine for them to dispose for you. Otherwise, place your medicine in an unmarked, sealed container and dispose of the container in your household trash. Visit the FDA website for more information.
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Best At The Same Time Every Day: Birth
While doctors will generally encourage you to take your medications at the same time every day, this is especially important when it comes to progestin-only birth-control pills, also known as mini-pills. According to Healthline, if you take a progestin-only pill more than three hours later than you normally do, it wont be fully effectivewhich means that youre not fully protected and could risk pregnancy. On the other hand, combination pills, which also contain estrogen, should be fully effective as long as theyre taken within the same 12-hour window every day. Discover these additional 13 things you must know about birth control pills if you dont want to get pregnantor do!
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:
Allergic rhinitis – antihistamine Hives – antihistamine Allergic conjunctivitis – antihistamine Urticaria – antihistamine Dermatitis – antihistamine Eczema – antihistamine
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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 systemic side effects or interactions that daily pills can.
Certain supplements may alleviate symptoms. Research suggests quercetin, a bioflavonoid derived from plant sources, helps inhibit histamine release. works best when started 2-3 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 to reduce your reaction during peak allergy season.
Should I Take Allegra Claritin Or Zyrtec
Sanja Jelic, MD, is board-certified in sleep medicine, critical care medicine, pulmonary disease, and internal medicine.
If you have allergies to pollens, pet dander, or dust mites, or are prone to hives , you may have taken an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Allegra , Claritin , or Zyrtec to relieve your symptoms.
These three common allergy medications yield similar results, so they may seem interchangeable. However, there are differences that may make one a better choice for you than the others.
This article compares Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec to help you decide which one to reach for at the pharmacy.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
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When Is The Best Time To Take Allergy Medicine
My older son, Will, suffers from seasonal allergies. Every spring, when pollens from grasses, trees and weeds fill the air, his nose gets stuffy and his eyes become watery and itchy.
Weve found that antihistamines can provide significant relief. This spring, weve been giving Claritin to Will on a daily basis, and that has seemed to ease his symptoms. But I was wondering whether timing matters. Is there a particular time of day thats best for giving him his allergy medication?
Dr. Prescott prescribes
Claritin, or loratadine, is what Id call a second generation antihistamine. Like its older cousins such as Benadryl and chlorpheniramine, it blocks the action of allergy-causing histamines, which the body releases to try to sweep pollen and other allergens out of your system.
This new wave of allergy fighters, which also includes drugs such as Allegra and Zyrtec and their generic twins, is slightly less effective than the first generation of antihistamines. But these newer drugs hold a considerable advantage over traditional antihistamines: They dont make you drowsy.
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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 .
Best Eye Drops: Alcon Naphcon Eye Drops
Non-oral solution for itchy, red eyes
Great size for on-the-go relief
Clears the eyes quickly
Can cause eye dryness if used excessively
Itchy, red eyes are a common reaction to allergies, but luckily, this problem can quickly be solved with proper eye drops. The highly recommended Alcon Naphcon-A Allergy Relief Eye Drops are a reliable option as the formula combines a redness reliever and an antihistamine ingredient to bring your eyes back to normal.
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Best Two Hours Before Bedtime: Nerve
When youre dealing with chronic nerve pain, you dont want to trade one set of problems for another. And when it comes to medications like gabapentin and pregabalin, you could be doing just that if you take them during the day. Common side effects of medications for nerve pain include drowsiness, confusion, and unsteadiness, which is why its good to take these medications prior to bedtime, says Dr. Ascher. Many patients also complain that their nerve pain will keep them up at night, so I tell my patients to take them two hours before they are ready to go to sleep. Dr. Ascher additionally cautions against taking other prescription pain or antidepressant meds at the same time, as they can increase side effects. He also recommends avoiding antacids two hours before and after your dosage because they can affect absorption and efficacy.
Talk To Your Sleep Specialist And/or Sleep Coach
Even if you follow these tips and make the necessary changes, sleep problems may still persist. If youre struggling with insomnia, snoring, or stop breathing while you sleep, consult your doctor. You may require a sleep test to potentially identify more serious sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea .
While nighttime allergy symptoms do not always accompany OSA, a home sleep test can help you determine whether your symptoms will require more treatment than what can be done in the home.
Dont let your allergies keep you up at night. There are easy steps you can take to ensure that your symptoms are under control so you can breathe easily. But if your seasonal allergies continue to affect your ability to sleep, contact us today to schedule an assessment of your symptoms.
Sublett, J.L. Effectiveness of Air Filters and Air Cleaners in Allergic Respiratory Diseases: A Review of the Recent Literature. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 11, 395 .
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Can Nasal Saline Rinses Help Reduce Allergies
Arizona-based pulmonologist Paul Enright, MD, has had allergies since childhood. During allergy seasons, when his nose gets clogged with mucus and he has postnasal drainage, he uses a salt water sinus rinse, often during an evening shower, in order to keep his nasal passages clear throughout the night.
It’s important to note that, according to the CDC, if you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. Itâs also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry.
“If your nose is clogged, you have to breathe through your mouth all night. This eliminates the natural air conditioning function of the nose and may cause restless sleeping,” Enright says.
When grass and weed pollen levels are high in Arizona, to reduce inflammation and congestion in his nose, he also uses a prescription nasal corticosteroid spray about 1/2 hour after the sinus rinse.
“It’s important to point nose sprays towards the center of your head, not towards your eyebrows. The sinuses and inner ears drain deep inside your nose, and that’s where you want the nose spray to be concentrated for maximum benefit.” Enright also recommends drinking more water, which works to thin mucus. Thin mucus does not stick to the back of the throat and cause postnasal drip. You’ll know that you’re well-hydrated if you’re hitting the bathroom frequently.
Best In The Evening: Allergy Meds
Hay fever typically worsens at night and feels most severe in the morning, when levels of symptom-triggering histamine are highest. Once-daily antihistamines, such as Claritin, reach their peak eight to 12 hours after you take them, so using them at dinnertime or before bed means better control of morning symptoms. Take twice-a-day antihistamines in the morning and eveningwhich is exactly the kind of question its good to ask your pharmacist or doctor about before taking prescription medications.
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Is It Safe To Take An Antihistamine Daily
Experts say, its usually okay. Taken in the recommended doses, antihistamines can be taken daily, but patients should make sure they do not interact with their other medications, saysSandra Lin, MD, professor and vice director of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at John Hopkins School of Medicine.
In other words, youll need to make sure that you choose the right antihistamine for everyday use. First-generation antihistamines come with risk of more side effects and interactions, so are not generally advised for long-term usage. Additionally, frequent use of the first generation antihistamines may lead to excessive weight gain.
With first-generation antihistamines, some people note decreasing effectiveness if used daily for several days, says Dr. Lin. Because they cause drowsiness, they are not safe to mix with alcoholsomething to consider if you plan to have a drink during allergy season.
The risk of interaction increases with combination products. Some allergy medications contain an antihistamine and a decongestant . The decongestant component can cause elevated blood pressure and elevated heart rate, saysStephen Tilles, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Washington. However, Dr. Lin says antihistamines alone are not bad for the heart in otherwise healthy people.
|Safety and dosage guidelines for daily use of antihistamines|
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
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.
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If Otc Medications Arent Effective Are There Prescription Options Available
Most allergy medicine is now available over the counter . However, several nasal sprays are available by prescription only. These include Astepro , Dymista , and Nasonex . Flonase is available in prescription and OTC strengths.
OTC medications are often sufficient to treat allergy symptoms, but if your symptoms are not relieved by OTC meds, check with your healthcare provider to see if a prescription medication may be right for you.
If you have asthma and allergies, there are a variety of treatments available by prescription to alleviate both, including inhalers or oral medication such as Singulair .