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When Should You Take Allergy Medicine

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.

Talking With Your Doctor

The best antihistamine choice for any one person is based on the degree of symptom relief desired and the degree of side effects you’re willing to tolerate.

For mild to moderate allergy symptoms, Allegra may be preferable to drugs such as Zyrtec since these other drugs are more sedating. Yet for severe symptoms that are interfering with work, school, or play, a medication such as Zyrtec may be needed.

Note that every person is different. This means that despite what studies say, there are many people who do not experience any fatigue on Zyrtec or Xyzal. Likewise, there are people who do experience fatigue on Allegra.

It’s sometimes helpful to try different medications to see which works best for you as an individual. If you try this, though, talk with your doctor first.

You might keep a journal to get an objective measure of which drug works best. For instance, you can write down your most annoying symptoms, and rank them from 1 to 10 based on how well they are controlled by different medications.

Talk with an allergist about the possibility of allergy testing and allergy shots. While allergy shots require more follow-up they can sometimes cure allergies so that medications are no longer needed. In addition, it’s thought that allergy shots may sometimes help prevent the development of new allergies.

How To Take Antihistamines

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

Before taking an antihistamine, you should know:

  • how to take it including whether it needs to be taken with water or food, or how to use it correctly
  • how much to take this can vary depending on things such as your age and weight
  • when to take it including how many times a day you can take it and when to take it
  • how long to take it for some types can be used for a long time, but some are only recommended for a few days
  • what to do if you miss a dose or take too much

The advice varies depending on the exact medicine you’re taking. If you’re not sure how to take your medicine, ask a pharmacist.

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Which Allergy Medicines Can You Buy Without A Prescription

Over-the-counter antihistamines are medications that help relieve or prevent allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter means you can buy them over the counter without a prescription. They are available as tablets or liquids, nasal sprays or gels, and eye drops. There are two types of over-the-counter antihistamines: first and second generation.

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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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Allergy Medication Side Effects

Older antihistamines are associated with drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, blurry vision, a dry mouth/nose and throat, and difficulty urinating. The newer antihistamines are usually well tolerated but can cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and stomach problems.

Nasal corticosteroids can cause nasal dryness or irritation, nosebleed, throat irritation, headache, nausea, vomiting, cough, and fungal infections of the throat with long-term use.

Mast cell stabilizers can cause a short-lived stinging sensation inside the nose.

Leukotriene inhibitors are associated with unusual weakness, upset stomach, earache, dizziness, cough, headache, trouble sleeping. Serious but unlikely side effects include flu-like symptoms.

Nasal decongestants may cause a temporary burning, stinging, or dryness in the nose, a runny nose, and sneezing. Oral decongestants may cause dizziness, headache, nervousness, fast heartbeat, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, and sleep problems.

Nasal anticholinergics can cause a bloody or dry nose, nasal congestion, dry mouth and irritated throat, bad taste in the mouth, dizziness, and nausea.

Topical corticosteroids for skin allergies can cause burning, itching, redness, and changes to skin color and thinning of skin.

Topical immunomodulators for skin allergies may cause stinging, burning, irritation, and itching at the application site. They may also cause headache and flu symptoms.

What Medications Are Over The Counter

Common over-the-counter medications generally include pain relievers such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen , and naproxen . They also contain a combination of painkillers such as acetaminophen and caffeine , which are mixtures of one or two painkillers and caffeine.

Can you take zyrtec and benadryl together

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A Doctors Guide To Choosing Allergy Medicine Wisely

Allergies can pop up throughout the year. You may be tempted to grab the closest antihistamine medicine to fend off your itchy eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose. Before you do, make sure the medicine wont do more harm than good.

There are different types of antihistamines, and some are better than others depending on your age, health, and other medications you take.

Older formulas work, but beware of side effects and bad interactions

Doctors often refer to the first type of antihistamines that were on the market as first-generation. They are great at treating allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, in some people, they can result in side effects like anxiety, confusion, feeling sleepy, blurred vision, reduced mental alertness, urinary retention and constipation. These effects are more common for anyone taking certain antidepressant medications.

Ingredients of first-generation antihistamines include brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine and doxylamine. Ask a pharmacist to help you compare products and read the labels if the print is too small. Some of the brand names for these products include Dimetapp Cold & Allergy, Chlor-Trimeton, Tavist, Benadryl, Vicks NyQuil and Tylenol Cold and Cough Nighttime.

The labels should also include warnings that people with certain medical conditions should not take first-generation antihistamines. Ask your doctor before use if you have:

New formulations have fewer side effects, but you still need to be cautious

What Can You Do If Your Allergy Medication Is Not Working

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Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, may eliminate or lessen allergy symptoms if medications are ineffective or intolerable. Immunotherapy works by reducing sensitivity to allergens. Each shot contains a small, but increasing, amount of allergen. This challenges the body to build up tolerance over time. The drawbacks to immunotherapy include use of shots, cost and the fact it may take many months to complete.

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Why Trust Verywell Family

As a seasoned health writer, Isis Briones knows the importance of finding products that work best for you and your conditions. You can count on her to always provide a variety of recommendations from licensed medical professionals because she has tested and reviewed tons of products over the years to know everyone is different.

Additional reporting by Katrina Cossey

What Is A Common Medication Mistake That People With Allergies Make

People with allergies often take their medications only when they have symptoms that bother them. But to get the most out of your allergy medication, its best to take it regularly, even when you are not experiencing symptoms. This ensures that you get optimal relief from your medication.

For example, if youre using a medication for seasonal allergies, they are most effective if you start them before you experience symptoms. So its important to know when your symptoms start each year and to take your medication regularly, as prescribed by your doctor and until the end of the allergy season.

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Shower Immediately After Being Outside

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.

Comparing Claritin Zyrtec And Allegra

Taking Allergy Medications for a Cold

Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are all considered newer generation antihistamines. First-generation antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Atarax , can be helpful for allergies and hives as well, but their use is limited due to side effects such as fatigue and sedation .

So while Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are all newer generation antihistamines that can treat hay fever or hives, there may be some advantages for each of these over the others.

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Allergy Medicine Treating The Bodys Adverse Reaction To A Substance

A good percentage of the worlds population is affected by an allergy.

An allergy is the bodys reaction to a substance that doesnt cause much harm to other people, but it does to you. These allergens include dust, pollen, chemicals, foods, animal fur and insect stings.

Allergic reactions include:

  • Skin rashes dermatitis, hives
  • Excessive sweating
  • Bloated stomach, intestinal disturbances, and others. In rare instances, the immune systems react so strongly to the offending substance that death occurs. The most deadly reaction occurs when the allergen gets into the bloodstream and causes an anaphylactic reaction respiratory distress, severe itching, and shock.

Allergies can be debilitating and sinusitis is often so painful it can lead to time off from work. Acute sinusitis will develop quickly and lasts up to 10 days while chronic sinusitis is a long-term inflammation of the sinuses.

In adults, chronic sinusitis can lead to nasal swelling. Allergies cause histamine to be released and this causes the inner lining of the nose to swell and prevent sinus drainage. People with asthma and immune system problems develop chronic sinusitis more often than others.

Find Out More About Your Medicine

The leaflet that comes in the packet with your medicine will have detailed information about it, including how to take it and what side effects you might get.

If you no longer have the leaflet that came with your medicine, you can search for an online version of it using our medicines guide.

You may also find information on individual antihistamines on these websites:

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If I Dont Usually Take Allergy Medicine Should I Take It To Prevent An Allergic Reaction To The Vaccine

No. Theres no need to suddenly start taking allergy medicines if youve never taken them before. Using antihistamines to prevent an allergic reaction to the vaccine is not recommended.

Likewise, the CDC doesnt recommend taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen, before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects.

If youre worried, your best strategy is not premedication, but to talk to your doctor so that you can try to alleviate some of that anxiety, says Feldman. In general, these vaccines have been very safe andweve seen very few true allergic reactions.

Can I Share My Prescription Antihistamines With Friends Who Have Allergies

Why Allergy Medicine Antihistamine Zyrtec Should Not Be Used.

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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What Is The Best Indoor Allergy Medicine

Zyrtec is one of the most popular allergy medications on the market, and for good reason! You experience even the worst allergy symptoms, both internally and externally. It contains 10 mg of cetirizine hydrochloride in each tablet and you only need to take one tablet every 24 hours.

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What Is The Best Ointment For Hives

Some of the best sources of hives relief are cortisone ointments, which contain over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-itch creams. Antihistamines can be a good remedy for hives. Home remedies can also help treat hives.

How to make your nose stop runningHow do I Stop my nose from running? Drink plenty of water and warm fluids to clear mucus. Keeping the body hydrated helps drain the fluid in the nose, which stops the runny nose. Try to drink a glass of water every hour and mix warm liquids like herbal tea or even soup to further soothe your nose.How to stop my nose from running at night?How to relieve a stuffy nose before b

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What Is Allergy Pretreatment

Allergy pretreatment is simple: start taking your medicine a few weeks before the allergy season starts. While they might vary by a week or so from year to year, the pollen seasons are really quite predictable, says Hugh H. Windom, MD, associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida. So if you know the allergens that trigger your allergies, getting a jump on them should be easy.

âThe sooner you get on your medicine, the better,â Windom says. What type of medicine works best for pretreatment of allergies? That depends on your case.

âThereâs no ideal drug for preventing allergy symptoms,â Windom says. âChoosing the best drug depends a lot on what worked for you in the past.â

Any allergy medicine can work as pretreatment, more or less. Antihistamines are an excellent choice, experts say. Examples of over-the-counter antihistamines are Benadryl or Claritin. Prescription antihistamines, like the nasal spray Astelin, are another option. Other allergy medicines that work in different ways, such as steroids — like Flonase, Nasonex, or Veramyst — can also help.

What if you donât take the medicine before your symptoms start? Donât despair. âBeing off by a day or two is not a big deal,â Windom tells WebMD. âBut donât wait a whole week, since by then you might already have a cough, and congestion, or worse.â

If youâre pretreating every year, how will you know if youâve outgrown your allergies?

What Are Seasonal Allergies And When Is Allergy Season

Which Allergy Medicine Should You Use?

An allergic reaction is when your body overreacts to a substance thats not toxic. Some people experience serious allergies to foods, medications, or insect bites that cause hives or swelling of the throat . But for many, the term allergies refers to a seasonal bout of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and runny or stuffy nose when theyre exposed to pollen from certain grasses, trees, or other plants. However, its also possible to experience these less dangerous symptoms year-round if you have indoor allergies to substances like molds, dust, or pet dander.

There are two times of the year when seasonal allergies are the worst spring and fall. Spring allergy season can start as early as February in some areas of the U.S. and last until the beginning of summer. Fall allergy season can start in August and usually lasts until November. This can vary based on your location.

Many weather organizations provide pollen forecasts during these times to help you predict if your allergy symptoms might start up soon.

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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 weâve got it the wrong way around. Instead, we should be taking the medicine before we have symptoms. Call it allergy pretreatment.

âWe always tell people to start taking medicine before the allergy season begins,â says Jonathan A. Bernstein MD, an allergist and professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati. âPeople often come to me in the middle of the allergy season, and theyâre already a mess. Once the symptoms start, they can be like a runaway train.â

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 or before you go visit your sister and their five cats you can save yourself a lot of suffering. How does allergy pretreatment work? Here are the answers.

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What Allergy Medicines Can I Safely Take If I Have Heart Disease Or High Blood Pressure

Oklahoma Heart Institute Director of Interventional Laboratories, Dr. Wayne Leimbach, shares insights on allergies, heart disease and high blood pressure on our blog today.

Springtime brings not only beautiful weather and beautiful flowers, but it also brings high pollen counts and suffering to people with allergies. Many people often ask what allergy medicines can I safely take if I have heart disease or high blood pressure. Many allergy medications include decongestants that can raise blood pressure, create palpitations and interfere with some other heart medications.

Medications that often can be safely used by people with significant allergies include nasal corticosteroids. In addition, antihistamines are very effective. The antihistamines include fexofenadine , cetirizine , loratadine and diphenhydramine .

Often manufactures will include a decongestant with the antihistamines in order to provide additional control of the runny nose often seen with allergies. Manufacturers will often indicate which of the antihistamines also contain a decongestant by adding the letter D to the name of the medicine. These decongestants can be phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine or oxymetazoline.

Therefore, advertised medicines such as Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin should be safe for most patients with heart disease and allergies however, Allegra-D, Zyrtec-D, Claritin-D could cause problems for patients with allergies and heart disease.

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