I totally missed Therapeutics Thursday this week. So just pretend it’s Thursday and bear with me.
I thought now that the weather has finally broken and it feels like spring time, I’d talk about allergies. Everyone’s favorite part about springtime!
So you have horrible allergies? What should you take? For runny noses sneezing, the absolute best is Benadryl (diphenydramine)–but if you’ve ever taken it before, you know it will put you to sleep. That’s because it can cross into your brain and hit your histamine receptors there. Then it’s all nap time.
That’s why there’s Claritin (loratadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Allegra (fexofenadine), which we’d call “second generation antihistamines” that don’t cross into your brain as much. All of them have generics now (YAY).
All of them also have a formulation paired with pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), which are called “____-D” and you can find them behind the counter at your friendly neighborhood pharmacy. Bring your ID for those! Don’t do the pseudoephedrine formulations if you have high blood pressure though. The pseudoephedrine will help if you’re really stuffed up (not runny) and at risk for sinus infections. (Side note: DO NOT DRINK ORANGE JUICE WITH ALLEGRA. It won’t absorb as well.)
These products should get rid of most of your sinus-y, nasally allergies. What about eyes? If they’re really severe, you can pick up some Zaditor antihistamine eye drops. I had a pharmacist tell me that these can even be a good alternative for patients who can’t afford the ultra-expensive prescription Pataday allergy eye drops!
There’s also the suggestion out there to eat local bee pollen (or locally made honey) to decrease your allergy sensitivity. I personally think bee pollen tastes like pond water, and if you have severe allergies or have a lot of food allergies, you will want to stay away from bee pollen. If you have mild seasonal allergies and you can find it (farmer’s markets!) then it’s worth a try.
And that’s what I know about allergies! I’m open to questions in the comments!