Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tis the season

Do you have allergies? Do your kids? Do you treat them? I feel like an antihystimine ad right now, I am walking through my day with a cloud around my head, my nose runs, my throat itches, and my kids seem to be the same. I took an OTC generic medication today and I don't think it helped, except that very honestly I feel a little bit jumpy, and I hesitate to give it to the kids, should I be consulting a doctor first? Should I keep trying for myself, are the effects cumulative? I know that some people have been dealing with this for years, so please advise! Thanks!

11 comments:

Jess said...

I've had allergies for years, and if you do have particularly bad allergies it is worth seeing a doctor to see if they recommend anything more serious than OTC drugs. Also, there are a few different kinds and I find the side effects (jitteriness in particular) vary widely between different brands (I'm a fan of Claritin, but a friend swears by Zyrtag). As for the kids, if they're otherwise healthy, the OTC drugs at the child's dose is appropriate, but if they have any other health issues (particularly asthma) definitely consult your pediatrician.

eaucoin said...

There are meds for this, but none of them work as well as a daily saltwater rinse. Kids learn it at asthma camp, and it has become so popular (because it works--and because it has been popularized by Dr. Oz--on the Oprah Winfrey show) that Walmart had trouble keeping up with requests for nettypots (this is the vessel used to administer the saline solution) when Dr. Oz brought it up on the show. The thing is, each of the kids should have their own and learn how to do it. The drugstores all sell mist saline sprays now, but that is the more expensive way to go. If each child has their own nettypot and learns to use it, you will only have to buy the saline solution in quantity (and that's cheap). It will also help to keep viruses at bay. You should encourage your affected children to keep hydrated as a partial solution. My grown daughter once expressed exasperation with me by saying that I had only ever given them two pieces of advice their whole lives: trust God and drink lots of water! When she said that I thought, "I know I haven't always been that smart, but if you are mixing up what I tell you and what the Holy Spirit tells you, then He's rescuing you from me, and that's good!"

texas mommy said...

My kids have inherited my allergies :-( You can have them tested (I STRONGLY recommend NOT doing the highly inaccurate blood test and going straight to the skin test) to find out what the triggers are, so you know the seasons you are dealing with and can be prepared.

If your kids (esp the older 4) will tolerate it, I would try to get them an RX for a steroid nasal spray, which has mild side effects for most and is quite effective, easy to use seasonally.

I would be careful about what drugs you introduce, even OTC. Dash had a crazy hyper reaction to zrytec, but does ok on clairitin and Jack-Jack takes Allegra. Just be sure they aren't taking something else when you introduce it so that you can tell what the side effects are. I think I remember that one of your boys took some med that made him crazy and you were begging the doctor to take him off it, so that child may be more likely to have a reaction.

Katy said...

I too can only find relief with a neti pot. My daughter is only 2 and seems to have the same allergic tendencies. I took a syringe that you use to give infants medicine and use that to gently flush out her nose with slightly warm and salty water. This is a good way to see how severe her allergies are as well. If this saline flush does nothing then I know maybe we need to do something more effective. So far it's helping. I do it in the bath after running the hot water for a few minutes to loosen up her nasal passages.

MomVee said...

Claritin is OTC now and many people find it helpful, including my eldest son. Kids 6 and over may take it. Claritin does not help me, but Allegra--still prescription--does. One dose of Zyrtec makes me feel, well, drugged, for more than 24 hours.

I keep trying to get up the nerve to try the Neti pot.

Mary Alice said...

Really helpful comments, ladies. This makes me feel better about the fact that one dose of Zyrtec had me asleep in bed, on top of the covers and four children, at 9:30. I will not take it again.

After chatting with our pharmacist about the Neti pot, I am going to stick, for now, with just a homemade saline flush with a syringe and see if that helps.

JMB said...

I'm a big fan of Claritan D, 12 hour capsules. I pop one first thing in the am. It wears off 12 hours later and doesn't screw up my sleep. I also keep the windows closed during the day and if possible, the air conditioning on. I usually have 4-6 wks of Claritan dependence, but once the pollen is off the trees (and ground) I'm fine. So far my kids and husband seem to be fine. I only developed this pollen allergy about 5 or 6 years ago.

As for RX, I love love love Nasonex, but haven't been so bad that I need to go to my doc yet.

Mary Alice said...

So, today I have gone with the "Trust God, Drink Water" plan, and it has really been helping. I was even able to mow the lawn. Every time I start to feel crappy I have a nice glass of ice water. My husband loves this advice, and I am thinking that it will make a really good mantra. I think that TM's family has a policy something like
"love Jesus, no whining" which is also a good simple rule for life.

nancy said...

I finally got my allergies under control when I went to an ear, nose, throat DR. I take a pill (singular) and a nasal spray (Patanase) and I have a new lease on life. You should all go to the Dr. OTC stuff doesn't work. Even when you can buy the same thing over the counter you don't know when to take it and how much to take. Forget saline flush and Neti pot. Listen to Texas Mommy about getting a Doctor to help you make these decisions.

Heather - Doodle Acres said...

I didn't read the comments but I have had great success with using a Sinus Rinse (made by NeilMed). It's available at any drug store, CVS, etc.

Melanie B said...

I've been a lifelong allergy sufferer. I've found that most doctors I've talked to agree that OTC can be as effective as prescription and much cheaper. I swear by Benadryl and Claritin; but I think different drugs work differently for different people.

I also suffer from chronic sinus infections and use a steroid nasal spray daily (Rhinocort). It's the only thing that keeps me from cycling from one sinus infection to another.

My doctors also agree that the Neti pot and a saline rinse are the best first line of defense. Not only against allergies, but in cold/flu season my doc suggested a saline nasal rinse and a saltwater gargle help keep germs at bay.

It was hard to get used to the Neti pot at first, it seemed so icky; but I was so glad I tried it because it made a world of difference.