Advice on allergy-free products
from a woman who has tried
When you are in the midst of an allergy attack, all you can think of is allergy relief.
For most of us, that means over-the-counter (OTC) drugs purchased at the pharmacy. Many products on the market today offer excellent results for allergy sufferers. You can get non-drowsy formulations that let you get on with your life, without the insatiable desire to nap. You can also get one-a-day type products that don't force you to keep to dosing schedule of many times daily.
Generic drugs are another fact of modern life. Often many products contain the same 'active' ingredients as higher priced name brands. Your doctor may be able to recommend a less expensive generic version. You can also consult the pharmacist. They will also be knowledgeable on the newest medical compounds and help you pick the right product for you.
In my own experience with non-life threatening bee sting allergies, it was recommended by hospital staff that I keep Benadryl liquid in the house. This is apparently a common front-line defence against getting or having a bad allergy reaction. Because it is a liquid, it goes quickly into your system and can help stop a reaction in its tracks. In my experience, it's been a worthwhile addition to my medicine cabinet.
However, you will not always have to wait for a reaction to happen before you do something. You can be proactive in the fight against allergies. With some allergy medications, you might want to take them BEFORE you are exposed to an allergen, especially if you know ahead of time. For instance, if you are going to visit your friend with a cat and you are allergic to cat dander don't wait to take the anti-histamine when you get there. Take it an hour or two ahead of time. This can allow the anti-histamine to be circulating in your system, in advance of your exposure, and can reduce or eliminate the resulting reaction. Further, some anti-histamines need to 'build up' in your body in order to be most effective. Always read the medication's package insert and follow directions carefully. When in doubt, a pharmacist can be very helpful and they are right there in the pharmacy when you are making your purchase.
On another occasion, I reacted strongly to a cleaner used in my office. My face and hands came up in itchy, scratchy welts. My boss sent me immediately to the hospital (Thank you, boss!). There I was given an anti-histamine by injection and was told to buy the same drug in the OTC dosage and continue to take it for the following week to 10 days.
What we sometimes forget as allergy sufferers is that a reaction can take some time to work its way out of our bodies. Every time I forgot to take my allergy medication, I would break out in a rash again. This continued for about a week. So, in your search for relief, don't forget that you may need to be diligent about taking a medication in order to get the kind of relief you want.
For more information on allergy relief products, check out some of the shopping links at the top of this page.