Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My Antihistamine Medication


Those of you suffering from allergic rhinitis should be quite familar with these antihistamine medication: Zyrtec-D, Clarinase, Xyzal, all of which I have taken.

Clarinase
Contains loratadine and pseudoephedrine sulfate, which relieve both runny nose and congestion. My first antihistamine medication prescribed by the doctor after he diagnosed my condition as allergic rhinitis. I have not had my skin prick test yet then. That was 20 years ago and I think it was not sold over the counter (OTC) then. At that time, I was told by the doctor that this is quite a new drug and it does not cause drowsiness. It is available OTC now.

Side effect for me: Made my mouth and throat dry. I can't recall if it caused me insomnia and fast heartbeat as its been a long time since I've last taken this.


Zyrtec-D
I think this drug came into the market later. After I relocated and visited another doctor, I was prescribed this. Both Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D are over-the-counter antihistamines that contain cetirizine. The difference is that Zyrtec-D contains  pseudoephedrine which is a decongestant. My allergic rhinitis is usually accompained by stuffy nose, so I usually take this instead of Zyrtec.

Side effect for me: Made my mouth and throat dry. Insomnia and fast heartbeat. I was wondering why my nose was cleared and there I was eyes wide open, unable to fall asleep. It was only after I went to read the pamphlet inside the medication box that I realised insomnia is one of the possible side effect. So no more taking this at night. Only in the morning if necessary.

Xyzal
I was only introduced to Xyzal (levocetirizine) probably about 2 years back, when I feedback to my doctor that Zyrtec-D is causing insomnia. He told me to take Xyzal at night and Zyrtec-D in the morning. I think this is due to an episode of flu, which usually tends to take long time to recover and feels worse than normal people do given my history of allergic rhinitis. If its just purely allergic rhinitis bad flare up, taking one tablet of (any) antihistamine a day is good enough to keep it under control. This is a prescribed antihistamine and is not available OTC in Singapore unless with doctor's prescription letter.

Side effect for me: So far none. It does not cause drowsiness and yet allows me to fall asleep at night.

As I've mentioned before, I only take antihistamine as a last resort, where I rate my flare up as severe, otherwise, I try to use other natural ways for relief as I try to minimize consumption of medical drugs. Read my post on Classifying my Allergic Rhinitis Severity .