What Kind Of Allergy Medicine Can I Give My Two-Year-Old Take Charge – Treat Runny Nose, Cough, and Watery Eyes the Right Way!

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Take Charge – Treat Runny Nose, Cough, and Watery Eyes the Right Way!

I had a young couple come to the pharmacy the other day. The man looked miserable – with itchy, puffy, watery eyes, a stuffy nose and a terrible cough. His girlfriend came to the pharmacy and said: “My boyfriend is sick and has been a baby about it and snores at night! What can I give him?”

All his symptoms were caused by histamines (which are released when we have a cold or allergies). Histamine can also cause hives (an itchy, red, raised rash). So, we treat them by taking an ANTIhistamine. The antihistamine neutralizes some or all of the histamines so that our symptoms decrease. Antihistamines come in many forms – oral, topical, nasal sprays and eye drops.

These oral antihistamines can help with cold/allergy symptoms and hives…

The following are available OTC:

1. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) -Best for rashes and to take at bedtime if the patient can’t sleep due to cold/allergy symptoms (it will help symptoms and cause drowsiness).

2. Dimetapp allergy (brompheniramine)

3. Chlor-trimetone (chlorpheniramine)

4. Tavist (clemastine) The above antihistamines work well but can cause a lot of sedation for most people (although some young children can become hyperactive). It has been estimated that up to 90% of the Benadryl sold is used as a sleep aid.

Helpful hint: Diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl) is used in most OTC sleeping pills and can be used to treat motion sickness.

5. Claritin and Alavert (loratadine)

6. Zyrtec (cetirizine) The two above usually do not cause drowsiness. They are available in generics, combinations with pseudoephedrine (decongestants) and come in formulations for children 2 years old to adults.

The following antihistamines are available with a prescription

7. Xyzal (levocetirizine) -Great for rashes and itchy skin due to allergies. It often causes drowsiness.

8. Alegra (fexofenadine) -An option for those that OTC antihistamines don’t work or cause too much sleep. It is available in generic form!

9. Clarinex (desloratadine) -It doesn’t come in a generic and hasn’t really proven to help more than the generic OTC Claritin.

If you have questions about how to treat other allergy/cold symptoms, come check out this other article.

Although all drugs are antihistamines, they work differently for each person. You may need to try a few to see which one works for you.

Oral antihistamines are also used to treat acid reflux, motion sickness and dizziness…but that’s a story for a different time.

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