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Topic: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?  (Read 467 times)

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Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« on: April 21, 2019, 11:28:41 AM »
Anybody know of a good allergy medication available OTC that isn't loratadine or cetirizine hydrochloride? The Daughter is suffering tremendously from the pollen bomb. We already know loratadine doesn't help her, and she's been taking c.h. at the maximum dose and still looks like the "before" pictures on TV. In the States she used Allegra (fexofenadine hcl), which did help her quite a bit, but it's not OTC here. She has bad reactions to Benadryl - she gets really hyper, etc., so has been advised to not take it.

We have the house closed up, an air purifier going, but she was still having trouble sleeping last night for having to be blowing her nose, and wheezing. Going to the GP this week (or phoning on Tuesday and hopefully getting in this week, anyway). Nobody available today or tomorrow, and this doesn't qualify as an emergency so she's not going to urgent care.  She's just miserable, not urgently ill.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 11:33:18 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 11:35:13 AM »
Here are a few more strategies. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hay-fever/

Might be worth asking your pharmacist about the meds available.
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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2019, 12:00:22 PM »
Here are a few more strategies. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hay-fever/

Might be worth asking your pharmacist about the meds available.

Yeah, we're doing all that. Unfortunately she had to go to work today, so she's walking down a street full of lovely, blooming flowers and trees.  ::)  I've suggested she stop in at Boots to see if there is anything else they can give her that doesn't require a prescription, but I'm thinking that there isn't. If memory serves, the same thing happened to her just after we moved here and she had to go to the GP who gave her "industrial" nose spray and the allegra equivalent here. But I thought I'd check.  There don't seem to be many OTC options. Poor kid, her face is red and puffy, too.


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2019, 12:35:01 PM »
She has bad reactions to Benadryl - she gets really hyper, etc., so has been advised to not take it.

Is it US Benadryl or UK Benadryl that she has a reaction to?

U.K. Benadryl has a different active ingredient to US Benadryl:

- US Benadryl contains Diphenhydramine, which is a drowsy antihistamine and is only sold as a sleeping tablet in the UK (as Nytol)

- UK Benadryl contains Acrivastine which is a non-drowsy antihistamine.



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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2019, 02:00:40 PM »
She can call 111 if its very bad, to get an urgent GP appointment. Vaseline in your nose (if she tolerates it), showering when getting home, keeping windows closed + air filter in bedroom, and possibly wearing a mask when outside can help. Opticrom eye drops are OTC and help me.

I need the prescription fexofenadine and nose sprays though. I take piriton at night too (but it makes me super drowsy). Really struggling with asthma this year again from pollen too. :(


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 03:55:20 PM »
Nasonex is newly reclassified from POM to P.

https://www.pharmacymagazine.co.uk/clarinaze-hayfever-nasal-spray-training

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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 04:57:47 PM »
I’m a big fan of sinus rinses.


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 06:52:15 PM »
I have horrible hayfever that, at the worst of times, is barely alleviated by OTC hayfever tablets alone.  For me, the best OTC option is Benadryl (acrivastine) - noted to be different from Benadryl (diphenhydramine).  But for full relief, I've found I really need a multi-angle approach.

A few years ago I was on holiday in Wales and only had my tablets as I didn't think hayfever season would be in full force yet.  The weather ended up being surprisingly wonderful, and my hayfever struck with a vengeance.  I was miserable and went to see a local chemist.  I can't remember the exact names of what she recommended, but I ended up purchasing eye drops and a nasal spray OTC and it made a world of difference.  I do get everything (tablets, spray, drops) on prescription now, but there are OTC options available.

And while not medicated, Sterimar is a good as a nasal wash spray to flush all that pollen out of your nose.  Some people also have good results using those Vaseline rubs, but I personally haven't had much luck with them.  But I have a friend who absolutely swears by it, so definitely worth giving it a try if you're really finding effective relief elusive.



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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 10:30:40 AM »
Is it US Benadryl or UK Benadryl that she has a reaction to?

U.K. Benadryl has a different active ingredient to US Benadryl:

- US Benadryl contains Diphenhydramine, which is a drowsy antihistamine and is only sold as a sleeping tablet in the UK (as Nytol)

- UK Benadryl contains Acrivastine which is a non-drowsy antihistamine.



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Ah, I didn't know they were different! It's the US benadryl. I'll let her know about that.

Once, during a hospital stay after a surgery (US), her skin came up in welts when they took some bandage tape off. She warned them that it was not an allergy, but dermatographia, and that she had bad reactions to benadryl, but they ignored her and shot her up with it. She had technicolor hallucinations (it was administered while she was on some pain med that I don't remember) that she was seeing the pages of encyclopedias scrolling in front of her, like the Star Wars Intro, but with all the photos removed. She could read them, too.  It was seriously freaky. It also didn't do a lot for the welts, which, as always, went away in their own good time.  ::)

She phoned this morning and got a doctor's appointment for this morning, and has just walked over there.  Last night she started getting big patches of welts on her forearms. We tried some hydrocort (thank you Target!) and it seems a bit better this morning, but she really needs to have this properly addressed.

She's also going to ask about allergy testing, as before we moved over here I used to foster rodents for a no-kill shelter. She had been fine with them (and the cats I also sheltered previously), but one day she was handling one and within minutes her face swelled, lips swelled, etc., and she was wheezing. The skin on her face ended up cracking and sloughing off - like a chemical peel, a couple of days later. Student Health (where she went ASAP) told her it was an allergic reaction. She still wants to get a dog or a cat, so I've strongly suggested to her that she discuss allergy testing (especially given the last few days) with the Doc and see what can be done. I don't want to adopt an animal that we then have to immediately rehome because the daughter's face puffs up like the StayPuft Marshmallow Man!

Oh, jeez, I hope she hasn't become allergic to Thor Hamsterdahl!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 10:37:57 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 10:47:47 AM »
Maybe her reaction was to the rodent's feed, and not the rodent itself.  There's often nuts and seeds in their food.
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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 10:57:09 AM »
Hard to say. She'd volunteered at a cat shelter for years, no problems. She grew up with cats, no problem. We had been fostering rats for a few years, no problems. Then we got this one male rat who was just filthy and covered in "buck grease" (a problem some male rats have) and who had "personality issues" after having been mistreated. I had been working with him for several months and had gotten him cleaned up and pretty much socialized. He used to be allowed to run around on my bed (I had a king sized bed, and would put a shower curtain down on it and then a big old quilt on top of that) and she had been laying down on the same quilt playing with him, sat up with him in her arms, and then it hit her pretty hard all at once. 

Their feed was lab blocks, so I'm not sure precisely what was in it - a lot of alfalfa, anyway. She handles nuts, and eats them all the time, without any problems. (Fingers are crossed that remains the case, as it helps with the low-carb diet she pretty much follows.)  Thor's food is also processed kibble, supplemented with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and alfalfa treats. With the occasional fresh leaf of cilantro or basil (she doesn't like mint).  Thor is a "no touchy" hamster, so the Daughter hasn't been handling her, but Thor does live in a very large cage in the living room. I clean it out ever week, so the Daughter isn't in close contact with the hamster poo or anything.  Jeez, I really hope she hasn't gotten allergic to Thor. It'd break the Daughter's heart to have to rehome her. (I'd be pretty sad, too. But if it's necessary, it'll happen.)

I hope the doc will be of some use. They certainly got her in fast - like an hour and a half from the phone call!


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 10:58:34 AM »
Nasonex is newly reclassified from POM to P.

https://www.pharmacymagazine.co.uk/clarinaze-hayfever-nasal-spray-training

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POM to P??


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2019, 11:02:22 AM »
POM to P??
Prescription Only (POM) to a P med which can be sold OTC at a registered pharmacy.

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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 11:04:48 AM »
POM to P??

There are 3 classifications of medication in pharmacies, which are printed on the back of all products:

G = General medicine, which means it can be bought straight off the shelf

P = Pharmacy medicine, which means it can be bought from a pharmacy but it is kept behind the counter

POM = Prescription Only Medication... so you need a prescription for it

If something is reclassified from POM to P, it means you can now buy it over the counter instead of needing a prescription for it.


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Re: Fighting the Pollen Bomb?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 12:02:45 PM »
I'd be curious if they offer/are willing to do some allergy testing on her.  I don't get the good sense that the NHS is great with dealing with allergies in adults, especially food allergies.
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