Use Caution When Treating
Allergy season is
here, and over-the-counter allergy medications are flying off the shelves. But
did you know that mixing certain allergy medications with other medicines can
have hazardous effects on your health?
The active ingredients of allergy products can cause over-medicating with other
combination or single-entity non-prescription or prescription medications.
"By consulting with your pharmacist, consumers can make an educated choice as to
which allergy medicine is right for them," says Dr. Daniel A. Hussar, Remington
professor of pharmacy at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the
Sciences in Philadelphia. "Consumers should read the warnings on
over-the-counter medicines and consult with their pharmacist or doctor in order to make
educated decisions about which allergy medication is right for them."
"Certain allergy medications (antihistamines) can cause drowsiness or
sleepiness, and caution must be observed when participating in activities like
driving or operating machinery," Hussar noted. If this response is bothersome,
the consumer should ask the pharmacist to recommend a product that does not
cause this sedative effect.
Some antihistamines have a drying effect and cause annoying effects like dry
mouth. "This is another situation in which the pharmacist can recommend another
product that is not likely to cause this effect."
Some allergy products contain analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
When an allergy product containing one of these analgesics as a secondary
ingredient is taken by a patient who is also using an analgesic for another
purpose, an excessive response may result. Side effects may be subtle and
develop slowly but, in some individuals serious stomach, kidney, or liver
problems could result.
Some patients with high blood pressure may experience problems due to the
decongestants included in many allergy products. Decongestants can raise blood
pressure, which can be particularly dangerous in patients with high blood
pressure that is not well controlled, says Hussar.
Dr. Hussar has been quoted and has published extensively on issues surrounding
consumer-related pharmacy practices. Dr. Hussar is available for interviews.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store