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Quick question about antihistamines...


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Okay, really quick question! I am sure this has been discussed before, but I couldn't quite find what I was looking for...

MA will no longer cover Allegra, so we are required to take OTC Claritin for at least 30 days...

So, the past two nights I took Claritin Redi-Tabs (NO D!)...

And, I was up most of the night with my heart pounding, and super dizzy spells and near passing out, and fast HR (not tachy though)...

I also started a teeny tiny dose of Doxepin (I mean TEENY.... .25 ml) about a week ago and I was actually getting some sleep for the first time since my GB surgery on it...

Anyway...I have had absolutely no problems with Allegra.

I am wondering if any of you have had this reaction to prescription strength antihstamines and if it is at all possible that the Claritin caused this for me? I cannot think of any other possible trigger and the Claritin website shows this effects as rare...but we are POTsies...so you never know!

THANK YOU!!! (as you can all see I seem to have medical crises every holiday weekend! :( ha!)

Here's hoping that I sleep tonight...I went back to Allegra today and that I will be up to posting again, b/c I miss you all! (AND our internet was out for 5 days! I thought I would go nuts!)

Later alligators!

Emily

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Your symptoms might be from Claritin...I used to take that as a prescription years ago and passed out like crazy on it. Allegra does the same thing to me. I am having a hard time with allergies this weekend and fighting off an infection and am going to have to take some Sudafed. Which means I'll be passing out some more...ugghhhh...I can only take the allergy meds for a few days because they build up really fast in my body and make me VERY Potsy. I am also really small, so I know that makes a difference. I have a nasal spray that has an anti-histamine in it...It usually makes me really sleepy BUT on the good part of it is that it helps my allergies and doesn't bother my Pots. If you need the name, I will check for you. I was out of state and living somewhere for several months. The doctor put me on the nasal spray because it doesn't have any steroids in it (flonase and all of those do horrible things to me) and he didn't think it would mess with the Pots...he was correct.

If a side effect is listed as rare I typically get them...sounds like alot of us do. Glad to hear you are getting some sleep finally! I am sure that is a huge relief to you and hopefully you will be feeling even better!

My surgery went really well, and everybody took such good care of me and weren't phased by the POTS. One of the best medical experiences I have ever had...kinda sad that it was a surgery and the visits to doctors offices are traumatizing.

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He there Em, otc or rx, doesn't matter--it's still a drug and it can still cause side effects. If the only thing you've done differently is to take the reditabs of Claritin, then it's probably that. Not sure what MA will say if it you can't tolerate it for 30 days. I suppose that's a question to ask your doctor. I think that they can file for an exception with issues like yours.

I've taken doxepin too--works like a champ. Glad that you possibly have a good run of sleep ahead of you. :)

Nina

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I too had this reaction with the redi tabs. You may want to take the other "traditional" form of claritin (that isn't the redi tabs) because from what my Dr told me the redi tabs enter your bloodstream almost immediately whereas the "traditional" pills don't act so fast. It would take a little longer for the drug to work but it might also allow your body a slower adjustment to the med and therefor wouldn't produce the pots symptoms.

This worked for me but of course, we are all different.

Hope you feel better soon.

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If you can't tolerate antihistamines, you may be able to get some relief from cromolyn sodium, which is a mast cell stabilizer with a very favorable side effect profile. You can get an intranasal version of it over the counter. It takes a few days to take effect.

Before taking any over-the-counter medication, ask your pharmacist if it is likely to interact with whatever else you are taking.

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hey all!

thanks for the support! it's always nice to have a few folks chime in to let me know i'm not nuts (okay, yes, i'm nuts, but you know what i mean! :)).

it seems it was clearly the claritin, as i took the allegra yesterday instead and slept much, much better and didn't have the symptoms that i had had the two nights when i took the claritin...

now to battle it out with MA!

emily

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Hello,

If the Allegra isn't covered anymore will they cover other rx's? In the past I've taken Zyrtec (at night cause it makes you sleepy) and I'm currently on Singulair.

I hope you figure this out and that you sleep well!

Lisa

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A cardiologist here tried to tell me my tachycardia was caused by benadryl which I'd been taking for 5 days when I saw him. I was annoyed he dismissed my 11 year history of faints and palpitations, but he was definitely right when he said that the benadryl made things worse.

I know other people on here say Benadryl is ok for them- which leads me to wonder if there is some kind of discrepancy between British and Us suppliers/ingredients/strengths?

I take cetirizine every day- supermarket own brand, costs ?3 a month. The only thing that works and doesn't do awful things to my pulse and bp.

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Hello,

Via my doctors, I am not allowed to take any over the counter meds or any other prescription meds unless approved by them. I am only allowed to take tylenol and on rare occasions advil or motrin. They told me that the meds would increase my symptoms and many tend to drop a person's blood pressure.

Christine

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A cardiologist here tried to tell me my tachycardia was caused by benadryl which I'd been taking for 5 days when I saw him. I was annoyed he dismissed my 11 year history of faints and palpitations, but he was definitely right when he said that the benadryl made things worse.

I know other people on here say Benadryl is ok for them- which leads me to wonder if there is some kind of discrepancy between British and Us suppliers/ingredients/strengths?

I take cetirizine every day- supermarket own brand, costs ?3 a month. The only thing that works and doesn't do awful things to my pulse and bp.

Just FYI so you know..I don't think benadryl would have different ingredients, strengths or fillers just because you are in the UK..I could be wrong though. My Dad is an analytical research chemist for a large pharmecutical company and he says it isn't likely unless you are taking a generic form.

Anyhow...mostly I wanted to say that Benadryl tends to act in one extreme or the other for people; it either makes them really groggy or it makes them tachy and energized.

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heya em -

glad to hear that you had a better time being back on the allegra...sorry that you have a battle ahead with the MA, but i'm thinking it's still better than having no idea what brought on the symptoms. i too agree that it might be worth a try with the regular claritin (versus reditabs) just b/c of the "fast-acting" nature, but who knows. as is evidenced by different folks responses on this thread - we're all so different. benedryl knocks me out for instance, but doesn't cause any bad symptoms. i can tolerate claritin, clarinex, & allegra okay too....it's probably the one family of meds that haven't sent my body in a tailspin at one time or another. there are other meds, though, that over the years docs have "guaranteed" me wouldn't cause problems. yeah right. i've had wacky reactions from kids' doses of supposedly benign stuff. anyone can react to anything, and us special folk are even more likely. so...you're definitely not nuts...at least not as far as the claritin goes:-) i hope the MA fight isn't too bad...is there an official way to bypass the 30 day thing? by having the doc say you had a reaction? or if not perhaps you could get samples to last you for 30 days?

hope your better rest is continuing...

:-)melissa

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heya em -

glad to hear that you had a better time being back on the allegra...sorry that you have a battle ahead with the MA, but i'm thinking it's still better than having no idea what brought on the symptoms. i too agree that it might be worth a try with the regular claritin (versus reditabs) just b/c of the "fast-acting" nature, but who knows. as is evidenced by different folks responses on this thread - we're all so different. benedryl knocks me out for instance, but doesn't cause any bad symptoms. i can tolerate claritin, clarinex, & allegra okay too....it's probably the one family of meds that haven't sent my body in a tailspin at one time or another. there are other meds, though, that over the years docs have "guaranteed" me wouldn't cause problems. yeah right. i've had wacky reactions from kids' doses of supposedly benign stuff. anyone can react to anything, and us special folk are even more likely. so...you're definitely not nuts...at least not as far as the claritin goes:-) i hope the MA fight isn't too bad...is there an official way to bypass the 30 day thing? by having the doc say you had a reaction? or if not perhaps you could get samples to last you for 30 days?

hope your better rest is continuing...

:-)melissa

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i guess i can't really help, but i would also say stop the reditabs and go back to regular capsuls, or whatever you were taking.

personally, i can't take any antihistamine of decongestant with out my heart rate going sky high. only under the most extreme nedd am i allowed to take antihistamines, ie. wasp sting or my lovely spider allergies, and severe allergies to meds, in any case i still ahve to go the er for treatment.

best of luck and ihope you get things sorted out.

blackwolf

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thanks everyone...

i emailed my POTS doc and he got back to me on July 4th (!) and said that it was clearly the claritin...let's stick with what works, and not mess with it (not his exact words...but you get the drift)

that was affirming to hear.

i don't know if the regular claritin would be different than the redi-tabs, but he doesn't want me taking any meds with milk in them, and the redi-tabs are the only form of claritin that do not contain milk. allegra is milk-free...

so, that's the scoop...

emiliy

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Hey EM,

You can always have your doc say that he gave you samples of other MA covered remedies, but that you failed on all of them, so you HAVE TO HAVE the Allegra. Then MA won't turn you down, nor make you wait 30 days. I used to work for Blue Cross, and we administered MA, and we made the exception all of the time.

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