Allergy Generic Drugs F.A.Q.
What is an allergy?
It is a typical pathologic immunity reaction to the repeated contact with an allergen. In other words, it is an atypical reaction of an individual organism to certain products, foods, and so on. An allergy is when a reaction occurs as a response to poisonless to other people things. For example, some individuals are allergic to animals’ fur while for the majority this is an innocent substance.
Do I have an allergy?
The typical allergy signs are:
– Long-lasting nasal blockage or water-like nasal discharges, sneezing without the rise of the body temperature and signs of flu or cold;
– A persistent sore throat and coughing for more than 3 weeks, which can be confused with a cold;
– Itching and itchy rashes, as well as itching in the eyes, nose, throat;
– Edema of the eyelids, face;
– The lowering of the symptoms manifestations in the use of antihistamine medications.
What is anaphylaxis?
The most hazardous type of allergic response is anaphylaxis that is an instant potent answer that can lead to death if a patient doesn’t receive emergency help.
It is manifested in:
– facial swelling,
– swollen throat,
– trouble breathing,
– cold and wet skin,
– confusion, and others.
What are the frequent causes of anaphylaxis?
The triggers for anaphylaxis are food allergens, drugs, and insect stings.
How is an allergy diagnosed?
There are several ways of diagnosis or a combination of them:
– Study of the individual’s medical record;
– Survey about the manifestations of the disorder;
– Skin or blood tests.
Skin tests include the prick test the intradermal test. The first one is transfixion of the skin with a small number of different allergens. If an individual has an allergy to one of the tested products, the skin will become red and swollen at the site of that substance insertion.
The intradermal test implies injecting an allergen below the first coats of the skin and is commonly made to clarify a prick test which was not clear.
Blood tests are made with the drawing of blood and further analysis of it for the antibodies of allergens. It is the most convenient method as it doesn’t imply any allergic reaction occurring within your body.
When to get tested for allergy?
You can make allergy tests at any time though it is recommended to do them in remission, i.e. when there is no flare-up.
What formulations are used for allergy?
Primarily, for every allergy symptoms relieve antihistamine formulations are used. They are available in different formulations including ointments, nasal sprays, eye drops, pills, and injectables.
If you suffer from a severe allergy, your physician can prescribe you corticosteroid formulations.
What are antihistamine medications?
Antihistamines are the formulations that block the receptors of histamine that cause an allergic answer of the organism. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that can impact the airways (bronchospasm), skin (itching, blister-hyperemia), digestive tract (intestinal colic, stimulation of gastric secretion), cardiovascular system (expansion of capillary vessels, increased vascular permeability, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmia), and smooth muscle.
Antihistamines are used to cope with allergy as well as for the reduction of cold and flu manifestations. There are three types of antihistamines and only H1-receptor blockers are used for allergy.
The most known medications from the group of antihistamines are cetrin (cetirizine), phencarol (hifenadine), diphenhydramine, clemastine, and suprastin. They are available in pill form, nasal spray, drops, including ophthalmic drops, solution for intramuscular administration (usually for emergency therapy).
What are the first generation antihistamines?
This is the first ever created antihistamines. They include:
– Sehifenadine, and others.
The peculiarity of this group of medications is that they not only reduce the manifestations of an allergy but also cause sedation which can lead to sleepiness.
The first generation antihistamines negatively affect the cardiovascular system, digestive tract, and vision. They also have quite a short-term effect so the pills should be taken several times a day which only elevates the risk of adverse effects occurrence.
What are the second generation antihistamines?
The second generation is the newer group of antihistamines that have the same anti-allergic effect but lacks the sedative effect. These are more convenient medications for working people as they don’t cause sleepiness during the daytime. The group includes:
These medications selectively block histamine receptors without affecting any other receptors. They do not penetrate the blood-brain barrier and are not addictive or sedative. The pills act for the extended time and a single pill a day is sufficient. However, these drugs are known to negatively affect heart so people with heart diseases must be careful using them.
These formulations are usually more expensive than first-generation antihistamines so if you want to buy allergy medications with modern properties cheap you should look for generics.
What are the third generation antihistamines?
The work on the improvement of the existing second-generation medications continues constantly. The researchers develop new more quality formulations that some pharmacists call the third generation antihistamines. According to the manufacturers, these formulations are more effective and do not cause serious adverse effects.
These medications include:
– Levocetirizine (Xyzal, Glentset, Suprastinex, Cecera, L-cet, Zodak Express)
– Desloratadine (Desal, Loratek, Lorddestin, Erius, Neoclaritin)
– Fexofenadine (Allegra, Telfast, Feksofast, Feksadin, Feksofen)
These are quite popular medications. Nevertheless, in 2003, the British Society of Allergists and Immunologists refused to recognize these drugs as third-generation drugs.
Acceding to 17 specialists from Great Britain, Italy, Canada, Japan, and the USA, the actual third-generation medications must render the effect without:
– Heart toxicity;
– Negative interaction with other medications;
– Impact on the central nervous system.
To date, not a single of improved medications complies with these strict standards.
Can allergy be cured by antihistamines?
No, allergy cannot be cured by the use of antihistamines. They only hide the symptoms of an allergy and once the pills use is discontinued, allergy and all symptoms related to it come back. Antihistamines are a symptomatic measure that is used to cope with the manifestations before the main cause of allergy is identified and eliminated.
For how long can be antihistamine formulations used?
The safe duration of allergy medications depends on the type of formulation. For instance, for the first generation antihistamines, it is up to 7 days while the second generation antihistamines can be taken for up to one year without interruptions if they are well-tolerated. But you should keep in mind that in the long-term use of the formulations the toxic effect on the body is possible and even allergy to antihistamines can develop.
What are steroid allergy drugs?
Steroid medications used for allergy treatment are called glucocorticoids. They are steroid anti-inflammatory formulations that are used for a number of diseases including bronchial asthma, eczema, and other types of allergies or aggravated allergies that transformed into the next form.
Can allergy be completely cured?
If during the examination and tests it turns out that it is a pseudoallergy rather than a true allergy than the answer is yes. The allergic reactions can be minimized in the undergoing of the chronic diseases that cause these allergy symptoms.
In true allergy, the long-term remission only can be achieved with the qualified approach to the therapy.
Allergy cannot be completely cured as it is a genetically determined disease. Without appropriate treatment and lifestyle change, allergies will steadily progress. For instance, allergic rhinitis transforms into bronchial asthma, allergic dermatitis in eczema, etc.
Can a child outgrow allergy?
For this, you must take your kid to the allergist and start controlling the allergy. In the qualified approach, the kid can cope with an allergy; the body will adapt and outgrow allergic reactions.
It is crucial not to neglect allergy in kids and leave it without treatment as the flare-ups not only cause a lot of discomfort to a child but also interfere with their development, aggravate, and even transform into more serious conditions such as asthma.
What can cause allergy?
The most widespread allergens by the number of people sensitive to them are:
– Plants pollen;
– Dust Mites;
– Animal dandruff;
– Insect Sting;
What is a food allergy?
Certain foods can provoke a discomfort but they don’t necessarily are allergens for you. If you have an allergy, you can notice that the signs are appearing within just a few moments after you have eaten food.
The symptoms can be from hardly noticeable to severe. They are the symptoms of indigestion, swelling around the mouth.
The severe and dangerous signs of anaphylaxis are trouble breathing, swallowed tongue, throat, or airways, cold skin, cold sweat, fainting, and others. This is very dangerous and if such symptoms occur, you must seek emergency help.
What are foods that cause the most allergies?
Although allergy to food can vary from one person to another, there are some products that are more likely to cause allergy than others:
– Cow milk;
– Chicken eggs.
How to treat food allergy?
First of all, you need a precise diagnosis to be certain whether you have an allergy to a certain food. If you have allergy, you must exclude the product from your diet. Otherwise, you can suffer from anaphylaxis, food intolerance, enzymes insufficiency, and diseases of the digestive system.
When should I use allergy drugs?
Allergy drugs antihistamines can be used if you started developing minor allergy symptoms such as skin rash, sneezing, and nasal discharges. However, it is preferable to use the pills when you know exactly what you have an allergy. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, you can start using antihistamines once the blossom season starts. But if you have the manifestations without being diagnosed you can misunderstand them and confuse with flu or another disease with similar symptoms so a visit to an allergist is recommended.
Glucocorticoids should be used only if your doctor prescribes them to you. These are potent medications that when used improperly can cause more harm than good.
What allergy drugs are suitable for pregnant women?
Almost all antihistamines are sold without Rx but you should not think it means they are absolutely safe especially for pregnant women for who even the majority of over-the-counter medications are contraindicated.
For pregnant women, only a few antihistamines are admissible but with many reservations and only with the permission of the doctor if there is no other way out not implying the use of drugs. It is preferable to use topical formulations, i.e. ointments, nasal sprays, etc. which have minimum circulation in the body.
The safest antihistamine pills for pregnant women are:
– Cetirizine (Parlan, Zyrtec) can be used during pregnancy because during the animal tests no negative on the fetus were observed although it doesn’t mean that there is no risk at all.
– Azelastine is considered safe because during the tests it had been proven that it doesn’t cause a negative effect on the fetus. However, it is not recommended to use the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy, since it is during this period all organs and systems of the fetus are formed.
– Claritin (Loratadine) can be used during pregnancy if the benefits of its use for the mother exceed the risks possible for the fetus.
– Telfast (Fexofenadine, Levocetirizine, Desloratadine) can be used only if a doctor approves.
What allergy drugs are suitable for breastfeeding women?
There are only several medications that can be prescribed breastfeeding women.
They are the same as the drugs that can be used during pregnancy:
– Cetirizine (Parlazin, Zyrtec);
– Azelastine, Claritin (Loratadine);
– Telfast (Fexofenadine, Levocetirizine, Desloratadine).
However, you should consult your healthcare provider first or transfer your baby to formula feeding and cease breastfeeding while taking antihistamines.
What allergy medications are suitable for kids?
Some formulations in a form of tablets, nasal sprays, eye drops, ointments, and so on can be used for children older than 5 years.
– Desloratadine (Clarinex);
– Hydroxyzine (Atarax).
For infants and toddlers, special formulations in suspension or syrup forms are used such as:
– Dimetindene (Fenistil);
– Ketotifen (Zaditor);
– Cetirizine (from two years);
– Mebhydrolin (from 3 years of age);
You can get these allergy medications without a prescription but you should consult a pediatrician first.
Can generic allergy drugs be used instead of branded?
Generics always have the active substance indicated below the trademark so you can easily find the drug you need.
If the manufacturer is a well-known and reputable company such as Cipla, Sun Pharma, and others, you can be sure that you will get the same quality as from the branded medication.
The differences can be minor and only in the auxiliary components of the pills, spray, and so on.
But you should also pay attention to where you buy allergy medications.
The best place is a reputable online drugstore that offers low prices and high quality generics.