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Allergy solutions

ancientgirl
December 29th, 2007, 05:02 PM
I saw my doctor on Friday, actually I saw the PA.

I told her what had happened to me with the wheezing and the feeling of not being able to breath.

She gave me a prescription for Zyrtec and an inhaler, Xopenex HFA. She said I could take the Zyrtec along with the Singulair. She also told me I could either use the inhaler regularly, or leave it for when I had an issue with the wheezing and feeling short of breath.

It turns out that Zyrtec is going to be an over the counter medication on January 24th, and so I decided to wait until then and just get it for less than what I'm paying now with my insurance. Who btw, decided not to pay for it. It seems that since its going to be an over the counter, it is no longer a covered medication by them.

I did use the inhaler when I got home and a little while ago, and I do feel better than I've felt for a few days. I've also got Nasonex for my sinuses.

LOL, Hopefully with all of these meds, I should not have any more issues.

krdahmer
December 29th, 2007, 05:40 PM
Man... thats starting to sound like my routine... puff puff here... squirt squirt there.... and a handfull of pills!:laughing: and.... repeat! :rolleyes:

Hope it works for you and gives you some relief!

ancientgirl
December 29th, 2007, 05:58 PM
Man... thats starting to sound like my routine... puff puff here... squirt squirt there.... and a handfull of pills!:laughing: and.... repeat! :rolleyes:

Hope it works for you and gives you some relief!

LOL, hey anything if it works right?

I'm hoping the Zyrtec, once I can get it over the counter and use it in conjunction with Singulair helps even more.

I just realized, this is a house of pill poppers and medicated crazies!

I've got diffusers for the kitties to keep them calm, a spray form of the Feliway, I've added Rescue Remedy to their food. I'm taking anxiety medication and allergy medication.

Goodness, I hope nobody decides to do an intervention on us.;)

krdahmer
December 29th, 2007, 06:02 PM
:laughing: You're pill popping secret is safe with me... lol! And did you know that you can take the rescue remedy too? I've actually tried it a couple times... works great.

ancientgirl
December 29th, 2007, 06:13 PM
Thanks!

I did notice I could take it too, but I bought a small bottle, and I'm going to save it for the kitties. Next time I go to the health store I'll get a bigger bottle and give it a try for myself.

It may even help along with the anxiety meds I take.

CyberKitten
December 29th, 2007, 08:17 PM
I am glad you saw your PA. Did you tell her about your anxiety meds? I;d have to look up to see if there are any interactions with anti-anxiety meds but the ionly thing I do know for sure is that at least one of those meds will make you feel a little more uptight at first (sort of like drinking copious amts of coffee :)) and so your anti anxiety meds may not be as helpful until you adjust to the new meds. Perhaps you can take your anti anxiety meds *I am uncertain what kind you take so it's hard to give you a real informed opinion. If you are SSRI's, that's one thing - if you are on benzodiazapines like ativan or diazapam, they can be less effective initially by the action of these medications. So, I wuold not take the two at the same time. Did you she do blood work and check your BP and check your heart before prescribing these meds? They can increase your BP but then so can sudafed. which also can make one feel uptight - its main ingredient - pseudophredrine - is available in many meds, now usually now which must be requested when you buy them now with the proliferation of idiots who use them in meth labs. But it's good that you see a pharmacist or pharmaceutical clerk yo get them. I know I took sudafed on a few occasions and it made me feel awful - I loathed the feelimg and never took it again no matter how bad my sinus headaches were. I opted for the allergy shots which also can be dangerous which is why they must be taken in a dr's office or hospital where a crash cart is. (Fortunately I work in a dr's office, lol) I am hopin in 6 mos of so - been taking them now for about 6 mos, that I won't need them anymore.

Did your PA recommend allergy tests? That should be your next option. Find out what is causing it because these meds only teat the symptoms- they do not tell you what is causing the symptoms. It's an allergy most likely but it's very helpful to know an allergy to WHAT? Allergy tests include testing for both food and other allergens - like plants, air ambient levels of chemicals or dander, trees and items like Timothy Hay (which I am allergic to, and here I fed my bunny Timothy hay for YEARS!) But that should be your next step and if your PA or doctor does not suggest it, ask fr it. Some provinces cover the cost - some do not. Just like some cover the meds and some do not- we have like 10 HMO's in Canada,, all with different rules. :frustrated:

Anyway- good luck!!! Glad you saw your doc and I hope these meds help you. Remember if you notice any signs of anything that di not seem right - tightness in your chest, any dizziness or even flu like symptoms.

I do know that class of meds be taken with caution with :
Beta blockers - meds usually given for certain types of heart problems. (They cancel out the actions of each other, very serious do have cardiac issues tho some ppl who need to take both do so but are followed vey closely!)

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors or Tricyclic Antidepressants - anti depressants usually prescribed by psychiatrists but sometimes by GP;s for people with depression - ghd Prob the best known tricylic is amitriptyline (elavil). So if these are your anti anxiety meds, check with your doc! They are also used by pain clinics as well sometimes. Tricyclics increase the effect of Xopenex pr meds like it.

Diuretics

Anyway, I assume the info sheet that came with the script has some of this and your PA went over uit with you.

byw. did she show you how so use the inhaler properly. Some ppl do not get all the med they need - there is helpful longer plastic mouthpiece a spacer (Not a nebulizer) that helps you to get the most out of the . Spacers help send the med directly to your lungs. They also make your inhaler easier to use and reduce the risk of side effects

I hope they work for you!!!! Good luck!!

StumpsMom
December 29th, 2007, 08:28 PM
I have anxiety issues too, and rescue remedy helped me get off of atavan...it worked that well for me :) Glad to hear you have some more meds for your allergies...hope you're feeling better soon.

Frenchy
December 29th, 2007, 08:32 PM
ancientgirl , is it humid at your place ? My bro has allergies and has found that he feels better when near a dehumidifier.

ancientgirl
December 30th, 2007, 08:22 PM
CyberKitten, my doc and PA know I'm on the anxiety medication. I take Lorazepam twice a day and Lexapro in the evening. Then before I go to bed I take the Singulair.

So far I've been feeling a lot better. My chest doesn't feel that tightness I had felt.

I'll have to look for that extender, because the first time I used the puffer thingy I got most of it on my tongue!

StumpsMom, I initially got the Rescue Remedy for the cats, and I don't know if it's helping. Maybe I expected something different, but I'll keep using it. I will though try to get the spray for myself, just to try and see if it helps me when I feel my medication isn't working.

Frenchy, it's always humid here. This winter, if you can call it that here in Florida, there have only been maybe 3 days with very low humidity. I've never used a humidifier. What I have now are two air type cleaners. One downstairs and one right on my nightstand. Also, the inhaler I got from the doctor has helped me immensly! I've been using it once in the morning, once in the afternoon and right before I get to bed. I'll try cutting it down to just once a day if I can. I don't want to become too dependent on something like that, but I do want to have it for those times when I may have that wheezing again.

onster
December 30th, 2007, 09:24 PM
ancientgirl, I was also reccomended the spacer (and bought one) to ensure I got the meds from my inhaler. The respiratory therapist I saw told me if you could taste the meds then u were taking it wrong (and I did, hence he told me to use a spacer).

Also, I don't know about the scientific basis of this, but I was told (and read online) that honey is considered a natural reliever of asthma. Back in september I had a really bad asthma flare-up with constant coughing phlegm etc, and was supposed to go to my best friend's brothers wedding. Her mother saw the state I was in ( hi cough auntie..cough cough..hack hack) and made honey lemon tea for me which I drank on the way there (she thought I was just sick) and I actually didn't cough alll night! Made me feel sooooo much better that now I always take honey with my tea when I feel a little tight in the chest. Try it out, maybe it will help you :thumbs up

ancientgirl
December 30th, 2007, 09:39 PM
Someone else here told me about honey too.

I'm going to have to remember to buy some next time I go to the grocery store.

As for the spacer. Is that something I can just get down the aisle or should i ask the pharmacist?

Frenchy
December 30th, 2007, 09:42 PM
ancientgirl , is it humid at your place ? My bro has allergies and has found that he feels better when near a dehumidifier.



Frenchy, it's always humid here. I've never used a humidifier.

That's why I was suggesting a DEhumidifier , not a humidifier. ;)

ancientgirl
December 30th, 2007, 09:54 PM
Dur! LOL, sorry I totally misread that.

I'll have to look into that. It can't hurt to have as much around as possible to help.

onster
December 30th, 2007, 10:12 PM
I got my spacer at the pharmacy, so I'm not too sure if you could find it elsewhere. I would speak to a pharmacist though because the pharmacist askd if I knew how to use it and she would have gone through it with me had the respiratory therapist not done so.

Here are some google images of spacers though if you wanted to know what to look for.

http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en&q=spacer&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

Most of the pics are with kids, the pic on the box I got it on was a kid too.

ancientgirl
December 31st, 2007, 07:22 AM
I'll go later to see if i can get one.

koalat
December 31st, 2007, 08:23 AM
From someone who suffers from allergies all year - I have all seasons covered with something different - I strongly recommend a dehumidifier as it makes a huge difference. From my past visits to my ENT (ear nose and throat specialist) she recommended this and to keep my house at a constant 45 to 40 % humidity. Even though some say to go lower than that I do not as then it usually leads to a bleeding nose first thing in the morning. My allergies include: dust, grass, tree pollen, ragweed, mold and certain medications.

I also suffer from asthma and chronic sinusitus (2 major surgeries) and use inhalers, nose sprays, saline solution to irrigate and humidify the nose as well as allergy pills. I should really have shares in Claritin for the way that I go through them!

Another tip if you do have asthma - if you feel that the asthma is coming on and the quick acting inhaler isn't helping enough but that you feel ok then try a cup of very hot instant coffee. It helps within 15-20 minutes and you feel much better after. Note that this is a tip and not advice and you should not stop your inhalers for this but it was confirmed by one of my doctors that one of the effects of coffee is similar to the properties in the quick acting inhalers.

Just my 2 cents! I hope you feel better and get the allergies under control.

Jo

P.S. I was also very allergic to cats to the point of not being able to be in the same room with them but that has since changed and I have no idea why. We became foster parents to 5 kittens when a pregnant female showed up on our back yard after the summer camping season was over (September) and she had 5 kittens and promptly left them when she saw that we were making sure they were ok. We lost one that didn't make it and had 4 to look after. 3 were taken in by a friend who had just lost her cats and she wanted one for her daughter and we were left with the one. He's been with us ever since and it's been 3 years already. 8)

ancientgirl
December 31st, 2007, 08:44 AM
I'm going to look into a dehumidifier. I'd have to get either one big enough for my place, my ceilings are very high, or two, one for downstairs and one for upstairs.

Right now I take Singulair, and Nasonex, and the inhaler the doctor prescribed for me is working very well. She also prescribed Zyrtec, but since it's going over the counter this month, my insurance isn't paying for it and it was going to cost me $80 just for the prescription. I decided to just wait for the OTC version to come out.

CyberKitten
December 31st, 2007, 10:37 PM
You should be able to find a spacer at a pharmacy - the Shopper's Drug Marts that specialize in medical equipment have them for certain I know. But ask our pharmacist and if you cannot find one, ask your doctor or PA- she may be able to give you one. Another option is your provincial Lung Association or Lung Clinic - which many hospitals have. Call them up and explain that you need one and cannot locate one and they may give you one. I know some of my patients (I often have patients short of breath tho they inevitably do better on oxygen - they do not have allergies but effects from cancer) - use some similar meds or meds delivered in an inhaler and if I know they might not be able to find it (say they live in a rural area with one small pharmacy), I will just get them one at the Lung Association or is I am lucky, I have a few hanging aruo0nd the office thx to some enterprising pharmaceutical sales person. In fact, the one I use was given to me by a sales rep marketing his meds. (Of course, some pediatricians recommend spacers for all children and I place myself in that category, lol) I think really all adults should have access to them too - not everyone can adjust to bronchodialaters (puffers).

Oops, just realized you are in Fla- there must be some asthma centers there. Walgreens surely has them or CVS or even WalMart's pharmacy (?) - my folks live in Fla in the winter tho since my dad's illness, they are still in Canada.

onster provided some good pix of spacers - the blue one in the middle is similar to the one I use:
The 2nd picture is how to use them:

I too have a dehumidifier and it helps immensely!

ancientgirl
January 1st, 2008, 06:48 AM
I'll look for them at CVS tomorrow. My problem is my tongue gets in the way. I've got to learn to get it out of the way when I use it.

A dehumidifier is something I'll be looking into as well.