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I have suffered from Hayfever for as long as I can remember, certainly before I started school at the age of about four and a half. Many approaches have been taken over the year, from herbal to injections. These days my symptoms are fairly easily controlled with minimal side effects by the excellent range of medications now available. Over the years my Hayfever has expanded to include allergies to dust mites (or more accurately their droppings), cats, some dogs, some detergents and being looked at in a disapproving manner. I now use an array of weapons to keep the symptoms at bay. One of these weapons is Ceterizine which I am lucky to have on repeat prescription (free in Wales).
Cetirizine Hydrochloride is the generic equivalent of Zirtek. Tesco sells its own brand of allergy tablets which are labelled as Cetirizine 10mg the same strength as my prescription at £1.50 for 14. I haven's seen the precise tablets I am given by my pharmacist on the shelves at high street chemists etc, but they can be bought online by googling the name, they are sold on Amazon for example at between about £1 and £3 for 30.
Allergies are caused in allergy sufferers by the over reaction our immune system to harmless substances, which it then treats as dangerous invading substances. Flooding the area with histamine this causes the cells to become more porous, swell and leak fluid, itching is one of the effects this produces. This tablet acts directly on histamine and calms the reaction down.
The most common side effect of taking anti-histamines is drowsiness. Although Ceterizine is specifically non drowsy it can still occur in up to 14% of users, a dry mouth and hoarseness are other rare side effects. If you want to know more about how Ceterizine works there are many web sites available which detail them it even has a Wikipedia entry which seems to be accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cetirizine .
My tablets come in the usual format of blister packed and vary as to whether they are a round tablet shape or a cigar pill shape. They are very small and easy to take. They have the familiar grove across the centre should you need or wish to cut the tablet evenly and easily in half. Ceterizine Hydrochloride is also available in syrup form for children and those that find it difficult to swallow tablets. My youngest can not take tablets without vomiting so this syrup has been useful on the occasions when she has had a skin reaction to something.
Cetirizine addresses all of my symptoms; for example itchy swollen watery eyes, inflamed itchy throat, increased incidence of asthma attacks, general itchiness (hives etc), and a tendency to sneeze myself stupid. Usually one of these tablets is enough to keep all of this at bay including the tendency to full blown asthma attacks. However if I've had intense and prolonged exposure to an allergen - for me the worst is the house dust mite, and I simply cannot sort through stored clothes or airing cupboards, it quite literally could kill me - I will have to quickly remove myself from the source of the reaction (obviously) and I will usually take another tablet, plus any other treatments I may have such as allergy eye drops and or asthma inhaler, though even with the use of a double dose of Cetirizine it will take a little while for the symptoms to die down. However for normal exposure to allergens such as a sunny day with plenty of pollen floating around one of these tablets a day is more than enough to protect me from uncomfortable allergic reactions.
I do need to take these tablets every day as I have pets that I am not willing to get rid of to pander to my allergies; also the rest of the family might well choose the dogs and cats over me and it's not a choice I'm going to give them the opportunity to make. So these tablets are an absolute god send as far as I'm concerned and allow me to indulge my passion for my furry companions without risk to life and limb. The protection from Hayfever and other allergies is almost an aside compared to the psychological relief alone that the pet allergy protection provides.
I have suffered terrible drowsiness while taking other anti-histamines in the past even if they are supposed to be non drowsy. Piriton for example especially the original formulation acts almost like chloroform on me and would send me to sleep for hours after taking it, if I managed to stay awake I would be slurry and disorientated almost as if tipsy. So the fact that Ceterizine has no drowsy effect on me at all is fantastic, I am able to function as normal even while taking this every day.
This little tablet has had a profound positive effect on my everyday life all symptoms are dealt with so well that they hardly bother me from day to day. All with no side effects (on me) at all, a wonderful reasonably priced product.
I am a mild hayfever sufferer but also have allergies to other things such as pets, and house dust (or rather certain excreted products of the mites that live in the dust). For years I didn't know I had an allergy just thought I tended to a blocked nose, but when my wife introduced a houseful of pets the symptoms suddenly exploded. She happily told me 'you have an allergy get to the doctors, 'cos you'll be leaving home before the pets', and off I toddled.
My doctor fairly quickly agreed with my wife's diagnosis and prescribed me Ceterizine Hydrochloride, the same product as most of the off the shelf Hayfever/allergy treatments such as Zyrtek. I have to add that any allergy medication does not cure your tendency to respond to allergens, it gets rid of the symptoms for as long as the drug is in your system.
I can't find the purchase price or brand of the Dooyoo picture, so wonder if it might be a generic photo? the nearest I could find was Boots own brand which has the exact same wording on the box. I'll be talking about Ceterizine Hydrochloride in general.
In Wales we are lucky enough not to have to pay for our prescriptions so I was really pleased to get this on monthly repeat prescription, as costs do mount up. In a pharmacy or supermarket allergy tablets can cost quite a bit, for example £4.99 for Benydryl once a day 12 pack and a whopping £8.06 for 30 generic Ceterizine Hydrochloride in Boots (currently two for one with 32 advantage points). Tesco sells its own brand of allergy tablets which are simply sold as Ceterizine (10mg as are my prescription ones), in standard and non drowsy for only £1.00 for 14 which is a superb price, personally I wouldn't bother with any of the others.
As above it is beautifully cheap so If you have to pay for your medicines it is probably worth buying these over the counter once you are diagnosed.
Allergies are caused by our own bodies over reaction to harmless substances which it treats as invaders. Flooding the area with histamine which causes the cells to become more porous, swell, leak fluid and cause itching. These little miracles of medicine act directly on the histamine - hence anti-histamines. Calming the reaction down and allowing the body to go off red alert.
The tablets come in a box, with of course the insert with instructions on how to take and the possibly side effects. Side effects are incredibly rare the main ones being drowsiness. Although Ceterizine is specifically a non drowsy anti-histamine it can occur in varying degrees in up to 14% of users, a dry mouth and hoarseness are other rare minor side effects. If you want to know more about how Ceterizine specifically works chemically or more about the even less common side effects there are lots of web sites available which detail them. If you should lose your connection to the internet I'm sure a friendly chemist, nurse or doctor would be able to give you the information. The tablets are blister packed, little white circles, or elongated pill format. They are very small and easy to take. I am aware that Ceterizine Hydrochloride is also available in syrup form for children and those that find it difficult to swallow tablets. The tablets are sold not only as treatment for hayfever, but other allergies too, such as skin allergy (dermatitis, urticaria etc), dust allergies, and pet allergies.
The symptoms I have are fairly basic, such as a blocked and itchy nose, and propensity to sneeze violently for a fairly prolonged period, and sometimes watery itchy eyes. One of these tablets will take it all away all day. Occasionally I do have to take another in the evening if I have been out of doors a lot, or the cats have decided that they should abandon my wife for a few minutes and give me a bit of a fuss.
I can say that these tablets are very effective for more severe allergies too, the missus looks like something out of a horror film if her allergies peak. Very bloodshot swollen eyes, hives and insanely itchy skin, her asthma is triggered by the same things her hay fever is so she will often be wheezing as if being chased by a demon.. oh and the sneezing and itchy throat mustn't forget that... I make her sound a mess don't I, she's actually quite pleasant to be with when not being attacked by all these allergens. She also takes Ceterizine every day and as long as she is taking them she is a normal functioning member of society.
So far the Ceterizine has proved to be completely non drowsy for both myself and the missus. However some people react to the different carriers used in allergy medications and may find one brand more sleepy making than others.
There are lots of alternative treatments for allergies from hypnotherapy, to acclimatisation to the trigger. However Ceterizine when bought in the right place is so cheap, and touch wood for me has no side effects or drowsiness that I really don't mind sticking with them as long as I have to. Most importantly it works.
For many years now I have been taking Cetirizine Hydrochloride as my anti-histamine of choice. 16 years ago I developed chronic urticaria which at the time was suspected as being seasonal and expected to go away after a few weeks however it never did. I was covered in super itchy, painfully swollen hives all day every day unless I took a daily anti-histamine and the one I was given to use longterm was Cetirizine Hydrochloride. About 10 years ago my GP decided to change the one I was prescribed as the very helpful Cetirizine Hydrochloride was apparently too expensive to prescribe to me and put me on an inferior type of tablet which doesn't work as well. I regularly seem to run out of these before I remember to order a repeat prescription and have a stash of anti-histamines at home for these occasions. I actually have half a drawer of various brands of Cetirizine Hydrochloride which I regularly top up. Prices vary alot and sometimes you see 7 tablets for about £3 and others you find 7 tablets for about 99p. I rarely see packs which contain 30 tablets but if I do I buy them. I buy most of my tablets from various online chemists as we don't have many local discount stores. Cetirizine Hydrochloride tablets are not as expensive as they used to be and I'm very tempted to ask for them on prescription again now they're old and cheap!
These tablets are not suitable for under 12s and for over 12s it's usually a one a day dose. Ladies who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't take them, nor should anyone who has had an allergic reaction to the ingredients before or anyone with kidney problems. They are tiny little tablets usually and very easy to swallow and are suitable for hayfever symptoms, allergic rashes such as urticaria and other allergic conditions such as rhinitis. Possible side effects include dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, stomach upset and digestive disorders. Naturally if you are atopic and prone to allergies you may have an allergic reaction to this medication. If you take too many you should contact your nearest A & E department immediately.
When I started taking these tablets all those years ago my doctor admitted there were no longterm studies on the effects of taking them daily for the forseeable, I was a bit worried about this if I'm honest as I had no clue what they would do in the longterm. Now they have some information regarding that and have found longterm use of anti-histamines may cause brittle bones in women so if you can avoid taking these daily it's best to. I cannot however and it's worth the risk for me just to be free of the awful rash most of the time. Another thing mentioned briefly in leaflets about Cetirizine Hydrochloride is drinking alcohol may make you drowsy on these. I actually still drink despite taking these but I always take them after I've finished drinking alcohol or they actually make me violently sick not drowsy! I don't get any of the side effects listed from these tablets, I take other tablets which do give me most of those side effects but I have taken these with no problems in that way for years before the other medication.
The question is do they work. They work pretty well for me, much better than the cheap rubbish my doctor changed them for, and I only get the odd hive here and there most of the time. Sometimes I still get a huge patch on my torso or arms and have to splash it with cold water to calm down the burning but mostly I don't have many problems with hives when taking these. I don't get drowsy on them so driving is no problem and I find them easy to take as they are small. I do need to take them daily and probably always will as they have no idea what is causing my rash and to be honest haven't spent any time investigating either. For me though one of these a day is nothing compared with the absolute sheer misery of chronic urticaria.
As for controlling hayfever, I amazingly don't have hayfever (as far as I know, remember I am on anti-histamines anyway) but my brother gets both seasonal hayfever and rhinitis at other times and he finds these work well to control both of those at the one a day dose. Most people will be like him and only have to take these during certain times of the year. I've come to the conclusion there must be quite a few people who take this kind of medication daily though as anti-histamines weren't available to buy in the winter when I first started on them which was a problem if I forgot my prescription but now you can buy them all year round.
Overall Cetirizine Hydrochloride tablets work well for allergies and don't cost much these days. They are well worth having in the cupboard just in case if you are prone to allergic reactions and keep me mostly itch free all year round. Highly recommended.
This has been one of the worst years ever for hayfever, 2010. Last year almost nothing and now suddenly the onslaught of hayfever has hit me tenfold. It is the grass pollen that does it for me, early on in the season, though it is still rife at the moment.
I have tried various remedies from drinking honey with hot water through to lying with a cold flannel with over my face. If you want tablet help, then give Cetirizine Hydrochloride a whirl. You can buy these tablets from supermarkets and chemists and prices will vary depending on how many tablets you get in a pack. As a guide, my pack of 30 tablets was about three pounds if I recall.
Small white capsules, best swallowed with water. It is not advisable to chew them, or you will get a chalky taste in the mouth. The tablets are tiny making them handy if you struggle to swallow capsules. You are advised to take just one a day. It is best to take first thing in the morning, then it will have time to get into the system and work throughout the day.
They do not bring total relief to my symptoms, but they do help take the edge off the hayfever. Sneezing is reduced and itchy eyes are tamed with these capsules. I still get a bit of the sniffles if I sit outside for ages near plants. If I had to measure how much these help, I would say they halve the effects of hayfever for me, so for three quid that is an expense worth paying for the relief. The results last for most of the day I find, up until bedtime.
On the downside, depending on the strength of some tablets, they might make you a little drowsy, but you can buy non drowsy pills too. Cetirizine Hydrochloride is the ingredient to look for though in pills and this will help with hayfever and also with allergies, like cats, dogs and dust. Useful to have a pack of these in the medicine cupboard for all times I should say.
The ordeal is almost over! Having taken Cetirizine hydrochloride on a daily basis, day and night to ward off the evil symptoms of hayfever, I have been released from this tortuous existence! (may be a slight case of exaggeration). Typically I have suffered on and off from hayfever, so to say i was not prepared for the onslaught, is an understatement. Initially I didn't realise that my constant sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes were directly related to hayfever, so I went to the Doctors for clarification and a diagnosis. I was prescribed Cetirizine hydrochloride and initially thought I was being fobbed off with some lesser form of treatment (having heard of Piriton/Benadryl and the like). I later discovered that the active ingredient of alot of anti-histamines is in fact Cetirizine hydrochloride or Loratadine (which I did experiment with, but found it to have adverse effects on my health).
An antihistamine simply put, blocks the effects of histamine production, without going into too much detail, the urge to itch is stopped in its tracks. not only is this effective for hayfever symptoms but also rhinitis, hives, conjunctivitis and general allergic reactions. One of the main reasons I carried on using this medication, was for the non-drowsiness (i'm sure my employer wouldn't be happy if I slept on the job). When I tried Loratadine as i took it as a preventative, in the morning I was practically zonked out on the way to work, hence my changing to Cetirizine.
I was prescribed 28 10mg tablets and take one tablet daily with some water. After a few days of use I found that my symptoms had begun to subside. I could actually wake up in the morning and not have a fountain of water spray from my nose - bliss! Even though there have been quite a few days of low pollen count, I have still taken the medication as a precaution and have found this to be the best way to deal with the constant weather/pollen count changes throughout the day.
There is a clear statement on the box "CAUTION: YOUR DRIVING MAY BE IMPAIRED". I had already asked the Doctor about this and explained that I couldn't really afford to take off all the summer months in light of the hayfever season and i was informed that one a day would not affect me to that length and if i felt any adverse effects, that I should make a further appointment.
I read on the information sheet that people with kidney or liver disease should be more cautious about taking this as you may need to take a lower dose. If pregnant, you should inform the doctor as, again the dose may need to be monitored. If breastfeeding the antihistamine passes into breast milk and might affect the baby. As a final one, people over the age of 60 may need to take a lower dose as they may experience side effects.
These side effects include swelling of your lips, face or tongue, difficulty breathing, sleepiness, dizziness, headache, or a dry mouth. Should you experience any of these, then its a trip back to the Doctor's to be reassessed and administered some different medication. They should be stored in a dry area where the temperature doesn't exceed 25°C.
They can be purchased under various pseudonyms such as Zirtek, Benadryl and Piriteze, they all have the same active ingredient and getting shops own brand can save a small fortune. Boot actually sell this under their own brand for a whopping £2.59 for 7 tablets, whereas chemistdirect sell 30 tablets for.......60p!....a massive difference, even considering the postage rates!
Having read up on alternative remedies, I think, in preparation for next year, I will have in stock petroleum jelly/vicks (apparently a dab on the inside of the nostrils to block the pollen), sucking on a lemon or lime, a spoonful of (no, not sugar) honey with nettle tea......and other such concoctions will be my weapons of mass destruction.
Ideal for treating allergic conditions such as hayfever and allergic skin reactions.