Tag Archives: Dr. Damin Louisville

When Benadryl is Dangerous (Insert scary movie music here)

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The A,B,Cs and Zs of Antihistamines

A is for Allegra or fexofenadine, B is for Benadryl or diphenhydramine, C is for Claritin or loratadine and Z is for Zyrtec or cetirizine.

First and foremost, Benadryl can be dangerous. Everyone knows it causes sedation in most people but some of you still contend, “It doesn’t bother me!” Here is some data to the contrary. A well known study on antihistamines was written by an author named Weiler and published in 2000 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Using a driving simulator, he compared the effects of Benadryl, Allegra, alcohol and placebo. He measured how well subjects could follow another vehicle at a set distance, how many times they got out of their lane and reaction times when responding to an obstacle put in their path. The subjects taking Benadryl had the worst performance—worse than alcohol! They also divided up the Benadryl takers inquiring which ones felt subjectively unaffected by the drug. The study found that those people still objectively had slower reaction times. So even if you think your immune to the effects of Benadryl, studies show that to be false.  The Allegra arm of the study showed no effect on cognition. A lot of UPS pilots reside here in Louisville, and this study is often cited to allow UPS pilots to take Allegra while in the air.

Benadryl can also be an issue for our children. Michael Blaiss, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, wrote a review in Clinical Therapeutics in 2004 about antihistamine prescribing strategies in school age children. He cites the detrimental effects of older sedating antihistamines on their “physical, social, and psychological well-being and academic performance.”

The take-home message is Benadryl should not be used routinely during the day. Newer agents such as Allegra, Zyrtec and Claritin have much better side effect profiles. Even Zyrtec cannot be called “non-sedating.” It’s also associated with sedation in some people and is therefore called “less sedating.” This becomes an issue if you operate heavy machinery or fly an airplane.

Hopefully you are still awake. Stay tuned for a blog on the ever-changing OTC nasal steroid market. Be sure to “like” my facebook page www.facebook.com/drdamin and share with other allergy sufferers.

 

Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to create a doctor-patient relationship with any reader. If you need personalized medical advice, contact your primary care physician or other physician in your community.

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Mylan expands EpiPen cost-cutting programs after charges of price gouging

From CNBC, Mylan is reducing the cost of EpiPens through the use of a savings card that will cover up to $300 for the EpiPen 2-Pak.

Patients who were previously paying the full price for the EpiPen will have their out-of-pocket cost cut by 50 percent. Mylan also is doubling the eligibility for its patient assistance program, which will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for uninsured and under-insured patients and families, as well.

Read the article here and the official press release here.

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“Red Meat Allergy: Incidence on Rise, Therapy in Works” | Article from Allergic Living 

Yellow indicates the region the Lone Star tick is normally found.

It’s an unusual condition that has only been recognized for less than a decade: red meat allergy. The allergy develops after a bite from a Lone Star tick triggers a person’s immune system to begin producing IgE antibodies to alpha-gal, a sugar found in meat such as beef, lamb, venison and pork.

It can be a confounding condition to diagnose. Unlike other food allergies in which a reaction occurs soon after eating – alpha-gal meat reactions often don’t develop until three to six hours after red meat has been consumed. So while the allergic symptoms (ranging from hives and itchiness to full-blown anaphylaxis) may be obvious, doctors and patients can miss that red meat is the culprit.

Read the full article in the July 14, 2016 Allergic Living magazine.

FDA issues updates for epinephrine instructions

Given the life-threatening nature of severe allergic reactions, it is critical that patients and caregivers be trained in the proper use of auto-injectors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made updates to the patient instructions for epinephrine auto-injectors.The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) issued an excellent summary of the changes, which includes the recommended injection hold time has been reduced from 10 seconds to 3 seconds. Read more here.

If you have questions about your or your child’s allergies, call our office for an appointment at (502) 882-2063.

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month #1in5

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. There is no cure for asthma, but asthma can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. Asthma affects 24 million Americans, and 6.3 million children under the age of 18 suffer from asthma. More than 50 million Americans have allergies – pollen, skin, latex and more, and the rate of allergies and asthma is climbing. Please join us in raising awareness for these common diseases.

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If you experience allergic and/or asthma symptoms or have questions, call our team at (502) 882-2063 to learn more about finding relief.

 

 

“My Nose is Running Faster Than My Feet!”

One month from today is the KDF mini-marathon! If your spring allergies are getting in the way of your training, you may find relief by trying the following:

  1. ANTIHISTAMINES: Consider taking an oral or nasal antihistamine. (Be sure to hydrate, as antihistamines can have a drying effect and leave you feeling dehydrated sooner than usual.)
  2. WEATHER: Avoid running at peak pollen times. Check your local allergen forecast online (Pollen.com, AAAAI.org, Weather.com) or use an allergy app on your smartphone. Also, it is better to run after a rain, as opposed to clear, windy days, as there is often less pollen in the air.
  3. CLOTHING: After running, immediately launder your clothing, take a shower and wash your hair to help minimize your exposure to outdoor pollen.
  4. SALINE: Try using a saline spray or a neti pot to clear your nasal passages.
  5. AIR POLLUTION: It is best to run indoors when an ozone alert is issued. Common air pollutants can make it difficult to breath, especially for those suffering with asthma and severe allergies.
  6. LONG-TERM: Seeing a board-certified allergist can prove helpful in the long run, as he/she can decipher what allergens trigger your symptoms and develop a plan to help  your symptoms and needs.

Call us at (502) 882-2063 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Damin and his team at Allergy Partners.Layout 1

 

Louisville again one of the Worst “Spring Allergy Capitals”

More than 50 million Americans are living with seasonal nasal allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s (AAFA) annual Spring Allergy Capitals report provides insights into cities where people are most affected by seasonal symptoms. Louisville remains in the top 5 again this spring.

If you need relief, call us at (502)882-2063 to schedule an appointment.

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