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Allegra and Veramyst – Over-the-Counter Medications for Allergies

News February 19, 2019 | CanadaOnlineHealth

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)more than 26 million Americans have asthma, which is approximately 8.3% of all adults and 8.3% of all children.  Allergic asthma is the most common type affecting 60% of people with asthma.  In allergic asthma, when certain allergens or irritants enter the lungs, an asthma attack is triggered, which includes symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, tightness of the chest and swelling of the airways. Asthma attacks can be frightening and even deadly.  While there is no actual cure for asthma there are treatments and medications available to help relieve and sometimes prevent asthma attacks. 

The AAFA states “More Americans than ever have asthma. It is one of the country’s most common and most costly diseases”

Several medications are available to help treat allergic symptoms caused by allergens, which can trigger an asthma attack.

Allegra – 60 mg tablet

Allegra is the brand name of a medication called Fexofenadine, which is an over-the-counter medication for asthma, relieving the signs and symptoms of many allergies.  This kind of medication is known as an antihistamine, which blocks histamine from binding to HI receptors in the body.  Histamine is  what causes the uncomfortable allergy symptoms you experience, such as runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, watery eyes,  sneezing and wheezing.

Approved by the FDA in 1995, Allegra comes in both tablet and liquid form.  It should only be taken with water.  Food and juice, as well as antacids and multivitamins may prevent the full absorption of Allegra, which will make the medication less effective for symptom relief.

  • Adults and children aged 12 and older:  60 mg twice daily, or 180 mg once daily.
  • Children aged 2 to 11: 30 mg twice daily

For children under the age of 6, a suspension form of Allegra is typically used. Always consult your pediatrician before administering medication to a child.

Veramyst – 27.5 mcg nasal spray

Veramyst was available only by prescription until August, 2016, when the FDA approved Veramyst allergy relief nasal spray for over the counter sales.    The active ingredient in Veramyst is fluticasone furoate, a synthetic fluorinated corticosteroid .  It is used for the treatment of symptoms related to seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. It can be used in  patients 2 years of age and older. Veramyst does not stop an allergy symptom attack. It can take a few days for Veramyst to take full effect, so it is important to start taking it before the start of allergy season and  to continue through the allergy season to get the most benefit.

Each actuation (or dose) delivers 27.5 mcg of fluticasone furoate in a volume of 50 microliters of nasal spray suspension.    Also, in the spray is 0.015% w/w benzalkonium chloride, dextrose anhydrous, edetate disodium, microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, polysorbate 80, and purified water.

  • Adult and children Aged 12 and older:  110 mcg once daily administered as two sprays (27.5 mcg per spray) in each nostril.  Later, as symptom relief has been achieved and symptoms are under control, the dose is usually reduced to 1 spray in each nostril once per day.  The actual number of times per day Veramyst should be used will be determined by your doctor or pharmacist depending on your individual needs.
  • Children Aged 2 to 11:  55 mcg once per day administered as 1 spray (27.5 mcg/spray) in each nostril. Consult with your pediatrician before administering this medication to your child.

Note: The Canadian and U.K. name of Veramyst is Avamys.

Along with taking medication, what else can you do to help relieve allergy symptoms? It is important to avoid known allergy triggers.  The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that allergy sufferers wash, change clothes and shower at the end of the day or after being outside, to help wash off allergens that have made contact with your hair, skin and clothes.

Further information on Veramyst can be found at the following link: Learn More
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