Allergy Meds – Do You Really Need Them?

By Heather Legg

I was laughing today with some friends when one of the ladies was telling us how she just had to buy Claritin for her dog. Her dog suffers from allergies. Then, of course, the conversation shifted to human allergies, as they’re hitting pretty hard right now between the ragweed and the mold. So by all means, treat your allergies! Take the allergy medicine if you need it, and take it the right way – for some that means on a daily basis.

However, I know some people who take it on a daily basis, but don’t really suffer from allergies. I even know some parents who have their children take and allergy pill every day to ward off the allergies they may possibly get, but don’t really have. Perhaps they have a morning sniffle or a sneeze here and there, but any medication needs to be used with caution, especially with children.

It sometimes is a fine line to decide, but if allergies are impeding quality of life and daily performance, treat them. If you or your child just has a sniffle here or there, it may be better to, well, sniffle. Yes, allergy medicine has been proven safe, but it’s still medicine, something you are putting in your, or your child’s body. And again, though some medicines now fortunately have very few side effects, they do exist. And they effect different people in different ways.

Allergy medicine can cause drowsiness, lack of attention, anxiety, and more. I’ve read some reviews of certain medications where raters report feeling symptoms including mood swings, crying, confusion, irritability, panic attacks, lack of motivation, fatigue and more. We also don’t really always know long term effects.

It’s very important to always read the small print – precautions and side effects. A friend had been taking some medicine and feeling extremely tired -to the point of exhaustion. She read the label and learned she needed to stop taking the medicine; it was an unhealthy side effect. You also need to be aware of mixing medications; sometimes different can be taken together, other medications can’t be; you need to find out.

Often medicine is a blessing. Our society is fortunate to have medications to ease pain, afford relief and help us feel better. But find out the facts. And make sure you need the medicine before making it a daily habit.

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