Can I Be Allergic to My Allergy Medicine?

Allergy MedicineWhen allergy season hits, you’re likely to reach for some allergy medicine that will relieve your symptoms. Whether that be a prescription or an over-the-counter remedy, all of these treatments can not only make a serious dent in your budget, but they also come with the risk of side effects, including drug interactions. One of the greatest risks of allergy medicine is the possibility of an allergic reaction as severe as anaphylactic shock.

According the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI):

[I]f you have an allergy to a particular medication, your immune system identifies that drug as an invader or allergen. Your immune system may react to medications in several ways. One type of immune reaction is due to production of antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) specific to the drug. These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, triggering an immediate allergic reaction. This reaction causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin and usually occurs within minutes to a few hours of taking the drug.

The most common immune response to a drug is due to the expansion of T cells, a type of white blood cell that recognize the drug as foreign. These T cells orchestrate a delayed immune response that most often affects the skin, causing itchy rashes, and occurs days to weeks after exposure to the drug.

Most allergic reactions occur within hours to two weeks after taking the medication and most people react to medications to which they have been exposed in the past. This process is called “sensitization.” However, rashes may develop up to six weeks after starting certain types of medications.

While an allergic reaction to allergy medicine is rare, states that the following drugs have been know to trigger attacks in some people:

  • Pseudoephedrine (sympathomimetic) used in decongestants
  • Chlorpheniramine (an antihistamine) contains both active and inactive ingredients that can be triggers
  • Prednisone, (steroid) an anti-inflammatory or an immunosuppressant
  • Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
  • Acetaminophen, analgesic and an antipyretic (used to prevent or relieve fever)

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, as any medication can cause a reaction in certain people. So if you don’t want to take the chance and are looking for a safer and more permanent way to put an end to your allergy symptoms, schedule an appointment with CT Sinus Center today. When you come into one of our four conveniently-located offices, our expert staff will sit down with you to discuss your symptoms and medical history and perform a thorough exam in order to determine exactly what is triggering your reaction. Once the results are in, we we’ll develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle. You may even be eligible for one of our in-house procedures that will help relieve sinus pressure and pain:

  • Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Call us today at 860-BALLOON and say goodbye to your symptoms and the mounting allergies bills and risks.

For more information on all things sinus and allergy, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.

The Real Costs of Allergies

The Real Cost of Allergies

Suffering from allergies can be expensive, especially if you have them year-round. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), “Allergies are the 6th leading causes of chronic illness in the United States, with more than 50 million sufferers each year. “

In our previous blog “Say ‘No’ to Lifelong Sinus Medication’” we shared a study by the Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care stating that (combined) per year, sinus sufferers spend $17.5 billion on health costs, lose 6 million work and school days, and make 16 million visits to the doctor.

While those numbers are frightening enough, let’s take a look at some of the costs that you may not necessarily consider when estimating the more obvious expenses such as copays and medication (over-the-counter and prescription):

  • Side effects of treatments
  • Constant fatigue
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Lack of sleep
  • Low motivation
  • Loss of productivity
  • Pressure to make up lost professional or academic work from sick work/school days
  • Time lost traveling to doctor’s offices
  • Gas/Parking fees for doctor’s office
  • Restricted diet
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Poor nutrition
  • Vitamin Supplements
  • Natural/Organic Alternatives (such as nasal irrigation)
  • Lost family time
  • Lost personal time
  • Lost outdoor time (to avoid pollen)
  • Excessive Cleaning (to eliminate dust)
  • Cosmetic Purchases (to cover up dark circles and puffy eyes)
  • Frustration
  • Depression

These are just some of the hidden costs of suffering from allergies, and unfortunately, they are all very common and compound to make things even worse. Consequently, when you suffer from constant allergies, life isn’t as good as it should be. It’s really a vicious circle: When you’re not feeling well, you don’t do the things you should to take care of yourself. And when you don’t take care of yourself, you feel even worse both physically and emotionally. Of course, you can take decongestants, antihistamines and corticosteroids to help your symptoms, but each one of those options carry their own risks (including monetary costs).

There is help: CT Sinus Center can put a stop to your allergy suffering and get you back to feeling like yourself in as little as one day. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians and tell us exactly what you’ve been experiencing. Our patient-centered approach and up-to-date diagnostic methods and treatments , including balloon sinus dilation, will allow us to find the perfect path to putting an end to your suffering. This is why we are called the leaders in permanent relief.

It’s time to stop living in a haze of dust mites, pollen and losty experience, call us at (860) BALLOON and get back to the quality of life you deserve.

For more information on allergies and sinusitis, the CT Sinus Center website and blog.

Temporary Relief: A Guide to Over-the-Counter Allergy Medicine

When allergies are taking over your life, you’ll take any type of relief that you can get. The first thing you should do is call CT Sinus Center and book an appointment. Then, while you wait for that, you can use this guide to over-the-counter allergy medicine for some temporary relief.


Allergy medications are usually broken down into three classifications: pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Those are further broken down into two classes of drugs: decongestants and antihistamines. A decongestant is used to reduce swelling and can help improve airflow in the upper respiratory tract. Antihistamines are used to block the chemical in the body called histamine, which is a chemical released by white blood cells to neutralize “invaders” in the body.

Allergy Pills:

Most allergy sufferers will turn to an antihistamine or decongestant pill at the first sign of any symptoms.

  • Antihistamine: The pill will attach to the natural histamines in your body and block them from agitating your system.
    • Active Ingredients: loratadine and cetirizine
    • Relieves: itching and congestion associated with allergies
    • Drawbacks: certain medicines can cause drowsiness
  • Decongestant: This pill is used to combat allergies.
    • Active Ingredient: pseudoephedrine
    • Relieves: sinus congestion
    • Drawbacks: can sometimes cause dizziness, anxiety, and irregular heartbeat

Nasal Sprays:

These are usually decongestants and send their active ingredients straight to the source.

  • Decongestant: The medicine will constrict irritated blood vessels in the nose.
    • Active Ingredients: phenylephrine or oxymetazoline
    • Relieves: sinus pressure
    • Drawbacks: may potentially cause nosebleeds or throat irritation

Eye Drops:

Common symptoms that accompanies allergies are itchy or watery eyes.

  • Antihistamine:
    • Active Ingredient: ketotifen
    • Relieves: allergy symptoms in the eyes
    • Drawbacks: needs to be applied frequently
  • Decongestant:
    • Active Ingredients: tetrahydrozoline and naphazoline
    • Relieves: will temporarily shrink inflamed blood vessels in the eye
    • Drawbacks: overuse of drops will have opposite effects

This guide will offer you relief, but it will only be temporary. If you’re tired of suffering from chronic sinus issues and allergies, you need relief that will be permanent. Come see the experts at CT Sinus Center! We offer many treatment options that immediately provide permanent relief, and have our patients back-in-action the very next day. To learn more about all things CT Sinus Center, visit our website, or check up on our blog.