Exceeding the dosage for Claritin? 
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 Exceeding the dosage for Claritin?

I have a severe cooking.net">food allergy to sulfites (and possibly other
preservatives) and I saw an allergist who prescribed Claritin,
which is to be taken only once a day.

As I discussed with the allergist, I take one as soon as I
notice that I am getting a reaction.  Around 75% of the time
the reaction goes away and and that's all there is to it.
The rest of the time the reaction begins again after a few
hours and I need to take another Claritin.  Yesterday I had
to take one immediately after lunch, again at 6:00 pm and
again at 7:00 pm.  This is the first time I've taken 3 in one

Normally Claritin doesn't make me groggy but I sure was last
night.  If that's the only side effect I'm not too concerned
(it's nothing like taking a non-prescription anti-histamine
like Benadryl which knocks me out very quickly).  What I'm
worried about is whether the higher doses of Claritin are
destroying my liver or have some other dire side effect.  I
know I should talk to the doctor and I will the next time I
see him.

I've rationalized the current pattern because if I didn't take
the anti-histamine I would wind up in the emergency room getting
the something similar and some other shots (based on my experience
thus far).  For me, the allergic reaction does not go away on
it's own, it just continues to get worse if untreated (throat,
sinuses, etc. swell severely). I do have an Epi-pen but I think
of it as a something to be used if I can't stop the reaction and
can't get to a hospital in time.

Also, the instructions with Claritin recommend taking it on an
empty stomach so I assume that taking it when I get a reaction
after eating means that it's imcompletely absorbed and thus I'm
not getting the full dosage.  I did ask the doctor about that
and he said I could take one preventively every morning if I
preferred.  I don't prefer because (1) I can go for weeks without
a reaction so why take all the extra medication? and (2) I did
try taking one in the morning while on vacation and it didn't
prevent me from getting a reaction after a meal that day.

I still MUCH prefer the Claritin to Benadryl since I'd rather
not fall asleep in the afternoon while working.  These are the
only two anti-histamines I have experience with.  Also with the
Benadryl the odds of having the reaction recur later in the day
(or in the middle of the night) were much greater.

This is my first allergy and I've had it for just over a year
so I'm relatively inexperienced at this.

Does anyone else have experience with severe cooking.net">food allergies and
Claritin or other prescription anti-histamines?  What do you do
when your reaction continues and you've already taken the
recommended dosage?

Valerie Lauterbach

Tue, 11 Aug 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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