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Which antihistamines for what?

(12 Posts)
taniashort Fri 19-Sep-08 08:19:44

Hi I'm a member of a local allergy group (food allergy mums) and we have all be prescribed different daily antihistamines for our dbs. From Zirtec to Ketotifin, to Loratadine, Desloratadine etc.
I now notice someone on a discussion saying that Piriton is faster acting than Loratadine in an emergency situation and am getting confused.

Can anyone clarify how these differ and when we should use what? I get the impression that it varies only by the whim of the prescribing clinic ...

brimfull Fri 19-Sep-08 08:35:54

my ds was given cetirizine but we don't give it daily.

is giving it daily to prevent any slight reaction thus reducing the risk of anaphylactic reaction?

tatt Fri 19-Sep-08 08:43:45

I don't know all the antihistamines so things may have changed since we last saw a consultant. However this is my experience -

If there is a serious allergy piriton works fastest. It can make some children hyperactive and send others to sleep. The average gp may prescribe something else because the modern antihistamines have longer lasting effects.

If a child has hayfever or something similar then it may be appropriate to have cetirizine (zirtec) or loratadine (clarityn) - but a consultant allergist doesn't prescribe them for food allergy.

I suggest asking your local pharmacist for their opinion as they are much better trained about drugs than the average doctor.

brimfull Fri 19-Sep-08 08:47:21

tatt-ds was prescribed cetirizine for food allergy by consultant

tatt Fri 19-Sep-08 08:54:17

ggirl consultant allergist or paediatrician with a so-called interest in allergy?

brimfull Fri 19-Sep-08 14:53:22

consultant allergist

tatt Fri 19-Sep-08 16:09:33

OK - will change it in future to say only once that I've heard of ....

We were actually told not to give antihistamine regularly as it could mask symptoms. Guess it depends on whether the reaction is just mild or potentially anaphylactic.

williamsmummy Fri 19-Sep-08 16:13:59

piriton is a first generation antihistmaine, and is recommended for allergic reactions.
piriton , or other first generation antihistmaine works very quickly, and studies have shown that the quicker it is given to young children ,the quicker the reaction is better controlled.

The second generation of antihistamines are most suited to long term prescription. They have a build up effect , and can take two weeks for results to show.
Which explains the advice to start antihistamine before the begining of say, the hay fever, or tree pollen season.

Some children do have adverse effects having these antihistmines, just like any other prescribed drug.
However there are sooooo many second generation antihisatmines out there that you can find one that suits you.

Long term piriton use can cause a drop in appitite, headaches and sleepyness.

My son had those reactions when he was younger, so piriton is still on his management plan, but not a daily medicine.
He has also had a allergic reaction to claritin, and a behavioural problem with liquid zytec.

I wanted to come to the lastest food allergy mums meeting this saturday, apart from the fact that I live about an hour a way, my hubby is not going to be able to look after the kids.

hopefully I will be able to come to the next meeting.

rebelmum1 Fri 19-Sep-08 16:14:20

I tried all of them at one point, none of which worked for me. I had hives, I think what the reaction is makes a difference. I don't think it's a one pill fits all solution.

williamsmummy Fri 19-Sep-08 16:55:02

There is over 50 different antihistmines that can be prescribed.

still liquid v pills are different, and contain different additives

taniashort Fri 19-Sep-08 21:12:07

William's mummy - I'm hosting this week's food allergy mum's meeting so do bring the kids if you want to! wink

So we use Desloratadine daily for prevention of anaphylaxis - we still get mild exzema symptoms.

- would a daily dose of Zirtec seem strong to you guys? Is Zirtec first or second generation?

thank you all!!

williamsmummy Sat 20-Sep-08 12:14:47

can bring kids, as they have footy/dance etc, hubby playing criket.
zirtec common daily antihistmine.

let me know how the meeting goes, will meet up with you all some time.

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