Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical Editor

Allergy medications sure are big sellers these days- pollen counts are sky high- especially trees—with grasses are starting to creep up as well.

So you’re in misery—and the map to relief points to the medicine aisle at the grocery store. Lots of products- many work well. But there may be a price for that relief- medically something called sedation.

You, though,  may call simply it dull and stupid. Some folks just do not do well with these drugs.

And that can be an especially big problem when—say– you get behind the wheel of a car.

Specifically the FDA says be cautious- these drugs can interfere with concentration, alertness, and attention span. Occasionally to the point- where you may not even realize that your brain is in slow motion.

Also a problem- side effects last well after the med has supposedly worn off- even into the next day

Another point. Allergy medicine may not mix with other medicines

They certainly do not mix with alcohol

And more does not equal better- follow the directions- don’t gobble pills!

Now, how about Zyrtec– Claritin and– other products that aren’t supposed to make you drowsy?  Unfortunately about 10% of people are sensitive to even these drugs- and can make you feel like you want to nod off. So caution there

One suggestion- some people will take a kids dose of antihistamine- that way you get some relief without a high risk of side effects. You can use children’s tablets—or a bit of liquid to take the edge off.

In any case, no matter what you choose, be cautious:  careful with driving, climbing ladders… or operating a chain saw.


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