Saturday, May 14, 2005

Allergy season is back

I’d had a few sniffles a month or so ago, but something grassy has obviously just come into flower; and with a vengeance. Sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, the lot.

For future reference: Piriton (UK) = chlorpheniramine maleate 4mg = Chlor-Trimeton (US). And if you hit a big enough store, it’s also the Longs generic 4-hour allergy tablets: a third cheaper than the name-brand equivalent, and they also come in a 100-tablet package which works out cheaper still.

Chlorpheniramine’s an old-fashioned antihistamine, but it’s cheap and it works well for me; it would seem that along with the hayfever, I also inherited a good resistance to chlorphen’s drowsiness side-effect.

But it’s not easy to find over here: the allergy-medicine market seems to be dominated by the 24-hour products (Allegra, Claritin etc). Ive never quite seen the point in these. I’m allergic to some pollens and only suffer allergy symptoms when I’m exposed to them — I’m fine indoors and in the car — so why do I need 24-hour relief? I’d rather pop a pill for quick relief when the symptoms strike; my suspicion is that the manufacturers of the 24-hour products would rather you pop one a day right through the summer whether you need it or not.

Maybe it’s just me, but when someone tells me “it’s convenient” my reaction is usually “for who?”


24-hour non-drowsy antihistamines are great for me... when I get hayfever, I get it for a nice long time - at least the entire day, often a few days at a stretch.

That said, my triggers seem to be very generic - I used to live near a lot of pine forests, and realised after I moved away that one of my biggest triggers is *gasp* pine forests. It's not just contact though - I drive past one in a car, I've got hayfever for.. well, much longer than 4 hours.