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How To Treat Allergies Economically

Sep 16, 2008
Pity the poor allergy sufferer who is undeservedly persecuted by his or her own immune system. Typical symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis or hayfever as it is more commonly known include sneezing, runny/itchy nose, itchy/watery eye and itchy palate. Through no fault of their own simple contact with something like airborne pollen can trigger these symptoms in the allergy sufferer. Entering a bedroom where the dust mite is prevalent or visiting the home of a friend that owns a cat can also set off this allergic cascade with a sudden onset.

The job of the immune system is to protect the body from foreign invaders. Unless we live in a glass bubble we are all exposed to potentially life threatening bacteria, fungi and viruses on a daily basis. Fortunately our immune system normally does a great job of protecting us from these pathogens and most of the time we stay well. Sometimes though in certain individuals the immune system becomes over vigilant and starts reacting severely against minor threats such as pollen. This over reaction results in the release of histamine and other allergic mediators that are responsible for the symptoms of hayfever.

Strategies for managing hayfever include avoiding the triggers where possible and the use of nasal sprays and antihistamine tablets that help to suppress the allergic reaction. Sometimes the allergic overload is so severe that some individuals need to use a combination of treatments. Some allergy sufferers need to use anti-allergy eye drops, antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays to suppress their severe allergic reaction. A treatment regime like this can become very expensive.

Antihistamine tablets are usually the first resort. The first wave of antihistamine tablets worked well as an allergy treatment but had the unfortunate side effect of drowsiness. The new generation antihistamines don't cross the blood-brain barrier and thus avoid the side effect of drowsiness. Typically these new generation antihistamines such as Loratadine, Cetirizine, Desloratadine and Fexofenadine are available in convenient once a day tablets.

If only the eyes are showing signs of allergic response or if an antihistamine tablet has helped but has still not stopped the itchy, watery eyes reaction then an anti-allergy eye drop is indicated. Eye drops containing Sodium Cromoglycate are usually very effective at suppressing the allergic response in the eye. The only drawback is that they need to be used about four times a day as the effect is short lived.

When antihistamine tablets fail to suppress hayfever symptoms a corticosteroid nasal spray is indicated. One of the first nasal sprays developed contains beclomethasone, a twice a day treatment. While it is still effective some 30% of beclomethasone ends up circulating in the blood stream and may cause side effects if used long term. A newer corticosteroid, fluticasone has much less systemic absorption at less than 0.1% and with a once a day application has superceded Beclomethasone.

The suppliers of well known brand names of corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Flonase and Nasacort manufacture and market the same products under different brand names at significantly lower prices in New Zealand. Flixonase is re-branded Flonase while Nasacort is known as Telnase. Essentially the same product is available, by the same manufacturer at the same strength and formulation with only a change in name.

Further savings are available if you use a generic supplier. Normally a medicine has a patent which last for 20 years. This should give the company that develops, tests and markets the product sufficient time to recover their costs and make a profit. Once the patent expires other manufacturers are able to copy the original medicine and market the product under a different trade name. Without the development costs the generic manufacturer is able to offer the product at a lower price. In New Zealand a generic copy of Flonase is available under the name of Nasaclear.

New Zealand is a small, developed country in the South Pacific west of Australia. All New Zealand medicines are subject to the strict scrutiny of the government agency, Medsafe before they are able to be marketed which allows you to be confident that you are using a quality product.
About the Author
Bruce Wilson is a qualified New Zealand pharmacist and owner of Strand Arcade Pharmacy.

Bruce invites you to read more about Flixonase and other health and beauty products from New Zealand at http://www.NZ-Online-Pharmacy.com
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