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Medicines Available for People With Pet Allergies

written by: Genevieve Van Wyden • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/27/2010

Sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, wheezing and runny nose. Every time you play with your pet, whether it is a dog or cat, your body reacts. Ironically, you love your pets, but your body doesn’t. Several medicines for pet allergies are available to help you live more easily with your pets.

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    Overview

    You have allergies, including reactions to your pets. Short of giving your pets away and giving your home a thorough cleaning to get rid of accumulated dander, you may not know what to do. Medicines for pet allergies are available to help you through the worst of your allergic reactions to Fido or Fluffy, and you can pick them up over-the-counter or with a prescription from your doctor.

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    Benadryl

    Benadryl falls in the antihistamine class. This medication reduces the effects of histamines on your body -- histamines are a body chemical released when you come into contact with an allergic substance. Benadryl dries the secretions from your nose, throat and eyes as it reduces the itching and swelling produced by an allergic response.

    Side effects of Benadryl include tiredness and sleepiness, sedation, dizziness, stomach upset, reduced physical coordination and a drying and thickening of secretions in your mouth, throat and nose.

    Other side effects can include heart palpitations, low blood pressure, nervousness, increased heart rate, confusion, irritability, tremors, double and/or blurred vision and nausea.

    Persons with narrow-angle glaucoma, an enlarged prostate gland, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, asthma and cardiovascular disease should use this medication with caution. Pregnant mothers should only use this medication if the benefits to the mother are greater than the risks to the fetus. Nursing mothers should not use this medication; it is secreted in breast milk and can cause stimulation and possible seizures in infants.

    Pet allergy medicine should not be taken in combination with alcohol, including Benadryl. Benadryl may increase the effects of alcohol and alcohol might increase the sedative effects of Benadryl.

    Persons taking some MAO inhibitors should be careful if they take Benadryl as this medication can alter, increase or decrease the effects of the other medications. MAO inhibitor medications can have the same effect on Benadryl.

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    Claritin

    Claritin is an antihistamine medication that helps relieve the stuffiness, runny nose, sneezing, itching and teary eyes caused by allergies. This medication also helps to calm swollen, itchy and red patches of skin.

    Side effects of Claritin (loratadine) include headache, fatigue, dry mouth and sleepiness.

    Persons suffering from kidney or liver disease may experience extreme sleepiness, as might older adults.

    If you are taking Tagamet (cimetidine), erythromycin or Nizoral (ketoconazole), take Claritin with caution. There is a “theoretical” possibility of interactions with these medications if you begin taking Claritin.

    The side effects of this medication are not well-known. Claritin does appear in breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing your infant.

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    Tavist

    Tavist treats symptoms of upper respiratory allergies and hay fever (sneezing, runny nose, itching nose and throat, cough and itchy and watery eyes). Tavist-1 is classified as an antihistamine.

    Tavist may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Don’t drive until you know how this medication affects you. Don’t drink alcohol or take other medications that have a sedative effect while you are taking Tavist.

    Do not take Tavist if you are breastfeeding, taking an MAO inhibitor (or have taken one of these medications within the past 14 days) or if you are taking sodium oxybate or GHB. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, if you are taking any nonprescription or prescription dietary supplement, medication or herbal preparation. Let your doctor know if you suffer from COPD, asthma, shortness of breath, chronic bronchitis or other lung condition, of you have a blockage of the urinary tract, intestines or stomach. Discuss the risks of taking Tavist if you suffer from diabetes, enlargement of the prostate gland, ulcers, difficulty urinating, glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease or porphyria.

    While you are taking Tavist, do not exercise or become overheated in hot weather because of the risk of heatstroke. Do not take Tavist if you are taking clemastine or any medications with clemastine. Elderly patients should take Tavist with caution because of a higher sensitivity to dizziness, sleepiness or lightheadedness.

    Side effects of Tavist include dry mouth and throat, drowsiness, dizziness, excitability and a thickening of the secretions in the nose and throat. Severe allergic reactions include hives, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, mouth, lips and tongue, pounding in the chest or fast heartbeat, convulsions, wheezing, decrease in alertness, hallucinations and tremors.

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    Clarinex

    Clarinex treats a range of allergic conditions such as itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, hives and sneezing. This medicine for pet allergies is an antihistamine, which blocks the actions of histamines secreted by your body.

    Clarinex might cause dizziness, especially if you take it with other medications or alcohol. If you are breastfeeding, you should avoid taking. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking.

    Side effects of Clarinex include nausea, dizziness, muscle pain, sore throat, upset stomach and tiredness. If you have any of these severe allergic reactions, get medical attention immediately: hives, tightness in the chest, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, mouth, lips or tongue, fast or irregular heartbeat, dark urine, pale stools, seizures or yellowing of the eyes or skin. Talk to your doctor if you have allergies to foods, medicines or other substances, if you are severely allergic to loratadine or if you have liver or kidney problems.

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    Xyzal

    Xyzal is an antihistamine that helps block histamine in your body. It helps reduce hives and other allergy symptoms.

    Xyzal might cause drowsiness, which could be more pronounced if you take it with other medications or alcohol. Don’t drive until you know how Xyzal affects you. Don’t drink alcohol or use sleeping pills or muscle relaxants while you are taking Xyzal. If you take more than the recommended dose of this medication, the risk of drowsiness is higher. Elderly patients should use this medication with caution as they are more sensitive to its effects.

    If you are breastfeeding, you will want to avoid taking this medication; it does appear in breast milk. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor.

    Persons with kidney or liver problems should talk to their doctors before beginning Xyzal. If you take theophylline or Ritonavir, these medications may increase the side effects of Xyzal.

    Side effects of Xyzal include sore throat, drowsiness, dry mouth and tiredness. If you develop a severe allergic reaction, get immediate medical attention. These reactions include hives, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, face and lips, unusual hoarseness, fainting, fever, dark urine, irregular heartbeat, mood and mental changes such as agitation and aggression, severe dizziness, seizures, shortness of breath and yellowing of your eyes or skin.

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    Astelin Spray

    Astelin is an antihistamine nasal spray that treats nasal passage inflammation symptoms such as postnasal drip, runny nose and stuffy nose. It also treats sneezing and an itchy, runny nose.

    If you are allergic to any ingredients in Astelin spray, you should not use this medication. If you are taking any nonprescription or prescription medication, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor. Because this medication is absorbed into your bloodstream, the chance of it interacting with other medications is low but the possibility does exist.

    Side effects of Astelin spray include drowsiness, a bitter taste, fatigue, mild nosebleed, headache, stinging, burning and discomfort and a sudden sneezing attack.

    If you develop any severe allergic reactions, get medical attention right away. These reactions include hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the face, mouth, lips and tongue, severe nasal irritation and repeated or persistent nosebleeds.

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    Resources

    Allergies Guide: Allergy Medications - http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/allergy-medications

    Benadryl Side Effects - http://www.residual-rewards.com/benadryl-side-effects.html

    Claritin - http://www.drugs.com/pdr/claritin.html

    Tavist-1 - http://www.drugs.com/cdi/tavist-1.html

    Clarinex - http://www.drugs.com/cdi/clarinex.html

    Xyzal - http://www.drugs.com/cdi/xyzal.html

    Astelin Spray - http://www.drugs.com/cdi/astelin-spray.html