5 Y/o Turns into Monster on Allergy Meds

Updated on November 30, 2013
V.S. asks from Coatesville, PA
13 answers

I have a son with chronic allergies. I tend to not give meds consistently b/c no matter what we try ( Claritan, etc.) it has an adverse affect on his behavior (out of control emotions, break downs, hyperactivity). Last week he caught a cold and coupled with his virus he reached the point where he had a tough time breathing. We went to the MD who prescribed albuterol treatments over the course of the week (nebulizer) and Allegra twice a day. It has been 4 days and he is out of control. I aim waiting to speak with his MD later today but am wondering if anyone else has had this problem or if you have found a possible solution. Thank you

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answers from San Francisco on

Albuterol hypes them up - it's a stimulant. Anyone who does a nebulizer with albuterol gets wired. It's really hard on kids and yes, it does make this act up. I think the only solution is to stop the breathing treatments, which isn't a good idea. I think you're just going to have to get through it one way or the other.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I have noticed this too so I talked to the pharmacist. He told me that behavior issues is the #1 complaint from parents when their kids take anything that is for allergies.

Allergy meds dry out the sinuses so each breath the child takes in hurts them. They crack the skin inside all the mucus membranes. There is no snot to moisten the area.

So unless your child has snot running down their face every minute of the day they don't really need meds.

IF IF IF IF they are having runny eyes and runny nose that is not manageable then give them less than half a dose. IF IF IF that works then that's how much you were over-medicating them.

If that minuscule dose doesn't stop the flowing mucus then next time give them half a dose.

I have allergies. I NEVER take an allergy med unless I am itching or swelling. I do NOT take an allergy med for a runny nose. I use a tissue and if the tissue isn't enough then I "might" take 1/4 dose of liquid Benadryl. Most of the time I won't take it though. I don't need it because it's a strong med that stops an allergic reaction that is life threatening.

So please give your child a much smaller dose and see if that works but doesn't cause him to be too dry.

This is a common problem according to the pharmacist. It's due to over medicating kiddo and them getting to dry inside.



answers from Des Moines on

Try natural antihistamines. Stinging nettle is good. I take quercitin, but it takes a while to build up in your system. I would find out what he is allergic to and avoid at all costs. Also consider his diet and doing an elimination diet. Even if he is not 'allergic' to foods, he can have sensitivities that overwhelm his system and make his environmental allergies worse. Also use saline sprays daily. There are many natural allergy prevention ways that truly help.

I would NOT have my child get used to a med that does this to him. Use the nebulizer to get him over this bump in the road, but maybe give up the allegra. Of course, I am not a dr.

My son was like that on zyrtec.....absolute monster the first pill he ever took. He will not be taking that ever again.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Albuterol is a strong stimulant. It is lifesaving for someone who can't breathe, but it can also cause a lot of irritibility. But if he was having a tough time breathing, he may need it for the short term, while he gets over this virus.

For the long term, with respect to allergy meds:

While allergy meds tend to my make child sleepy, I have heard that they can make other kids hyper.

You should have a long conversation about this with your MD. We found that what works best for my son is a nasal steroid. It is mostly local, so no systemic effects (hyper or sleepiness). But, it's only for nasal allergies, it doesn't help itchy eyes or asthma.



answers from San Francisco on

Do you see an allergist? You may be able to find a better course of treatment through an allergist than a pediatrician.

There should be medicines out there that can resolve his allergy issues and keep his behavior in check. You just need to find the right one. The albuterol is great for a rescue medicine - when he's struggling to breathe - but shouldn't need to be used daily if his breathing is back to normal.

Also, how many days in a row do you typically give him medicine before deciding that he is too out of control? Maybe you need to stick with it longer and give his body a chance to adjust. If he only ever takes it for 3-4 days, he's never going to get used to having it in his system. We used to use Zyrtec every day for my son and it didn't have any adverse effects.



answers from New York on

He is five, maybe not the meds. Nebuliser would not do it. If you think Allegra is doing it, discontinue and just use neb.



answers from Philadelphia on

If your son truly has chronic allergies you need to be consistent with his doses of allergy medication you are giving him by doing so daily so his body can get used to.it. At least that's what an allergist told me. Administering sporadically is likely a big part of the problem with his behavior. I would definitely see an allergist for him.



answers from Dallas on

Oh yes, the nebulizer med would do it! That and the sensitivity to the allergy med can send some kids over the edge and consequently, their parents! There is not much you can do when it's the choice between breathing or obnoxious. But you can explain the situation to the ped and adjust the meds quicker as he gets better. He maybe the type who metabolizes meds slower so they build up in his blood and you get more side effects.

When you talk to the doc, he's going to want to know about his breathing, coughing, energy levels and how he is sleeping. Keep kido hydrated and give him snacks. Hunger multiplies the bad behavior.

Hang in there!



answers from New York on

I am one of those people. allergy medicine will make me either absolutely catatonic, or some like benadryl will have be go between speedy and hyperactive and then crashing when it wears off.

I am an adult though, and am, for the most part, capable of moderating my behavior despite the drug effects. It helps too, if during allergy season, I take the drugs regularly, rather than as needed. Somehow, it helps my body acclimate and the highs and the lows gradually become less high and less low.

Personally, I would rather have a clear head and the speedy hyper behaviour, than be trying to function while having a hard time breathing, and a suffocating pressure in my head.

Best to you and your son,
F. B.



answers from Denver on

Yep. My 16yr old son cannot take Claritin, Allegra, Nasonex, or Zyrtec. He turns into a hyperactive, aggressive jerk. Like really unbearable.

The only one he can take is Benadryl. But it knocks him out so he can only take it at night before bed.

And he's allergic to many things. Poor kid. Poor us.



answers from San Francisco on

If you can find a local honey producer you can try giving 1tsp to 1tbsp a day. The honey from your area will have the pollens from there that will get you immune to the pollen in the air. It may take a few weeks to see the difference, but I used to get sinus infections at least 6 to 8 times a year then did allergy shots for 5 years. Now I do honey and all is good. My kids like it, there is no side effects and it is healthy for you :D. Hope this helps. Also, if you don't like to use the nebulizer, try the good old fashion steam bath and a little Vicks rub on the chest.



answers from Honolulu on

What about Benadryl?
Give it to him at night since it causes drowsiness.

I have allergies and asthma.
I do not like Zyrtec, because even if I am an adult, it makes me CRANKY and irritable.
Claritin works for me just fine.
There is a children's version too.

It could also be the dosage, that is not a match for your son.
So speak to your Pediatrician about it.
SOME kids/adults, are very sensitive to dosage amounts.
My friend, is like that. She has to take less, than the typical dosage recommendations. For example.

Albuterol, MAY make even adults, more "hyper" or irritable.
It just is.
And with inhalers... keep in mind that if given too much or too frequently, a person can overdose on it. Just like with any other seemingly ordinary medications.

But since he is having a hard time breathing.... you DO need to give him some type of inhaler. Which is called "bronchodilators." Because, it helps ease the inflammation/constriction of the airways. ie: as in with Asthma.
And it can get worse, IF it is not treated.

Perhaps, he does not need to take the Allegra, twice a day.
Is that children's dosage?

Also, when sick a child naturally gets very fatigued and can't sleep. So thus, they also get crankier, in such situations. Because he is sick.
He probably will be helped with naps. Too.
Since he is sick. Even if he is 5.
When my 7 year old son was sick last week, he napped. He needed it.
And he too got REAL cranky, just due to being fatigued and sick in combination. Not his normal self.

As an aside, there are other types/brands of inhalers. I am not talking about nebulizers. But inhalers.
So speak to your Pediatrician about that too.



answers from Raleigh on

We do Zyrtec, and only at night. Claritin made him fidgety and Allegra just didn't seem to help his allergies. Zyrtec has been pretty good.

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