Claritin and Other Allergy Meds

Updated on March 18, 2011
M.U. asks from Tampa, FL
17 answers

My son often gets runny nose/cough symptoms and my pediatrician has recommended that I try putting him on Claritin to manage those symptoms. I am reluctant to put him on medicine for prolonged periods of time. Dose anyone have information about any potential harmful effects of long-term use of allergy medicines in toddlers? Also, any suggestions of natural remedies that have worked would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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answers from Atlanta on

Claritin never worked on my oldest and neither did Benadryl. You could try local honey and see if that helped. I basically just let the nose run unless there was an accompanying fever or severe cough lasting longer than a few days. It would run for 4 or 5 days, then stop for a little while, then start again, but it's gotten better and better as he's grown.

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answers from Sacramento on

If you're really worried about it, you might ask about the prescription nasal sprays instead. I used those when I was pregnant, so I know they're extra safe.

Our four-year-old takes Claritin and it helps her tremendously. She's able to get a good night of sleep, even when allergy season is at its worst (right now). Just wished it worked as well for me as it does for her.

With allergies, you do need to give them showers/baths every night to get the pollen off and wash pillowcases very frequently. Also keep windows closed.

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answers from Honolulu on

How old is he?
That will determine what you can use and the dosage.

Claritin, has kid versions.
I use Claritin. It works for me. Not for my Mom. She uses Zyrtec, I do not l like Zyrtec because it makes me feel weird.
Allergy meds, affects each person differently. And some brands work for some and not for others.

I just use Claritin, if/when I need it. Not every day.

There is also:
Allegra (prescription or over the counter)
or maybe Bendadryl (but it makes one drowsy.)

ONLY use kid versions/dosage that is specifically for kids.

As for natural remedies, just because it is natural, does not mean it is not harmful. These can build up toxicity as well. And if one is allergic to ragweed for example, you need to stay away from certain 'natural' remedies.

Or you see a Naturopath or Holistic Doctor. Otherwise, you will be 'guessing' on what to give your son, and it may make it worse.

There is a place/need for medications.
And/or natural remedies. BOTH can be harmful.

For INside the house, I suggest getting an air purifier/air filter, for his room or each room of the house.
My parents got me one when I was a child.... I had allergies to ANYTHING in the air, and I have Asthma.

Next, I have had allergies to airborne things since childhood. For me, it has gotten better the older I got. In those days, it was not medicated or treated like today. I didn't really bother me. But that is me. I just had a runny nose or watery eyes a lot. But is was not something extreme.

Even the air quality of any city, can affect allergies.

Your son has runny nose/cough symptoms.
So because he has runny nose... he is getting post-nasal drip.... and that causes 'coughing' since it drips down the throat and tickles the throat causing a cough reflex.

all the best,

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answers from Denver on

I'd check on whether Claritin has been tested on the really young ones. When my now 9 year old was 2, Claritin had NOT been tested on kids under 6. We went with Zyrtec for his eczema because Zyrtec has been tested in kids under 6. Note that Zyrtec for both my son and me makes us horribly cranky for 3-4 days. Once our system has adjusted there are no noticeable side effects.
I'd second those below that suggest cleaning/greening the house first. Move to unscented EVERYTHING - that means laundry detergent, shampoo, soap, household cleaners, etc. Also, quit using dryer sheets - even the "allergy free" are terrible for people with allergies. Also try a week or two with no dairy - when I was little, dairy would give me a runny nose.
also, bath every night should help.
And, netti pots are the best thing ever - kids 2 1/2 to 3 can learn to use them (probably w/ some screaming involved - my 5 year old felt the need to protest and scream a lot!). But they work fantastic and eliminate the need for meds for a lot of people.
good luck!

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answers from Boston on

I would try an all natural anti oxidant first. I hates having my kids on meds and now have them on an antioxidant and aloe juice. Look into what anti oxidants do for you. I think everyone should be on one. If you want more info let me know. A doctor explained it to me once in lay mans terms.

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answers from Naples on

I liked reading all your responses. My step son's mother wants us to give him singular every night for allergies (which he was tested for and didn't find any). She jumps all over us if we miss one night trying to claim neglect. My husband doesn't agree with or want to give him allergy medicine every night. It is so unfair that she always has final say. We have suggested many times that she should change her air filters often and get ac serviced. She has an older home and we r pretty sure there is a ton of dust and possibly mold in her house. (house is always pretty dirty) husband (his dad) is allergic to dust and mold and goes nuts in her house.

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answers from Portland on

check out It's a really great website to find out more about drugs. I'm using it in pharmacy school right now.
As for the medications, it depends on the child's age. Allergy medications really aren't for children under 2, and should be used with doctor supervision if under 4 most of the time.
I loved the previous resonses you got, but I just wanted to give my two cents.
Good Luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

We have our son (6.5 years old) on Zyrtec. No side-effects for him. Also we got him allergy tested and found out what he was allergic to. We bought mattress covers. air purifier and I clean the house weekly and change the sheets and his allergies have been a lot better.

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answers from Little Rock on

What about a Nedi-Pot? It's natural and if done every day helps with allergies and URI. I know he's little so it may not be a practical solution, but I would question anyone who recommends long term use of any allergy medication. I don't think it's good for the heart or kidneys.

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answers from Tampa on

There is a company that has whole food supplements and a program to handle the underlying cause of these symptoms- these are just symptoms-
Standard Process is the name- and if you have a chiropractor check to see if they have these products- or send me a message, and I'll help you find someone close.
And well done on not wanting to drug your child.
best, k

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answers from Cincinnati on

my doc said the same thing. he said to put mine on Clariton religiously for 2 weeks and see if they symptoms get better. my kids sniffles are not consistant (plus daddy and I do not have allergies) so we decided to wait another year before we did this. Doing the Clariton for 2 weeks will not have any harmful side effects, but it will let you know if it is an allergy (knowledge is power and then the doc can start to zero on in actuall allergy)

do you have any animals??? could be the brand of detergent in your laundry soap too that is causing the blow ups.

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answers from Miami on

Find out what the allergens are so he doesn't get exposed to them (especially if it's foods). Then use immune strengthening supplements like colostrum, probiotics, naturally sourced vitamins, minerals, and essential faty acids, etc. Allergy meds can have a variety of undesirable effects depending on the person who's taking them - and they do nothing about what's causing the problem (exposure to toxins or allergens and immune weakness or imbalance).

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answers from Tampa on

I highly recommend against it. My girlfriend put her son on either Claritan or Sigulair (I don't remember which one) and it changed his personality and made him depressed and angry. There are links to suicide in children. have another friend who gives their children Aller-Ease made by Buried Treasure. It is all natural found in Richad's or any health food store that sells Buried Treasure products. She said it works great for him. I hope this helps.

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answers from Houston on

saline spray and i have been on allergy meds daily for 16 yrs i believe. get a hepa filter and get mattress covers and pillow encasings and etc they helped me alot. if you want more natural that i do pm me

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answers from Sarasota on

I am concerned about long term medications, too, especially if they're just managing symptoms and not dealing with the cause. I know that I am particularly sensitive to any medication--for instance, Benadryl makes me jittery, really wired. Would your son be able to tell you if he felt strange on the medicaton?

We try to keep the house uncluttered and clean and have a good filter on our HVAC unit. (We recently had mold remediation done in our bathroom--pricey but a HUGE help to my allergies.) I use a neti-pot. For my kids, we wash hands and face and change clothes when they come in from school or a long play outside. When they were little, I did the saline spray from a bottle. Otherwise, we just cope with the symptoms. I know a good doctor of oriental medicine/acupuncturist and would probably go there for advice if it got bad.



answers from Oklahoma City on

You should really talk to a pharmacist about medication. They are professionals and can tell you every side effect and possible outcome.

In my personal opinion if your child is under 4 years old don't give them even half a dose. It dries them out so bad it hurts and they have behaviors because they feel bad. I gave our little ones about 1/4 dose starting out and it was enough to stop the runny eyes and nose. If it was an allergy season that had a lot of stuff in it they couldn't handle I sent up to nearly half a dose. If it's not "their" allergy season then don't give it. Only give it when there is clear running snot and itchy/runny eyes.



answers from Jacksonville on

We like zyrtec. It stops the runny nose and post nasal drip. We dont use it all the time. My daughter hated the taste so i put it in her juice. My allergies act up the same time so i can figure out about how long to use it for. At least a week to about 2wks. The only side effect is a dry nose once or twice and then i use a humidifier. It worked great for the cough that was caused by post nasal drip. My dad got us a water one with LED light and it was 50 bucks but well worth it. My husband and i use it too when our sinus are stuffed up or inflamed. We run just water sometimes if we feel a little brothered.

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