Help! Can I Safely Give My Daughter Half of an Allergy Pill??

Updated on August 09, 2012
B.C. asks from Minneapolis, MN
11 answers

My 8 year old daughter has been snuffling and sneezing for a couple of weeks. She is looking kind of miserable and seems pretty tired. She is in all day camp this week and has an overnight campout tomorrow night. I will call to make a doctor's appointment but would like her not to have to suffer through this week. I don't imagine I'll be able to get in super fast and she doesn' want to miss any of her camp.

Is it safe to give her all allergy pill? I am thinking of giving her half of a pill this morning to see if it helps but I am nervous to do that. Side effects?? I don't want her to be super drowsy or super hyper and unable to sleep tonight. The bottle says kids 6 and older can take them. It's Aller-tec. She is sneezing non-stop and her eyes are watering. Poor kid!

I appreciate your help! Thanks for your quick response!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your input ladies! Not having allergies myself I'm a bit clueless and I am VERY reactive to medication so might be overly concerned about side effects. She went off to camp without taking anything - she just wouldn't do it so we'll see how she does today. I have both the liquid Zyrtec and Benadryl so will see if I can convince her tonight or in the morning. Thanks again! Oh, and I should I make an appointment with an allergist or her pediatrician? I don't really know what steps you take when a child appears to develop allergies. Thank you!

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answers from Chicago on

My six year old daughter takes Children's Allertec, and it really helps with her allergies. The Children's Allertec comes in liquid form, so you can give her a half dose in the morning and a half dose in the evening if it works better for her. Good luck!

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answers from Dallas on

Aller-tec is a generic OTC (over the counter) version of Zyrtec (ceterizine) which is now also OTC. One of the side effects of Zyrtec and its generics is drowsiness- it does impact people different ways-some people have different levels of tolerance to it - some have no drowsiness and some people get very drowsy.
Both Allegra and Claritin are now OTC and they do not cause drowsiness and they have children's formulas. You might try those brands or their generic equivalent.
As far as cutting the pills in half - ask your pharmacist. There are some pills that are scored (with a line) that can be safely cut in half or others that are safe to cut in half. Other pills (especially long acting formulations) may have a delivery system that will be messed up if you cut it in half. Don't give her Benadryl because it will cause drowsiness and put her to sleep!

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answers from Charlotte on

Have you called your pharmacist? If you can't talk to the doctor, your pharmacist is the second person you should ask. None of us know like a medical professional would.

Hope she'll be better soon.


answers from Milwaukee on

Benadryl makes you really tired so only give at night. During the day you can give her a half of a Zyrtec.



answers from Cleveland on

An easy alternative/natural remedy (that may take a bit to take effect but can be started and kept up for future allergy outbreaks) is to start her on raw honey or bee pollen. It has to be raw (not heat treated or filtered) and it has to be local. I swear it works wonders on allergies. Start her on a teaspoon or so a day (no side effects, talk to doctor if she has bee allergies) of either. Bee pollen is gathered as the bees come into the hive and can be found in powder or capsule. I add the pollen to my cereal and also take honey with cinnamon in warm water everyday. You can google all of the health benefits. The honey is also a wonderful natural cough remedy.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I use liquid Benadryl because I can play with the dosage better. I take 1/4 dose for my allergies because it is enough to work. It is just enough. I do not need to take even half a dose. I dry out way too much and get very uncomfortable.

So try giving her 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of liquid benadryl. Or what ever a 1/4 dose would be. I am thinking it's 1 teaspoon for that age. So just a few drops of it should be enough to stop the runny stuff but not dry her out and make her sleepy.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter has allergies. She is 6 now but we have been giving her seasonal allergy meds for a couple of years.

Benedryl we only give her at night. Wipes her out in a heartbeat. Zyrtec made her crazy. Can't explain it, but nuts, wired, not the same kid. We give her children's Allegra. It works great and has no side effects on her. All allergy meds effect kids differently. Just wanted you to have information so that if one does not work, it's ok to try something different. No child should have to go through an entire day suffering.


answers from St. Louis on

Well if it says six or up and your daughter is eight then she can safely take it. Our whole family takes generic Zyrtec it doesn't seem to do anything but help with allergies.



answers from Duluth on

Walgreens and Target (those are the two I know for sure) both carry kids' versions of Zyrtec, Claritin and Benadryl, and also generic versions of those. My doc has recommended those both for seasonal allergies for my kiddos and for allergic reactions to things (like bug bites). We don't do them daily, but when my kids are really hurting, or when ALL of us are really having reactions, we do use them to clear the kids up for a day.



answers from New York on

Benedryl will make her tired, do not give that during the day. Zyrtec effects people differently, it made me feel wierd. I think Claritin is the best. They make it for kids and it works just fine. I am currently using Allergra which I think is fantastic but I don't know if they make it for kids. I take half a pill so the adult strength would be too strong for her.


answers from Chicago on

I was going to suggest what the other poster said - get the liquid form. (They make liquid Benedryl for kids, too.)

Otherwise, just cut it in half with a knife. It won't be as precise, but she'll be fine. 1 allergy pill - even if it's the whole thing - won't hurt her.