Otc Allergy Meds for Kids

Updated on May 02, 2012
S.A. asks from Eagle River, WI
12 answers

My daughter is 4 and 1/2 and has had a cough on and off for almost 7wks. Sometimes barely coughs at all during day, some days are alot worse. Dr seems to think it could be a tree allergy. put her on zyrtec, did not help at all and her behavior seemed to change. She was much more emotional and was very challenging for about 7 days. Had her on it for about 10. Took her off of it and behavior returned to normal, which is usually pretty good and mellow! Now dr wants me to try her on claritin. Just wondering if there are any other parents trying to figure out what meds works best for their kids allergies and if you have had any similar experiences with the behavioral changes? Thanks.

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answers from Washington DC on

My DD takes Claratin and it seems to help. My stepson (much older) was on Zyrtec and Allegra at different times. It's very hit or miss sometimes and it varies on the age range of the child. I would try the Claratin and see if it helps. Pollen is HUGE this year, much worse than in past years.

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answers from Madison on

I had a nice answer all written up, then my phone company worked on the phone line and turned off the phones! So my e-mail got lost.

In a nutshell, what I wrote is, have you had your daughter tested to discover what it is she is really allergic to? I had myself tested, only to discover that I don't have any seasonal or indoor allergies; my lifetime coughing (sinunitis, rhinitis, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, ear problems, pflegm, etc.) was caused by my allergy to the casein protein in cow dairy milk. Who would have thought? Since I quit eating/drinking anything made with cow milk, my coughing (very severe in the winter) and all the other symptoms have gone away. In fact, I threw away my Advair meds in March 2010 and haven't had an issue since.

I did, however, also get myself further tested for food allergies/intolerances (I found out that I have a lot) and discovered that I AM ABLE to eat goat and sheep, along with the milk alternatives like rice, almond, hazelnut, coconut, hemp, etc. (I can't have soy). If you have a severe allergic response to cow dairy, you might want to get checked by a naturopathic doctor to make sure your body is able to tolerate the proteins in goat and sheep; some people can't.

People would be amazed at how many illnesses or symptoms are simply the result of being allergic or intolerant to a particular food, dye, preservative, chemical, food coloring, sweetener, etc. By avoiding what you're allergic/intolerant to, you can do a lot to decrease your dependence on pharma and over-the-counter drugs and their side effects.

There is a natural antihistimine you can buy through a Naturopath doctor that will relieve the allergy symptoms without the side effects. I take it (I suffer from cold hives) as do my husband (he has seasonal allergies) and my daughter (she has grass pollen allergy and is very allergic to mosquitoes). It's the best thing I've ever found and the tablets have a lemon-lime flavor.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My daughters sometimes take a combination of Claritin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl. The Zyrtec is always at bedtime though because of the possible sedation effect.

If her allergies are that bad I would recommend allergy shots. I was reluctant with my daughters but after seeing them suffer season after season and the meds not doing enough I knew it was time. Being young they respond quickly to the shots so the return on investment is quick.



answers from Duluth on

I give my kids allergy meds for two things: mosquito bites and seasonal allergies. My oldest is much, much more allergic to mosquito bites than your average kid, and they swell up huge and make him uncomfortable--he has scars--but I know we need the meds when he is acting cranky and crabby and irritable, but without reason. I know how *I* feel when my allergies kick in; when my kids are acting that way consistently, despite being well-fed and well-slept, and it's allergy season, I give them allergy meds. We have used Claritin/Wal-itin (Walgreen's version) and had a fair amount of luck with that. So far, two out of my three kids have had good luck with that medication. For my oldest, with mosquito bites, it takes the swelling right down and I only need one dose to "reset" him. For my kiddo with more regular seasonal allergies, we used it for about a week. He seemed more with it and not so groggy, like he was slogging through mud.


answers from Dallas on

My son had behavior changes with Claritin, but does well on Zyrtec. We give him Zyrtec once daily, and Benadryl before bed. I hate giving him so much medicine, but as others have mentioned, allergies are awful this year. Usually by mid-June he stops taking the meds. He starts up again in the fall and then again in the spring. I hope you find something that helps your daughter.



answers from Augusta on

my daughter does well on claritin, my son does well on allegra .



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter is the same age. She has been on an OTC allergy med since she was 1. Zyrtec did not work well for her either. The doctor finally changed her to Allegra. It worked much better for her.

My daughter's allergies are pretty severe. In addition to Allegra, they recently also added Singulair. She takes it in the evening before bed.

It does not sound like your daughter's allergies are as severe. I would suggest asking the doctor about or trying Children's Allegra. It worked better for us.



answers from San Francisco on

I'm still in the process of figuring out if zyrtec works for my kids, but I have not noticed any behavioral changes. I give it to them at night so if there are any initial drowsiness issues, the worst of it will happen while they sleep.

As an adult allergy sufferer, I do know that different allergy medicines work better for some than others, so it is not uncommon to have to try different medicines to see which one works best.

For me, Zyrtec works the best. I have not tried Claritin, but my sister says it does absolutely nothing for her. Other people have better luck with Claritin over Zyrtec. I used to take Allegra and it would work for maybe half the dosage time. So, unfortunately, it might take some experimentation to figure out what works best.



answers from Milwaukee on

I don't know much about allergy meds ... (and I'm a nurse!) but the behavioral change would scare me - A LOT. Please find the time to research natural remedies. I hope you find something helpful!
Best of luck to you.



answers from Dallas on

OTC doesn't work for many kids, including my own. I finally found Sabadil by Boiron in the homeopathic/all natural section at Whole Foods (you can also find it at other stores/online). This stuff has worked like a charm! It's so simple, you dump 5 iddy biddy pellets in their mouth every 15 minutes for the first hour (set the timer) and then same dosage but only 3 times a day after that. Within 48 hours my kids are doing beautiful!!! Runny noses are gone, red swollen eyes are gone, coughs are gone etc...

I should mention though, there is a children's version of Sabadil but the adult dosage is the exact same, I don't know why they market one box as Children's and the other not when it's literally, the same dosage. Also, the reason you dump the pellets into their mouths is because the homeopathic "medicine" is sprayed onto the outside of the little sugar pellets and if you touch them with your hands, it rubs it all off. It's great stuff with absolutely NO side effects.



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes and yes! Had horrible behavioral issues with ALL the OTC meds for my 4 yr old. I thought Allegra was the best in terms of behavior, but he was still pretty emotional and had horrible time focusing and just all around following my directions. Zyrtec made him aggressive I mean biting hitting aggressive. We had no results with Claritin, and he was just irritable. we were just on the brinks of being referred to an ENT when we decided to try a nasal spray---OMG works wonderfully and for him no side effects. However, our issues were chronic nasal congestion/swelling and sinus infections. I don't know how well it would work with the itchy eyes, runny nose type of allergy! He was put on Omnaris which my understanding is on back order, but has the least amount of side effects compared to Flonase or similar meds!

Hope you find something that works--it took me well over 6 months to find something that works!



answers from St. Cloud on

our son (11 years old) has extremely bad allergies in the spring, summer and fall. After a year of trying different OTC allgery meds, I finally took him to our doctor. The side effects of the OTC's were not pleasant and difficult to manage (after a few days he'd have stomach cramping and loose bowels) so he'd take them for a few days..then off them for a few days...and never really get relief from all of his symptoms. He's now on Singular and loratidine (generic clariton), plus he has nasacourt nasal spray and panatol eye drops for when the pollen count is really high. Some people may think that he's got too many meds for his age, but he's finally getting the relief he needed and is a completely new kid! The singular is pretty spendy as there isn't a generic available on the market yet....by next year there should be. Each month we spend about $120 on his allergy meds...thank goodness I have decent insurance and that we can get by in the winter time without having to daily dose!

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