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The Allergy Season is Here, Check Out Medicinal Safety Tips and Risks For Your Health Benefits

People with seasonal allergies often rely on over-the-counter and prescription medications to alleviate symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes, nose, or throat. However, these medications, including antihistamines, carry risks for side effects, drug interactions, and potential overdose, similar to other medications.

The Allergy Season is Here, Check Out Medicinal Safety Tips and Risks For Your Health Benefits
Source: InsideNova.com

Understanding the Risks

“All medicines have side effects associated with them even when they are taken appropriately and according to dosing directions on the label,” said Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Calello emphasized the importance of being aware of the potential side effects of both over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicines, which can range from agitation to drowsiness to upset stomach or liver damage.

Safety Tips for Allergy Medications

To manage these risks, experts offer the following safety tips for those using allergy medications: Children and pets are naturally curious, which increases the risk of accidental ingestion of medications, potentially leading to poisoning. To prevent such accidents, keep all medications securely locked away. Select medications that address your specific symptoms. For instance, use a decongestant if you’re experiencing congestion. Only opt for a decongestant with a cough suppressant if you also have a cough. Combining multiple medications increases the risk of drug interactions. Many ingredients in cold and allergy remedies can interact dangerously with alcohol, causing side effects such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fainting, and loss of coordination. These interactions can occur even if the medications and alcohol are not ingested simultaneously.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

Different medications may contain the same active ingredients, even if they are marketed for different conditions. Taking multiple medications with the same active ingredients can result in an overdose. Always check the labels and consult with a pharmacist if in doubt. Avoid taking medications for longer periods or in higher doses than recommended on the label. Always measure liquid medications using a syringe, dosing spoon, or cup rather than swigging from the bottle. Kitchen spoons can vary in size and lead to inaccurate dosing. Many allergy medications can impair your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, causing sleepiness, fatigue, loss of attention, blurred vision, and decreased coordination. “Drugged driving” can lead to legal trouble similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Allergy Season is Here, Check Out Medicinal Safety Tips and Risks For Your Health Benefits
Source: Prevention

Special Considerations for Children

Infants and children should only be given medications specifically formulated for their age group. Dosages should be measured according to the child’s weight, rather than their age, to ensure accuracy and safety. Consult with a pharmacist or healthcare provider about the potential drug-drug interactions of the medications you are taking. They can help you select medications that do not dangerously interact with each other. By following these safety tips and being aware of potential risks, individuals can more effectively manage their seasonal allergy symptoms while minimizing the dangers associated with medication use.

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