A breath of relief for allergy sufferers

May 5, 2010

More than 50 million Americans, including up to 40% of children, suffer from indoor and outdoor upper respiratory allergies. This year, several manufacturers have new offerings to control and treat asthma, allergy, and sinus symptoms.

Key Points

Spring. Trees are budding, flowers blooming - and allergy sufferers cope with runny noses, watery eyes, and bouts of sneezing. More than 50 million Americans, including up to 40% of children, suffer from indoor and outdoor upper respiratory allergies. A Dutch study published in December showed that allergies can trigger the sinus problems that afflict millions of Americans. This year, several manufacturers have new offerings to control and treat asthma, allergy, and sinus symptoms.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare's new Zyrtec Liquid Gels began hitting store shelves in March. Billed as "the fastest 24-hour brand-name OTC allergy medicine," Zyrtec relieves sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and itching of the nose or throat. This launch followed the introduction several months ago of Zyrtec Perfect Measure - the only 24-hour children's allergy medicine that comes in pre-measured spoons. It's available in sugar-free, dye-free grape flavor.

From Schering-Plough comes Claritin 12-Hour, which offers all-day indoor and outdoor allergy relief for adults and children ages 6 and up. Positioned between the 4- to 6-hour products, which could cause drowsiness, and products offering 24 hours of relief, this 12- to 14-hour option provides non-drowsy allergy relief during the day, with the option of re-dosing at night. The tablets dissolve quickly without water.

Green Pharmaceuticals has introduced NasoClear Day, which offers non-drowsy, non-addictive homeopathic relief for nasal congestion. The water-based product's unique mode of action is decongestive (using ammonium carbonicum, mentholum, and sweet clover), anti-inflammatory (lungwort), antihistaminic (histaminum), and mucolytic (goldenseal). An applicator provides 60 sprays (30 applications).

Adrisin, a brand-new product from Heel USA, offers a blend of natural active ingredients to provide temporary relief from common allergic symptoms, including runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and skin irritations. Adrisin is suitable for all ages and non-drowsy. It can be taken with other medications without risk of negative interactions. A package contains 60 tablets.

Hyland's Allergy Relief 4 Kids is 100% natural and non-drowsy. It contains no pseudoephedrine and is specially designed for children ages 2 and up. It relieves common childhood allergy symptoms including watery eyes, runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes/nose/roof of mouth, pressure in the nose and cheeks, ear fullness/popping, dark circles under the eyes, and hives.

Dana K. Cassell, a frequent contributor to Drug Topics, lives in North Stratford, New Hampshire.