Hay fever, asthma control is within reach

June 10, 2014

Approximately 7.8% of adults and 10% of children in the U.S. are afflicted with hay fever symptoms. Pharmacists are able to offer a number of over-the-counter solutions to improve patients' quality of life.

It’s that time of year again. Your patients may be suffering from a range of hay fever symptoms-sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy nose, mouth, throat, and eyes. In the spring, tree pollen is usually the culprit. Now in early summer, grasses can trigger these annoying symptoms and later weeds will add to the misery.

Approximately 7.8% of American adults experience symptoms of hay fever and in 2010, 10% of children in the United States also were affected, according to American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. During the summer months, seasonal allergic rhinitis shouldn’t keep your patients cooped up indoors. Here are some products to help relieve their symptoms and quality of life.

Hyland’s Seasonal Allergy Relief helps with common symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy nose, throat, and eyes due to hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies including ragweed and grasses. It also relieves sinus pain and headache with its non-drowsy formula. Its active ingredients include Allium Cepa 6X Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) for hay fever and watery eyes; Natrum Muriaticum 6X HPUS for sneezing and itchy eyes; Histaminum Hydrochloricum 12X HPUS for sinus pain; Luffa Operculata 12X HPUS for sinus pain and headache; Galphimia Glauca 12X HPUS for sneezing and running nose; and Nux Vomica 6X HPUS for itchy nose and throat. The Seasonal Allergy Relief tablets are recommended for adults and children older than 12 years at a dose of one to two tablets placed under the tongue every 4 hours or as needed.

For children who are 2 to 12 years old, there is Hyland’s 4 Kids Allergy Relief, with the same active ingredients found in the Seasonal Allergy Relief tablets for adults. Children 2 to 5 years old can take two tablets of the Hyland’s 4 Kids Allergy Relief every 15 minutes for up to 8 doses and then every four hours as needed. Children 6 to 11 years can use 3 tablets under the tongue every 15 minutes for up to eight doses and then every four hours as needed. If symptoms persist for more than seven days, children or adults should visit their physician.

For allergy sufferers with sinus pain, pressure, and headache, the company offers its sinus product-Hyland’s Sinus. Its active ingredients include Calcarea Carb 3X HPUS for head congestion, headache, pressure, and aches in eyes as well as fever; Hydrastis Canadensis 3X HPUS for frontal headache, eye pressure, and raw nose and throat; Kali Bichromicum 3X HPUS for watery, itchy eyes, runny nose, sinus pressure, and nasal congestion; and Pulsatilla 3X HPUS for forehead pain, earache, nasal pain and pressure, sneezing, and fever. Adults and children 12 years and older can use two to three tablets under the tongue every four hours as needed. Children 6 to 11 years can use half the adult dose.

 

Photo courtesy of Sanofi AventisIn October 2013, FDA approved Nasacort Allergy 24hr nasal spray by Sanofi Aventis as an over-the-counter treatment for seasonal and perennial nasal allergies in adults and children 2 years and older. The nasal spray contains triamcinolone acetonide 55 µg, a glucocorticoid, for the relief of nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy nose. It is being marketed by Chattem, Sanofi’s consumer health division. The recommended dose for adults and children 12 years and older is two sprays per nostril once daily. For children 6 to 11 years, the recommended dose is one spray per nostril once daily. However, if symptoms persist in these children, two sprays per nostril can be used once daily. The spray bottle should be shaken and primed before first use and then again if it hasn’t been used for more than two weeks. Consumers can visit www.nasacort.com for additional information and to sign up for a Nasacort coupon.

Ocean Saline Nasal Spray by Valeant Consumer Products is a nasal saline moisturizer that’s used to relieve dry, irritated nasal passages due to allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. Each spray contains 0.65% sodium chloride saline solution as well as preservatives benzyl alcohol and benzalkonium chloride. Just two sprays in each nostril will help soothe nasal irritation. It is safe enough to be used in infants, according to the company.

Ocean Complete Nasal Sinus Rinse, also from Valeant Consumer Products, offers two delivery nozzles for sinus cleansing (the orange nozzle) and nasal moisturizing (the white nozzle). Ingredients include purified water, glycerin, sodium chloride, monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride. It can be used to irrigate membranes following nasal surgery and for soothing dry, irritated nasal passages due to rhinitis and sinusitis.

Ocean Gel Nasal Moisturizer by Valeant Consumer Products is an alcohol-free product that soothes dry skin in and around the nose. It contains hyaluronan and glycerin to seal in moisture and temporarily relieve dryness and chapping.

Ocean Total Nasal Care System contains Ocean Saline Nasal Spray, Ocean Complete Nasal Sinus Rinse, and Ocean Gel Nasal Moisturizer, and is available at Costco Wholesale while supplies last.

MSD Consumer Care offers Afrin Original Nasal Spray, Afrin Pump Mist, and Afrin NoDrip products for 12-hour relief of nasal congestion. The Afrin products contain the active ingredient, oxymetazoline HCl 0.05%, which temporarily relieves nasal congestion due to hay fever, upper respiratory allergies, and the common cold. It also helps relieve sinus pressure and congestion and shrinks the nasal membranes so patients can breathe more easily. Adults and children to 11 years can use two or three sprays per nostril every 12 hours up to three days. The NoDrip formula helps to stop the product from dripping down one’s nose or throat. Consumers can obtain more information and coupons at the website, http://bricks.coupons.com/Start.asp?tqnm=vesnews9090324&bt=xs&o=115488&pt=&lang=&ws=&ct=&ci=&cl=&cp=&eb=&c=AF&p=4835692485409538970&z=&r=&pc=&tc=.

Children’s Claritin Grape Chewables, also by MSD Consumer Care, provide 24-hour relief with one tablet daily for children 2 to 5 years old and two tablets daily for children 6 years and older. Each tablet contains the antihistamine, loratadine 5 mg, for temporary relief of hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies, including runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and itching of the nose or throat. For more information and coupons, go to the website, https://www.claritin.com/products/childrens-claritin/index.aspx.

 

Asthma device and app

Photo courtesy of AsthmaMDAsthma affects approximately 8.0% of adults (18.7 million) and 9.3% of children (6.8 million) in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health Interview Survey in 2012. In 2009, nearly 470,000 hospitalizations were related to asthma, 1.9 million emergency department visits were because of asthma, and 8.9 million doctors visits were asthma related, the CDC noted.

To help patients manage their disease, Sam Pejham, MD, a board-certified pediatrician, developed AsthmaMD, a mobile management application that works with the AsthmaMD Peak Flow Meter device. It’s available in 15,000 retail pharmacies throughout the United States to help asthma patients accurately track symptoms and medication adherence to avoid an asthma attack.

“The current adherence rate to asthma guidelines to have a written asthma action plan is only about 30 to 50 percent. AsthmaMD improves that by making it very simple and quick to create and edit an action plan with a simplified and sequential breakdown of each step in the individualized action plan,” said Dr. Pejham. Patients can easily access their action plans on their mobile devices, he said.

Patients input their doctors’ management plan and the app helps with medication reminders and insight into the patient’s digital diary. With graphs created by the app, patients can view their level of control and share the data with their doctors. The AsthmaMD Peak Flow Meter is easy to use for precise peak flow readings and easy transmittal of data to healthcare providers. For more information, visit www.asthmamd.org

Photo courtesy of AsthmaMD