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Can you recommend a non-drowsy Benadryl alternative?

18 replies [Last post]
By Adele on Sun, 01-28-07, 14:46

It seems that we all use Benadryl for small reactions. I realize there are non-drowsy antihistamines on the market, but are they effective as diphenhydramine for a PA reaction?

What can I carry with me that will counteract a reaction that doesn't make me sleepy?

Thanks,
Adele

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By chanda4 on Sun, 01-28-07, 15:38

My kids don't get *sleepy* when I give them Bendryl or Zyrtec(even if 2 doses are given throught the day)....I know all kids are different, but for some reason they are absolutly fine when they take either of these.

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Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

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By Adele on Sun, 01-28-07, 15:49

Thanks Chanda4, but Benadryl knocks me out and I need to find something I can take when I'm traveling - or driving - that won't make me drowsy.

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By that'smetrying on Sun, 01-28-07, 16:24

My son takes a daily Zyrtec and my husband takes a daily Claritan. Both are non-drowsy. My husband isn't sure that the one claritin works, and when he takes two he does feel a little drowsy.

As for a reaction, I'm not sure these meds would have the same effect as Benedryl...benedryl is quite wonderful when you are really reacting!
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mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

[This message has been edited by that'smetrying (edited January 28, 2007).]

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By erik on Sun, 01-28-07, 16:57

I always choose Zyrtec (known as "Reactine" in Canada). It is an active metabolite so the liver does not need to break down this drug in order for it to be effective so it works quite fast (although I think Benedryl is known as working the fastest).. Zyrtec works well for me (for seasonal allergies)

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By Momcat on Sun, 01-28-07, 17:20

We use Zyrtec for daily maintenance and Benedryl for reactions.

Cathy

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By chanda4 on Sun, 01-28-07, 18:03

Sorry Adele, I guess I wasn't much help, was I!! I have taken Benedryl occasionally(for my eye swelling from the guine pig) and yes, it does knock me out too! I have no clue how my kids can take it and keep goign like nothing happened! For seasonal I take Claritin, but not sure if that would work the same during an *attack*.....Maybe someone will have a suggestion here, or maybe call the allergist?? If you find out, post, I'd love to know an alternative(for myself!) Chanda

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Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

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By saknjmom on Sun, 01-28-07, 18:22

what about atarax? I don't know how to spell it. it is probably as bad as benadryl though.
Benadryl knocks me on my rear!!!
Maybe give your dr a call and see or call your local pharmacy.

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By Adele on Sun, 01-28-07, 18:37

Chanda4, I hope I didn't sound like I didn't appreciate your post! I do!

I take non-drowsy antihistamines for hay fever, but I'm not sure if it works for a peanut reaction. I'll check with the pharmacist! Good idea.

Thanks,
Adele

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By chanda4 on Sun, 01-28-07, 18:56

Oh, no problem...a pharmacist, good idea!!

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By cynde on Sun, 01-28-07, 19:07

I asked our pharmacist and he recommended Aerius (in Canada), it's supposed to be fast acting and long lasting (24 hours). We give it to DS when he is going to spend the night at his friends house. They have cats and DS always was getting snuffly when he went and could never spend the night.

It works well for him and no drowsiness/side effects that we have noticed. It is very expensive, but I think it's worth it.

His badminton coach takes it too for his seasonal allergies.

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By cgroth on Sun, 01-28-07, 19:24

I would not recommend the non-drowsy antihistamines for a peanut reaction. Zyrtec & Claritin are both are supposed to last 24 hours and you will not get the immediate effect as you do with benadryl. My dd does take Zyrtec(which can cause some drowsiness) daily and we just use benadryl for reactions. Someone else mentioned atarax (hydroxyzine) which might work okay but also has the drowsiness side effect.

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By chanda4 on Sun, 01-28-07, 19:29

I have been told that Zyrtec is almost better then Bendryl during a reaction....something about when Bendryl wears off they can have a worse rebound reaction, and that Zyrtec lasts longer, keeping a rebound reaction at bay.....is that right???
Our allergist said to do both actually, take Bendryl to take care of the *now* reaction, and then take Zyrtec to cover the rebound reaction. I know all doc's are different, but that was suggested to us.

------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Groups: None
By McCobbre on Sun, 01-28-07, 22:14

Adele,

A couple of things--and I read your airborne thread in Adults, so I think I know where this is coming from--at least most recently.

I do not have another recommendation, but I have found for my own reactions (unless it is ingestion) that the Triaminic Cough & Cold strips (12.5 mg of diphenhydramine), the children's Benadryl strips (same basic dose) or adult Benadryl strips (25 mg) are really effective. For an ingrestion reaction, I'd still go wtih liquid, as it just hits the spot in a GI reaction. But at work, I don't really have a way to measure it, and the strips give an exact dosage.

The children's benadryl/triaminic strips deliver half an adult dose, but I find for me that that's been effective--for instance when I've had Pizza Hut at lunch at work. I know how much I've taken.

To be truthful, benadryl only knocks me out at a higher dose--probably around 50 mg. So I don't know if the children's dose would be any better for you than what you've had.

But here's something I'm really having to accept when I have a reaction at work: at some point, I just can't travel (home, one hour away--DH's office is 40 minutes away). As much as I don't want to, at some point I have to commit to staying in Houston for the duration of my reaction, because it's not safe for me to drive with the benedryl I've taken. I've done it twice and have slapped myself afterward--but I wanted to be in my town, not alone or having to spend the night in a hotel after having had a reaction (and I can't think of anyone inside the city that doesn't have a pet--so I wouldn't want to go there to stay).

I talked with my doctor about this last week. I think if it can all be helped, that it's more important to take the medicine and not travel.

I guess that I'd advise you to do the same if you do not find another option.

FYI--I do take Allegra on occasion, and it doesn't make me sleepy, but I don't take it for a reaction, and I've not talked with my doctor about it for a reaction.

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By Reboot365 on Mon, 01-29-07, 05:51

I used to take benadryl, but now I take Zyrtec so I don't fall asleep. My allergist changed me to Zyrtec after I fell asleep from benadryl on a minor reaction. It caused me to not realize that I was having a secondary reaction a couple of hours later because I was still sleeping (fortunately I had someone monitor me just in case and they saw my body break out in a huge rash). I definitely recommend Zyrtec, it's been working great, and although I get the tiniest bit tired from it, it is nothing compared to the knockout from benadryl. My allergist also has me take 40mg of prednizone with the Zyrtec. Hope this helps!

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By Adele on Mon, 01-29-07, 13:52

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on my question. I'll talk to the pharmacist, but will also give Zyrtec a try.
Adele

[This message has been edited by Adele (edited January 29, 2007).]

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By Adele on Sat, 02-03-07, 15:13

I checked with the pharmacist at Safeway yesterday. I asked, 'what can I use instead of Benadryl that is non-drowsy for a reaction to peanut dust when I fly'?

He shrugged - pointed to the antihistamines - and said, 'any of those will work'. He recommended Claritin.

So my question is, what is the difference between diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and another antihistamine (not diphenhydramine) and why wouldn't it counteract a peanut reaction? (I realize that Benadryl works faster)

The pharmacist acted like I asked a really stupid question.

Another thought....if you take Claritin - then have a major ingestion reaction, can you take Benadryl on top of it?

Thanks....

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By that'smetrying on Sat, 02-03-07, 18:31

I'm not a doctor, but our allergist told me it is really hard to OD on antihistamines and that the recommended dosages are low. He had my son layering several antihistamines at one point...

That being said, I would really advise you to speak with a knowledgable allergist, not your local pharmacist!

Also with my son on daily Zyrtec he still has occasional reactions, and the only antihistamine that calms them down is Benedryl. Talk to your allergist about your situation.

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mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

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By Momcat on Sat, 02-03-07, 21:27

Of course, check with your doctor but both my kids have taken Benadryl and Zyrtec and the same time without a problem. I have also taken Allergra and Benadryl at the same time. Allergist said it was ok because they are different types of meds.

IMHO, Claritin is worthless (and overpriced!). Doesn't work for me (seasonal allergies) or for the kids. YMMV

Cathy

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Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited February 03, 2007).]

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