The great Zyrtec Vs. Benadryl debate of 2004

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 10:02am
Joao's picture
Joined: 01/05/2004 - 09:00

Before I begin, for those of you (or "youse" as we say in NYC [img][/img]) who don't know who the heck I am, I'm very much a newbie on this whole PA bandwagon. Four days and counting to be exact.

Anyway, I just saw a few threads from a couple of years ago on this issue, but decided to bring it up once again. Throwing some logs into the flame while there are some sparks left.

I tried Benadryl for two days. It worked okay. I think. I mean, I was sleeping for pretty much the entire time, and really didn't feel [b]anything[/b] while on my drug-induced semi-coma. I actually had to set my alarm to ring every 6 hours so I could take another dose, go to the bathroom, drink some water, grab a quick snack, then go back to bed.

I told my doc about it today, and he gave me a prescription for Zyrtec instead. Yet it seems like most of you(se) have your heart set on Banadryl. Is it because of price, availability, or is there something else I'm missing? Also, on all the threads I saw on this issue, people mentioned that they take or give their kids antihistamines [b]every single day[/b], and being highly phobic about medicines in general, that is something I very much hope to avoid. Is it really necessary? I mean, up until a couple of weeks ago I have never taken anything stronger than a few Aleves so my broken knee wouldn't bother me during long bike rides, but now with both my high blood pressure and peanut allergy coming up at the same time I feel like the walking poster child for the pharmaceutical industry.

João " would you like some morphine with that?" de Souza

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 1:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Joao, not clear if I can debate with you or not, but I'll definitely take some of the morphine. [img][/img]
Okay, why are you taking Benadryl every six hours? Did you have a reaction? An anaphylactic one? Is this how you discovered you had PA? Is this adult on-set PA?
I don't know what Zyrtec is except I think it's an American antihistamine. It may have a different name here in Canada.
I do not use Benadryl for my PA son should he have a PA reaction. I use his Epi-pen. When he had his last anaphylactic reaction last year to residue, the doctor said he should take Benadryl for the next 24 hours (or it might have been 48, I would have to check here). He did not, however, prescribe Pedi-a-Pred, which I felt he should have after an anaphylactic reaction.
Both of my children take a daily antihistamine. However, only one is PA. They are both taking daily antihistamines separate from PA (obviously, if one isn't PA, DUH to Cindy). They both have environmental allergies.
There has been discussion on the board about whether or not taking a daily antihistamine (my children take either Claritin or Reactine, not Benadryl because I believe Benadryl really isn't for environmental allergies, but not sure), *could* help a PA child have less contact reactions. I wonder that about my PA son because he has been taking a daily antihistamine since he was 2-1/2.
Am I pleased that my children take meds daily? No. However. [img][/img]
Hope this helped in some way especially since I didn't know what Zyrtec was.
I have a thread I'm going to try to find.
Oh, and welcome! [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 2:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Joao, I re-raised I think three threads that I thought might be helpful for people to read (or not) to participate in this thread, but I didn't want yours to get lost because I re-raised the old threads, so I'm just in here replying so your's gets re-raised to the top again.
Hope you get some answers. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 2:28pm
wendysco's picture
Joined: 05/03/2003 - 09:00

Ds is 3 and takes Zyrtec daily, I do this for several reasons, he has MFA and environmental allergies and it provides him with relief on a more continuous basis, he is also prone to breathing difficulties when he catches a cold and I believe that there has been a decrease in the severity and duration of these problems since the regular Zyrtec. I also believe I read somewhere that it may reduce the risk of him becoming asthmatic and I think he needs all the help he can get. We still use Benadryl without hesitation for any kind of flare up irregardless of him taking zyrtec.
I am not a fan of a lot of medicine and I question and research everything recommended, however my cupboard is almost as well stocked as a pharmacy. Medicine has just always been a part of his young life (he is our million dollar 27 week preemie) and I assume it always will be. I have to say that he seems happier and healthier now with the medications than he was without them. If you are going to require Benadryl several times a day you would be better off with a once daily antihistamine as I think for most these make you less drowsy. We give our ds his zytrec when he wakes up and we've never had a problem with drowsiness.

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 3:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

wendysco, I'm glad that you were able to give Joao a better answer than I was.
My daughter, non-PA, has had for maybe the past year or more, a cough that we thought was "the croup". We took her to the walk-in and it was diagnosed as "the croup". But then, after it kept flaring up again and again (and separate from her asthma, which is well controlled, she has never had an asthma attack), I took her back to the walk-in and the doctor there (you get a different one every time out of a group of 5 or 6 of them), he told me that it wasn't "the croup" but it was post nasal drip going back down into her lungs from environmental allergies.
Now, because her brother had environmental allergies since he was 2-1/2 and had been taking a daily antihistamine, I could definitely see when Em had a flare-up of environmental allergies, which, at that time, seemed to be more seasonal rather than yearly like her brother's and mine. She had taken a daily antihistamine when it was required, but not every day.
The doctor told me that night that it was time to start her on a daily antihistamine and it would help control the cough that sounds really like "the croup", that barking seal noise. She will still get a flare-up of it, not clear why, but it has been reduced dramatically since she started the daily antihistamines.
I had raised a question in Off Topic about whether I over-medicated my children because someone (perhaps even my DH [img][/img] ) had some concerns and you know what? I know that I don't. Their asthma is well controlled and I don't think they really take that much medication. Given who their Mother is and the list of meds I'm currently on, well, yes, our cupboards look like a pharmacy as well. I'm not proud of it, but I do think it's a lot better than them suffering needlessly.
They didn't have kids' antihistamines when I was a kid so I had to go for weekly allergy shots (or my parents weren't made aware of them). I hated them. In my teens, I can't remember being troubled by allergies, but you're worrying about so much other stuff, who knows? Then, in my 20's, I went for allergy re-testing again and was supposed to do the allergy shot thing again.
But, for me, the allergy shot would trigger a migraine which I have had difficulties with for all of my adult life. I didn't need another trigger. So I started with a daily antihistamine myself.
I'm really glad you could help Joao out better than I was able to since I didn't know what Zyrtec was (although I see in another thread Kathryn has posted the Canadian name of it).
Joao, I also really wanted to say, that for some reason, I like your style of posting! e-mom will like this, but I think you have moxy! [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 3:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

wendysco, I re-raised the thread in Off Topic about Do I Over-Medicate My Child because of what you posted:-
I also believe I read somewhere that it may reduce the risk of him becoming asthmatic and I think he needs all the help he can get.
One of the people who so kindly assuaged my fears then, has mentioned something about a daily antihistamine and how it may reduce the risk of a child becoming asthmatic.
I'm not sure if that's where you read it or not, but just thought I'd re-raise regardless.
Having re-raised that thread and re-reading it, have to say now I don't believe I over-medicate either child (now that my daughter is also on a daily antihistamine as discussed in above post and has always been on the two asthma puffers).
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/08/2004 - 10:48pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

In Canada, Zyrtec is called Reactine. It is the same drug. I take Reactine daily during ragweed season (late Aug/early Sept). It is a very effective antihistimine.

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 12:46am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

My dd age 8 has samples of Zyrtec in her Epipen kit. Her allergist gave us that instead of Benadryl because he said it works faster. It is to be given after the Epi before going to the ER. I have never given it for a reaction, but I do give it rarely for insect bites that itch a lot. When I have given it, I give about 2/3 of a dose at bedtime and she sleeps much longer than usual. In fact she sleeps so long that I don`t dare give it on a school night or I can`t get her up in the morning. Fortunately her insect bites are usually during summer.

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 1:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Our allergist put our oldest DD on Zyrtec this past fall. We feel it actually made her eczema worse and she was emotional and hyper on it. For now, we stick to Benedryl and will discuss what else we can put her on. I did not realize that they say Zyrtec helps prevent asthma. It is also suppose to be the only one recommended for pet allergies.

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 2:01am
synthia's picture
Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Both the twins are on Zyrtec.
I hear that it helps with the PA and pet allergies.
When Little A broke out in the rash on lower left side(I did take pictures of) the allergies up his dose to 1 tsb in the morning and 1 at night for 5 days.It really made a differents.
Love this site

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 2:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

mom2nickie, I'm not sure, but I don't think it said specifically in the other thread (do I over-medicate my child in Off Topic) that it had to be Zyrtec to help with asthma. It is only said in one post in that thread and again, I don't think it is antihistamine specific.
erik, thank-you for telling me (us) that Zyrtec is Reactine. Jesse has used Children's Reactine before certainly. I, personally, use good old generic Chlortripolon, novopheniram, which at $12.00 for 100 pills is quite a good price compared with the newer antihistamines. It works well for me, but again, I have been taking it for quite some time. Also, the price of it just went up in the last two years from $4.00 a bottle, so for me, it's cost effective and works.
Best wishes! [img][/img]


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