Experimenting with dosages

Question:

Since the expense of over-the-counter newer antihistamines has dropped, some patients are experimenting with dosages on their own. If the dose of loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) of one 10 mg tablet per day is not providing good relief for nasal allergies, would two or three tablets be worth trying?

Answer:

  1. The fact that a medication is readily available should not suggest patients should be experimenting with it.
     
  2. The fact that a medication is not expensive should not suggest that taking more than the recommended dosage is a good or safe idea.
     
  3. The dosing of an antihistamine for one condition (like hives) should not suggest that taking more than the recommended dosage for a different condition (like nasal allergies) is a good or safe idea.
    • With regard to cetirizine, studies have clearly identified that there is a dose relationship problem with sedation. The higher the dose, the more the sedation. Sedation includes both sleepiness (somnolence) and brain impairment (like memory, judgment, learning). Even 10 mg/day is associated with sedation greater than placebo (a sugar pill).
       
    • There is no reliable data that proves that 20 or 30 mg/day of loratadine or cetirizine will provide greater relief of nasal allergies than 10 mg/day.
       
  4. Therefore, if an adolescent or adult patient with nasal allergies symptoms is not adequately controlled by well tolerated loratadine or cetirizine 10mg/day, further evaluating the cause of the symptoms, recommending alternative medications or adding a second pharmacological substance from a different class of agents would all be more appropriate treatment options than increasing the dose of loratadine or cetirizine.


SCAMP Camp

This year's camp takes place at YMCA Camp Marston in Julian, CA on June 24-29, 2012.  The deadline to submit the application is May 27th.  Click here for more details.
 
Sponsored by the American Lung Association, SCAMP Camp is a unique combination of outdoor fun and asthma education. Children with asthma between 8-13 years old enjoy camp activities and learn how to live more active and healthy lives. Thanks to round-the-clock medical supervision, parents can rest easy while their children have a great time! Experienced medical staff are on hand 24 hours a day to make sure that each child receives appropriate treatment for his or her asthma. The medical volunteers include registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors who specialize in asthma and allergies.

 
 

Reminder

Just a reminder that our Encinitas office has moved to a suite down the hall.  We are still located in the same building, but have moved from suite #302 to #306.  


Research News



AAMGRC; Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
5776 Ruffin Road
San Diego, Ca 92123
(858) 268-2368 Research