Allergy

The word allergy describes an abnormal or exaggerated immune response to a substance. Substances responsible for allergic reactions such as nuts, grass and pet hair, may be perfectly harmless to the vast majority of people, but in allergy sufferers provoke undesirable side effects.

PharmaDoctor can provide you with an online prescription for a variety of allergy treatments following an online consultation with our GMC and EU-registered doctors.

Telfast (Fexofenadine)

What is it?

Telfast (Fexofenadine) is a prescription only anti histamine, which provides relief from the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies.

Telfast can be used with other hay fever remedies, such as eye drops, as part of your allergy management kit.

How does it work?

If are allergic to something a chemical process involving the allergen (the substance you are allergic to) and the antibodies your body produces to fight back, creates histamine. Histamine binds with what are known as H1 receptors and this begins another process which results in symptoms of allergy, like a runny nose, itchy eyes or rash. This is a natural immune and allergic reaction.

Telfast works by preventing histamine and H1 receptors from binding, and in this decreases the severity of symptoms.

Main points to consider

  • Take Telfast with a glass of water with or without food.
  • The dose you take will depend on your allergy and whether symptoms are intermittent or persistent. Take this medication as advised by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Unlike other similar treatments, Telfast is a non-sedating antihistamine. This means it should not cause drowsiness or impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. That said, you should not take this treatment for the first time before driving, so you can assess your own reaction to the medication.
  • Telfast can be used to alleviate symptoms related to a number of allergies including: exposure to pollen, pet fur, house dust or insect bites.

For further Information please read the Patient Information Leaflet carefully

Avamys (fluticasone furoate)

What is it?

Avamys (fluticasone furoate) is a prescription only nasal spray used to manage inflammation of the nasal passage following an allergic reation.

Avamys is used mainly to relieve symptoms of hay fever like nasal congestion, itching and sneezing.

How does it work?

When you are allergic to something (pollen, dust mites or pet fur) and chemical process in the body results in an allergic reaction, which outwardly manifests itself by presenting symptoms such as itchy eyes, nasal inflammation or soreness.

Avamys is a corticosteroid (or steroid) based treatment which helps to control inflammation. As it is administered by nasal spray its action concentrates mainly on the nasal passages helping to unblock a congested and itchy nose and does this by preventing the release of chemicals which cause nasal inflammation. The treatment can also help to alleviate symptoms which affect the eyes such as itching and redness.

Main points to consider

  • To begin: Spray Avamys twice into each nostril once a day; when symptoms are under control spray in each nostril just once a day.
  • It takes a few days before you can feel the full effects of Avamys, but treatment can begin before symptoms present themselves. This means, for example, that you can start using Avamys a few weeks before the pollen season begins.
  • You should take Avamys regularly for maximum benefit from the treatment
  • You should not use this medication for longer than 3 months with speaking to your doctor.

For further Information please read the Patient Information Leaflet carefully

Opticrom (sodium cromoglicate) and Rapitil (nedocromil sodium)

What is it?

Opticrom aqueous eye drops (sodium cromoglicate) and Rapitil (nedocromil sodium) are used to relieve the symptoms of allergy. These eye drops are specifically made to target and soothe the eye area.

How does it work?

The exact chemical processes involved in relieving allergy symptoms here are unknown; however these drugs are believed to interact with the mast cells (which are immune cells). Mast cells become sensitised following exposure to allergens causing them to release histamines.

Histamines bind with H1 receptors and this binding process provokes inflammation and symptoms of allergy. Both Opticrom and Rapitil are believed to de-sensitise the mast cells preventing the release of histamines thereby reducing the symptoms of eye allergies.

Main points to consider

  • Contact lens wearers should wear glasses instead for the period in which they used these drops. This is because one component of the eye drops can absorb into your lenses and the prolonged contact with the eye can cause irritation.
  • Once opened your eye drops will have a shelf life of four weeks. Do not use your eye drops after this period as they may have become contaminated with dirt or germs.

For further Information please read the Patient Information Leaflet carefully

Rhinolast and Optilast (Azelastine hydrochloride)

What is it?

Rhinolast and Optilast are two treatments with the same active ingredient, Azelastine hydrochloride. Both of these treatments are sold on prescription and both can be used to manage the symptoms of allergy.

Rhinolast is a nasal spray, so it is particularly effective in relieving any symptoms which affect the nasal passage. Optilast is an eye drop solution used to manage symptoms of allergy affecting the eyes.

How does it work?

Both Rhinolast and Optilast are anti-histamines. Histamine is the natural chemical produced by the body as a result of its natural immune response to allergens (the substance to which we are allergic). Like other antihistamines, Rhinolast and Optilast prevent histamine from binding with H1 receptors. They are effective in reducing the symptoms of allergy as they work to prevent the binding process between histamine and H1 and receptors.

Main points to consider

  • Both Rhinolast and Optilast each effectively target one specific area affected by allergy. You may need to ask your doctor for both products if suffer from itchy eyes and nasal congestion.
  • The nasal spray can be used to both relieve and prevent the typical symptoms of nasal allergies.
  • Once opened your eye drops will have a shelf life of four weeks. Do not use your eye drops after this period as they may have become contaminated with dirt or germs.

For further Information please read the Patient Information Leaflet carefully

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About Allergy

Having an allergy can be miserable for those who suffer with itchy eyes, a runny nose or skin rash on a regular basis. Allergy can also be a source of constant worry for parents and sufferers alike, especially when allergic reactions are particularly severe. Sadly allergies are regularly misdiagnosed or no diagnosis is made at all, and in many cases treatment can be delayed despite there being effective pharmacological options available.

Hay fever

Hay fever is a term used to describe cold-like symptoms which are provoked by plant pollen during the UK summer months. When you get hay fever depends on the type of pollen you are allergic to. Whilst hay fever only affects sufferers from a determinate period the symptoms of hay fever (including sneezing, runny nose and sore or itchy eyes) can really affect a sufferers quality of life.

In the UK, the most common plant allergen is grass pollen, other common allergens include tree pollen (especially birch), pollen from flowering shrubs, flowers or weeds. It is hard to avoid these substances because they are airborne; so many sufferers frequently resort to using some form of medical treatment.

Pet allergy

Animals kept in the home are those we are most likely to be allergic to, however people who are allergic to cats and dogs are generally allergic to other furry or feathered animals, even those which they would be unlikely to come across in their day-to-day activities.

In many cases pet allergy can be resolved through avoiding animals which provoke an allergic reaction, however it is not always possible to avoid animals or their dander.

House Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic living organisms practically invisible to the naked eye which can be found in bedding, mattresses, carpets and textile upholstery. They feed off organic particles such as human skin flakes or dandruff which naturally accumulate in bedding, especially pillows. Their faeces consist of protein which, upon inhalation, causes an allergic reaction to some people and in some cases asthma.

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