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Old 03-31-2008, 12:31 AM   #1
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I have bad allergies and need help...

DD is 11 mos old and totally healthy, vax free and happy. I however am not. I've had asthma for years and it has been worse since I moved in with dh a few years ago. Every dr. I have seen says that it's my allergies that are killing me but they tell me to take a once a day asthma med instead until the last 2, they said to take claritin or zyrtec and it should help me clear up and breathe. I have no insurance so prescription meds are out of the question. When I have researched these I have found nothing about the effects of them while nursing which concerns me but I have got to do something. I am almost completely disabled right now. I have tried homeopathic alternatives as well and they work for about 3-5 days and then I'm back to square one. Has anyone else taken ot take either claritin or zyrtec and has there been any reactions with lo? I am totally desperate now, I'm using my rescue inhaler every 3 or so hrs right now and I cough and hack and wheeze everytime I pick up and carry dd around or if I walk around at all. Any ideas?


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Old 03-31-2008, 01:32 AM   #2
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Re: I have bad allergies and need help...

Claritin is AAP approved and in the "safest" category for use during breastfeeding. Zyrtec is also ok with breastfeeding but its levels in milk are unknown so it is in the "safer" category.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:55 AM   #3
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Re: I have bad allergies and need help...

I have been on zyrtec for several years (through my pregnancy and now nursing for almost 10 months) with no problems. Zyrtec is OTC now and Walmart and walgreens both have generic versions that are pretty cheap.

(I also have asthma and use a pulmicort inhaler - but that is prescription.)
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:28 AM   #4
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Re: I have bad allergies and need help...

As a pharmacist, I would recommend that you ask a pharmacist which is safest during breastfeeding. In general, if the medication is available for children then it would be safe for you to take during breastfeeding. I'm in Canada so am not totally familiar with the brand names in the States, but I know Claritin makes a pediatric product.

I know you said that prescription meds are out of the question, but it might be a huge benefit to you (especially during allergy flare-ups) to look into a steroid inhaler. Again I'm not all that familiar with the health care system in the States, but maybe your doc has samples that you could try. I know the cost of a steroid inhaler is enormous- especially compared to Ventolin or other rescue inhalers but I know a lot of patients with asthma can't live without them.

Good luck and hope you feel better soon.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:49 AM   #5
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Re: I have bad allergies and need help...

have you checked out they have loads of info. here's a link directly to the cold/allergy medications page:

here's a snippit:
Mom's use of Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton are generally regarded to be compatible with breastfeeding, but always double-check the active ingredients. Monitor your infant for possible drowsiness if you use an antihistamine. The non-sedating antihistamines (below) are generally preferred and are less likely to sedate baby.

The ingredients of Claritin, Claritin-D, Allegra, Allegra-D, Actifed (the decongestant pseudoephedrine plus triprolidine) and Seldane have been approved by the AAP for use by nursing moms. Loratadine (Claritin) has been studied and the amount of loratadine that passes into breastmilk is extremely low. Claritin-D and Allegra-D have pseudoephedrine added (which is AAP approved, but see above about possible effect on milk supply). Dr. Hale has said that he prefers the nonsedating antihistamines (even though they are long-acting) over the sedating allergy medications.

Zyrtec is also generally considered to be compatible with breastfeeding. It is commonly used by nursing moms, although its levels in milk are not known. Hale rates Zyrtec in the lactation risk catagory L2 (safer).

Clarinex (desloratadine): Desloratadine is another name for descarboethoxyloratadine, which is the main metabolite (breakdown product) of Claritin (loratadine). Per one study (Hilbert J, Radwanski E, Affrime MB et al. Excretion of loratadine in human breast milk. J Clin Pharmacol.1988:28:234-9), 0.019% of the descarboethoxyloratadine was transferred into breastmilk. Since Claritin (and thus its active metabolites, too) is considered safe for nursing moms (it's AAP approved, in fact), Clarinex should not be a problem either.
i would personally stay away from the stuff with the decongestant added, since that has been known to affect milk supply (like Claritin-D).

also, though it may not be enough to help you without the use of medication as well, taking either a tea or a tincture of nettles (and sometimes also eyebright) has helped my allergies *tremendously*, as does eating a big spoonful of local honey daily. not sure what you're allergic to, obviously that makes a difference. like, for instance, the honey isn't going to help you with a pet dander allergy but will help a lot with pollen allergies. but the nettles have been amazing. prior to taking them i was on allergies meds year-round for close about 6 or 7 years. once i started doing the nettles, i have been able to go off the allergy meds completely and have not had to take anything else (save the random benadryl maybe 2 or 3 times a year after stirring up a lot of dust in the house or a particularly horrible pollen week in the spring when i'm outside all the time). it's probably been about 5 years. has a wonderful allergy tea with nettles called Seasons of Discontent. it might make a nice addition to your regimen along with the meds when it's a particularly bad time.

and this is probably obvious and you've probably already done this, but if you're allergic to things like dustmites, getting new pillows and mattress and keeping those allergy covers on them, plus decreasing the amount of dust-catchers in the house (little decorations, stuffed animals, etc) can help a lot. i couldn't believe how much my night time breathing improved by just buying new pillows and keeping them covered!
yoga teacher and mama to DD River 5/03 DS Solomon 7/05 and DD Elowyn 5/08
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