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Home Pharmacy (cont.)

Allergies and Itch

Allergic reactions limited to the skin including itching and hives (urticaria) usually are not life-threatening. However, difficulty breathing, wheezing, hoarseness, or difficulty swallowing may be signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock and emergency medical services should be activated (call 911 if available) if these symptoms develop.

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is an antihistamine that treats allergic reactions and itch. It is effective but a significant side effect in drowsiness. Individuals taking diphenhydramine should not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or drink alcohol. Nonsedating antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) and fexofenadine (Allegra).
  • Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom) is a nasal spray used to treat nasal allergies.

Medically reviewed by Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, MBA, FAAFP; American Board of Family Medicine

REFERENCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics. Use of Codeine-and Dextromethorphan-Containing cough Remedies in Children.

Centers for Disease Control. Cold and cough Medicines: Information for Parents.
<http://www.cdc.gov/Features/PediatricColdMeds/>

healthychildren.org. Caring for a Child with a Viral Infection.

MedicineNet.com. Medications Center.
<http://www.medicinenet.com/medications/focus.htm>

Smith SM, Schroeder K, Fahey T. Over-the-counter medications for acute cough in children and adults in ambulatory settings (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Regulation of Nonprescription Products.
<http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/cder/ucm093452.htm>

Previous contributing authors and editors: Author: Kenneth Ahonen, MD, FACEP, Consulting Staff, Department of Emergency Medicine, Baptist Hospital of Miami. Editors: James E Keany, MD, FACEP, Director of Emergency Medical Education, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center and Children's Hospital at Miss; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Ron Fuerst, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of South Carolina College of Medicine; Director, Children's Emergency Center, Children's Hospital of Richland Memorial Hospital.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/19/2014

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