THE NOSE KNOWS: Allergy season is here, and chemical and natural remedies can help | News

RRising temperatures and March showers are a reminder to Cherokee County residents that allergy season is upon us. And pharmacists and sellers of natural remedies are reminding sufferers that there are plenty of options to help them through the season.

“I recommend Zyrtec. There are very few side effects. For some it causes drowsiness. Other than that, there are no side effects,” said Darren Ward of Cherokee Hills Pharmacy .

Other pharmacists agree. Zyrtec came into medical use in 1987 and has grown in popularity since 2007 when it was first distributed over the counter. Many pharmacists recommend taking Zyrtec at night because it lasts for 24 hours and the person won’t have to worry about drowsiness. For those who want something that makes them less sleepy, there are options.

“There are a variety of options here. For seasonal allergies, you can take Claritin non-drowsy – or loratadine. It works well for some people, and for others it doesn’t. Allegra is another that you can take daily,” said Shannon Gower of Tahlequah Drug Co. “Zyrtec is the most drowsy of them all, but sometimes it’s the most effective, and they can all cause dry mouth, and they’re all safe for high blood pressure.”

Flonase has grown in popularity and can be taken alone or in conjunction with Claritin, Allegra or Zyrtec.

“It’s a steroid nasal spray, so it helps with inflammation and sinuses. It helps stop mucus production. So it depends on what symptoms you’re having,” Gower said.

Another option is chlorpheniramine, which is a tablet that a user takes every four hours. It makes some people drowsy, but works faster than other drugs. It also does not prevent allergies.

“There’s a product we sell that contains phenylephrine, like Sudafed. If you’re on blood pressure medication, you have to be careful,” Gower said. Using it intensely for a few days will be fine, but you don’t want to use it more than that.”

Some pills use different drugs to fight different symptoms. One of them contains chlorpheniramine, Tylenol and phenylephrine.

“I have a product that has

chlorpheniramine, acetaminophen, and phenylephrine, which is great for people with sinuses who are sick,” she said.

Another contains ibuprofen for swelling and phenylephrine for congestion.

“There are people who take Benadryl at night, and that

helps dry things out, but it’s super sleepy, so watch out for that,” Gower said.

For those with dry sinuses, saline nasal spray is popular, which helps keep the nasal passages moist. All products on the market have the ability to dry out the nasal cavity, causing irritation.

“Xyzal is the newer thing. It’s like Zyrtec, but its fame is that it’s less drowsy. I would always take it at night, and you’d still get that 24-hour allergy elimination with it, but it’s is a less sleepy formula,” Gower said.

Deana Franke, owner of Oasis Natural Foods, recommends natural remedies.

“I usually start with Xlear nasal spray and drink nettle and mullein tea,” she said. “It seems to be a particularly difficult year.”

Xlear is an all-natural saline nasal spray.

Some people swear by homeopathic formulas. Oregano oil is great for people who want to clear their lungs, Franke said.

“Put a few drops under your tongue and breathe them into your lungs and through your nose. Usually this clears this whole system after a few days of regular use,” she said.

With fewer people wearing face masks, allergy season is expected to increase this year.

Many allergy sufferers recommend wearing a mask while mowing the lawn and showering immediately afterwards.