Prescription ragweed pills
September 8, 2016 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone had experience with sublingual ragweed medications? I want a convenient fix.

Hay fever sufferer, particularly sensitive to ragweed. I use a cocktail of OTC meds, including Flonase or Nasacort, loratidine, and pseudoephedrine when the drainage gets really bad. When it's severe, I get abdominal upset, which is the hardest to overcome.
Has anyone tried the prescription sublinguals such as Ragwitek? Expensive stuff, but I don't want to do the weekly shots at the doctor's office. (There's coupons available for Ragwitek, too.)
I can handle the respiratory symptoms, but the stomach upset is just dreary. I had a full GI workup last fall (including colonoscopy) and they found NOTHING. Any input appreciated.
posted by Sweet Dee Kat to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have an answer to your question exactly, but I want to urge you to try benadryl if you haven't recently. For me, none of those 12 or 24 hour modern antihistamines do a darn thing, but benadryl will dry me up in 20 minutes. It will make you sleepy at first, but if you take it consistently, that will completely go away by about day 3. So start on Friday after work, and give it a shot. It's dirt cheap and it works great. I just carry them around and pop one every 4-6 hours when I start dripping. Sometimes on good years I'll only need one occasionally to stop an attack and get back to normal.
posted by fritley at 7:42 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Benadryl is indeed still the king of antihistamines - but always makes me walk around in a haze. This is why they sell it rebranded as a sleep aid. I have been on allergy shots my whole life. They don't fix everything, but they make existing in my city tolerable in the bad seasons, and ragweed is my worst offender. I also do the inhaled steroids which additionally help, but true, don't fix it entirely either and too much of it dries out my nose but doesn't alleviate the crap in the throat.

I would also be interested in some anecdata about Ragwitek. : )

Other things to fight drainage that I have tried that people may not know of, of varying efficacy and not bunk:

Clearease mucolytic enzyme lozenges - you can suck on one or two of these at a shot, but they only tend to work for a couple of hours. (If you use too many of them, tho, it will feel like somebody's dried out your mouth with a towel.) They taste pretty good though since they are made from fruits.

Quercetin (bioflavonoid) capsules - these are kinda neat. They work like antihistamines, to me, in feeling, without drowsiness. You have to figure out how many you in particular need to take at one shot. Downside is that they only last a couple of hours, then you have to do it again.

N-Acetyl Cysteine capsules - the suggested amount varies, depending on who you ask. This didn't clear junk out for me, but thinned it so it wasn't as gross. As I understand it, cystic fibrosis patients will use this at a much higher dosage for mucus problems in the lungs.

Carry on, fellow allergy sufferers.
posted by bitterkitten at 7:06 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

PM'd you a non-prescription suggestion, but there are also various prescription antihistamines available including hydroxyzine and cyproheptadine. Some of my friends have reported varying levels of success and side effects with these.

Also, if the reason you don't want to do the weekly shots is that needles make you anxious, a doctor would probably be willing to prescribe a fast-acting/short-duration anxiety medicine to be taken prior to the shots. I know first hand it can feel a bit odd/frivolous taking a Xanax or the like for anxiety related to a needle-involving procedure that is only going to take a few minutes, but it can also be a real weight off one's shoulders.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 4:23 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Don't care about needles - just don't want to do the weekly stop at an allergist for x number of years because reasons.

I'm going to switch some of the OTCs and see what happens. Appreciate all the input.
posted by Sweet Dee Kat at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2016

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