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    Too many medications
    laura205 posted:
    I have allergies and sinusitis all year long. I am a singer and it affects my singing drastically. I have tried so many medications and they work for two or three days and then stop. Right now I have too many and they still do not work....Singulair, Clarinex, mucinex and lodrane. I am at my wit's end. What can I do now?
    Aqua14 responded:
    Are you working with an allergist? If not, you could consider that, since allergists are better at specialized treatment. And have you tried taking several allergy meds at the same time? Many of us need to take several different kinds of allergy meds daily to attack all symptoms at once. (Maybe you are; it wasn't clear if you were taking the Singulair, etc. all at the same time.)

    There are also quite a few different nasal sprays that you could try -- nasal steroids (like Flonase and Nasonex) or nasal antihistamines (like Patanase) or even anticholinergic nasal spray (Atrovent, for runny nose).

    Finally, and maybe I should have said this first, have you tried a saline sinus rinse? So many of us find these very helpful. You can find kits, for neti pots or squeeze bottles, at any drugstore. Many of us like the NeilMed squeeze bottle. Saline sinus rinse is nonmedicated, can be done several times a day, and inexpensive.

    Hope these thoughts help. Take care & good luck. Judy
    It's never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    Brian P Vickery, MD responded:
    Dear laura205:

    Consider making an appointment with an allergist/immunologist and discussing immunotherapy (allergy shots). Rather than treating symptoms like medications do, the shots address the root cause of your symptoms -- an overly active immune response. By carefully exposing your immune system to gradually increasing amounts of the allergens to which you react, shots re-program the wayward allergic response. Over time, your body learns to leave allergens alone like it should.

    Allergy shots are at least a 3-5 year overall commitment and require lots of office visits at the beginning. But those visits are relatively painless, and should be covered by your insurance. Most importantly, allergy shots are highly effective in reducing your nasal, eye, and throat symptoms and decreasing your need for medications.

    A couple things to keep in mind: (1) Only shots are FDA-approved for the treatment of allergic rhinitis like yours. Many practitioners use sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops underneath the tongue), but there is not yet clear evidence of their effectiveness based on the clinical trials that have been done. This is why the FDA has not yet cleared the drops for use in this country and why I don't recommend them at this point. (2) Your allergy care is best managed by a physician board-certified in allergy/immunology. These specialists have completed an extra 2-3 years of training in immune diseases like allergy, and have the knowledge and experience to make the proper diagnosis and design an immunotherapy treatment plan.

    For more information on immunotherapy and to find an allergist/immunologist in your area, please visit the following link:

    Good luck-
    coughy16 responded:
    I second the allergy shot recommendation. It is a lengthy process & a pain in the neck (really the arm) but for me it has had a huge impact on getting my asthma under control, by getting my allergies under control. And once you have been getting the shots for awhile, you only have to go once/month. Feel better!

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