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					allergy relief

breathe easier
You have the power to control your allergies and we’re here to help.

don’t let allergies get the best of you
It’s hard to be at your best when you’re suffering from allergies. That’s why Rite Aid has partnered with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) to put allergy relief in your hands. As the leading medical specialty organization on allergic diseases, comprised of 6,500 allergists and other health professionals, the AAAAI is a trusted resource on allergy and asthma, and provided much of the information contained in this guide. Need more information on controlling your allergies or asthma? First, talk to an allergist about your symptoms and range of treatment options. Then visit your Rite Aid pharmacist to get the right advice about the recommended treatments and expert guidance on using them effectively. We’re here to help.

A trusted resource on allergy and asthma


table of contents
4 allergies in a nutshell 5 a cold vs. allergies 6 the benefits of cleaning for allergies 7 latex allergies 8-9 over-the-counter allergy relief 10 the truth about nickel allergies 11 asthma: a weighty issue


allergies in a nutshell
When we talk about allergies, we’re simply talking about your body’s overreaction to common things found in the environment called “allergens.” Allergens can be a number of things – from pollen and mold to latex and nickel. Dust is also a common allergen, as are certain foods and drugs. While there is no cure for allergies, they can usually be controlled and treated. Here’s how: 1. Learn what triggers your allergies. 2. Work with your allergist, other health care professionals and pharmacist to diagnose and relieve your allergies. 3. Make lifestyle changes to reduce the allergens around you.1 To help you take these proactive steps, we’ve covered valuable information in these pages. Read on to learn about common allergens and how to make important changes to prevent symptoms.

Healthy Hint:

For a trusted source that can help you locate an allergist in your area, visit

1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “How to Help Your Allergies and Asthma.”


a cold vs. allergies
Because of the similarities in symptoms, many people, especially those with indoor allergies, may think they are just suffering from a common cold. So how can you tell the difference between an allergy and a cold? The following chart may help you understand your symptoms. Just remember, it shouldn’t replace professional diagnosis.
Symptoms Colds
- Fever - Aches and pains - Allergy symptoms Symptoms usually take a few days to hit full force.

Symptoms should clear up within several days to a week.

Triggers or Causes


- Runny or stuffy nose - Sneezing - Wheezing - Itchiness of eyes, nose and throat Symptoms begin almost immediately after exposure to allergen(s). - Profuse, thick, colored nasal drainage - Bad tasting, post-nasal drip - Cough - Head congestion or headache - A “plugged up” nose - A feeling of facial swelling - Toothache - Constant tiredness - Fever

Symptoms last as long as you are exposed to the allergen and until the reaction triggered by the allergen ends. If the allergen is present year-round, symptoms may be chronic. Symptoms may persist for several weeks, especially if not treated.

Allergens such as pollen, mold spores, animal dander, dust, foods, insect venoms and possibly drugs.

Acute Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is often caused by a bacterial infection. It usually develops as a complication of a viral respiratory infection, such as the common cold, especially if symptoms last more than 7 to 10 days. The inflammation seen is usually triggered by inadequate draining. This may be seen due to allergies, viral or bacterial infections or physical problems in the nose.

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis symptoms are similar to those of acute sinusitis, however, patients usually do not have a fever.

A diagnosis of chronic sinusitis is made when sinusitis symptoms persist for more than 8 weeks.

Factors such as allergies or bacterial infection also play a major role in chronic sinusitis by producing mucus and swelling in the sinus membranes.


a clean house, a clean bill of health
Spring cleaning is a common way to air out the house and kiss those dust balls goodbye. But if you have indoor allergies, a thorough cleaning can also help control your symptoms. Common indoor allergens, including mold and dust, can trigger allergic reactions. Taking some simple steps will produce an indoor environment that is healthier for the whole family. Your cleaning checklist: 	 •	Get rid of clutter that may be collecting dust. 	 •		 lean windows, bookshelves and air conditioning C vents thoroughly as they may have collected dust and mold throughout the winter. 	 •		 ash blankets, sheets, and pillowcases in 130-degree water W and dry in a hot dryer (this should be done every week). 	 •	Vacuum carpeting or replace it with washable throw rugs. 	 •		 lean under stoves, refrigerators or toasters where loose C crumbs can accumulate and attract cockroaches. 	 •		 ut mattresses, box springs and pillows in allergy-proof P or “non-allergic” cases. 	 •	Fix leaks to keep surfaces dry and prevent the growth of mold. 	 •		 lean moldy surfaces, such as the corners of showers or C under sinks, with a cleaning solution that is ten parts water to one part bleach. 	 •		 lock cellar doors, outside drains, and wall, window or floor B cracks where cockroaches could enter your home.1

Healthy Hint:

To prevent mold from growing in damp areas, use a dehumidifier and make sure to clean it once a week.2

2. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “Topic of the Month – February – Spring cleaning: Dusting away indoor allergens.”


a little about latex allergies
Latex, found in rubber gloves and condoms, is a common trigger of allergies, affecting three million or more Americans. There are three types of latex reactions that can occur: 	 •	Irritant contact dermatitis results in red, cracked and scaling skin. 	 •		 llergic contact dermatitis, or delayed hypersensitivity, occurs A 48-96 hours after latex contact and results in red and itchy skin, sometimes with blisters or crusting. 	 •		mmediate hypersensitivity, the most serious, can occur within I minutes and includes hives, swelling, nausea, vomiting, cramps, breathing difficulties and other extreme allergic reactions. The best way to prevent these reactions is to avoid contact with latex. If you have latex allergies, ask your doctor or pharmacist about substitutes for latex gloves and condoms.3
3. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “The Low-down on Latex Allergy.”


over-the-counter allergy relief
Many allergies can be treated with over-the-counter medication. The following chart suggests products that can be effective in treating common allergies. Please note: this chart is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis. Please consult an allergist or your healthcare professional for the best treatment for your allergies.
- Runny nose - Sneezing - Watery and itchy eyes Runny nose Stuffy nose Sneezing Watery and itchy eyes

What To Use
Oral Antihistamines

How It Works
Blocks histamine, which causes many allergy symptoms, such as itching of the eyes and nose, runny nose, and sneezing. Blocks histamine to relieve allergy symptoms, including itching of the eyes and nose, runny nose, and sneezing. Narrows blood vessels and reduces blood flow in the affected area, which helps clear congestion and improves breathing. Narrows blood vessels and reduces blood flow in the affected area, which helps clear congestion and improves breathing. Same as above. Do not use more than 3 days because rebound congestion can occur. Drug-free strips that lift the sides of the nose to open the nasal passages. Blocks and prevents the release of histamine to relieve symptoms. Narrows blood vessels and blocks histamine in the eye to relieve symptoms. Prevents mast cell release of histamine and other triggers of inflammation. It does not stop inflammation once it has begun. You should start treatment before the allergy season begins and use daily. Lubricates dry skin. Acts against most causes of inflammation by decreasing the formation, release and activity of histamine and other triggers of inflammation. Includes some local anesthetic activity to relieve itching. Blocks histamine, one of the most important mediators of the allergic response.

Oral Antihistamines/ Decongestants

- Stuffy nose

Oral Decongestants

Nasal Decongestants Nasal Strips - Watery, itchy eyes - Watery, itchy, red eyes - Runny nose - Sneezing Eye Drops: Antihistamine/ Mast Cell Stabilizer Eye Drops: Antihistamine/ Decongestant Nasal Mast Cell Inhibitors

- Itchy skin / rash / hives

Moisturizing Creams Anti-inflammatory Ointments and Creams: Topical Corticosteroids Topical Antihistamines Oral Antihistamines


Products Available at Rite Aid*
Diphenhydramine: Rite Aid Complete Allergy, Benadryl Loratadine: Rite Aid Loratadine, Claritin Cetirizine: Rite Aid Cetirizine, Zyrtec Diphenhydramine / pseudoephedrine: Benadryl D Brompheniramine / pseudoephedrine: Rite Aid Cold and Allergy DiBromm Elixir, Dimetapp Cold and Allergy Elixir Loratadine / pseudoephedrine: Rite Aid Lorata-D, Claritin-D Cetirizine / pseudoephedrine: Zyrtec-D Phenylephrine: Sudafed PE Pseudoephedrine: Rite Aid Pseudoephedrine, Sudafed Oxymetazoline: Rite Aid 12-Hour Nasal Spray, Afrin Phenylephrine: Neo-Synephrine Rite Aid Nasal Strips, Breathe Right Zaditor, Alaway Naphazoline and pheniramine: Rite Aid Eye Allergy Relief Drops, Visine A, Naphcon A Cromolyn Sodium, Nasalcrom

Healthy Hint:

With so many allergy medications available today, choosing the right one can be confusing. To find out which one is best for you, talk to your Rite Aid pharmacist.

Rite Aid Oatmeal Lotion, Aveeno, Eucerin Hydrocortisone cream, lotion and ointment: Rite Aid Hydrocortisone, Cortizone 10 Diphenhydramine combination products: Rite Aid Anti-itch Cream (Spray or Gel), Benadryl Topical Diphenhydramine: Rite Aid Complete Allergy, Benadryl Loratadine: Rite Aid Loratadine, Claritin

* Generally, antihistamines may cause drowsiness and should not be used if driving or operating machinery, while decongestants tend to keep people awake and may increase heart rate and blood pressure. Allergy relief products may interact with other medications or health conditions, so be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist what you are taking. Some allergy products, like nasal decongestants and some eye drops should only be used for 3 days. Be sure to follow the labeled instructions. Remember, children should only be treated under the direction of their physician. These products are listed for educational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis. Consult your health care professional with any questions about your symptoms or the treatment options that may be right for you. The previously named products have not been reviewed or approved by the AAAAI.


the truth about nickel
Nickel, used to make coins, jewelry, eyeglass frames, keys and other common items, is a leading cause of itchy, red skin rashes. While most reactions are unattractive and uncomfortable, they are usually easily treated with corticosteroid creams or, for more serious outbreaks, pills. If you find you’re allergic to nickel, avoid it by wearing nickel-free jewelry and keeping a layer of clothing between your skin and metal snaps or zippers.4

living with pet allergies
Nearly 10 million owners are allergic to their pets. But most can find a way to live with allergies without giving up their furry family members. Here are five simple steps you can take today to minimize allergy symptoms. 1. Keep pets out of your bedroom and off of upholstered furniture. 2. Consider buying an Electrostatic or HEPA air cleaner to remove allergens. 3. Talk to an allergist about shots (immunotherapy) to minimize symptoms. 4. Avoid litter boxes and place them away from vents and air conditioning. 5. Wash your pet often, outside of the home if possible, to lessen dander.


asthma: a weighty issue
Asthma, or difficulty breathing, wheezing and/or tightness in the chest, affects about 20 million Americans. Many people have “allergic asthma,” which means that allergens – like dust mites, mold, animal dander, pollen and cockroaches – make their symptoms worse. However, there are other types of asthma, such as exercise-induced asthma. There also may be a link between obesity and asthma, although no one knows how the two are connected. Does obesity cause asthma or does asthma make it more difficult to exercise, which in turn causes obesity? What we do know is that obesity makes it harder to breathe. Extra fat makes respiratory muscles work harder to move air in and out. Sometimes this may also lead to a mistaken diagnosis of asthma, making it very important to confirm the diagnosis before seeking asthma treatment. The bottom line? Getting fit may go a long way in controlling asthma symptoms and shortness of breath, especially with exercise. See an allergist to help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and prescribe the right course of treatment.5
4. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “Two cents about nickel allergy.” 5. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Allergy & Asthma Advocate: Summer 2008 “Which Comes First, the Weight or the Wheeze?”


For more information on allergy and asthma relief, visit

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