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Allergy Medicine
August 2003

Q. I have taken Claritin or Clarinex for years and last year was prescribed Singular for my asthma. I've had to use my inhalers more often and even my nebulizer treatments are more frequent. Is there a problem taking the combination?

A. Treatment of allergies is a common medical concern and can be challenging. When persons with allergies are exposed to pollens and other allergens, an immune reaction takes place in which the body's antibodies interact with the allergens, and the allergy symptoms begin.

Histamine and other internal substances are responsible for the symptoms in susceptible individuals. The medications used to treat allergies can work in a variety of ways. Antihistamines such as Claritin block the action of the histamine on the lungs and sinus tissues.

Singulair (montelukast) blocks the inflammation reaction that occurs with allergies. These two medications are readily used in combination to control allergy symptoms as they have a different mechanism of action to control the allergic reaction.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=AA00019

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/newsroom/focuson/asthma01/basics.htm

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