Author Topic: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine  (Read 13777 times)

Latwell

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Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« on: September 18, 2014, 06:29:25 PM »
Hellooooo everybody!

Background: I've never been to the doctor about my allergies. They've been annoying, but tolerable most of my life.

When I was 18, I moved out of my parents. When I turned 21, I moved back in and realized that I was allergic to my family's pets. My parents home was also causing other odd skin reactions. About 2 years later I moved back out and most of my allergy problems went away.

Last year I started thinking more about my allergies. Don't ask me why, but for the longest time I never put two and two together. My nose is constantly stuffy or running or both. One day I have a realization that not being able to breathe through your nose every single day isn't normal, lol. So I do my research and find out that the regular allergy medicine will only relieve some of my  symptoms but my biggest symptom (not being able to breathe through my nose) would not be helped unless it has the decongestant.

Since then, I started taking Allegra-D. It has worked amazing for me....and now when don't take it for a couple days I can definitely tell the difference. I also have problems with my sleep; I have an extremely hard time waking up and when I do wake up, I'm usually very drowsy and groggy for a really long time. Some people telling me that they will wake up and they can't just go back to sleep because they're instantly wide awake. I could never relate until I started taking the Allegra. Because of the one ingredient, it causes insomnia in many people. Personally, I take it right before bed and BAM!, I can wake up at an appropriate time and actually feel awake. I can actually understand why some people are morning people and man does it feel great waking up and not feeling so tired.

Anyway, here's the dilemma...

Up until recently, they use to have Allegra-D in the normal aisles. But now I have to go to the pharmacy and request for the box and the largest box only contains 15 pills (24hours) or 30 pills (12hours). I understand why they have it behind the counter, but the small quantity leaves the price to be more than buying in bulk. It's frustrating because Allegra brags about how you can get the medicine OTC now and you don't have to go to the re-fill prescriptions so much and blah blah blah.. but what good does it do me when I have to go back every 15 days and remind them that I don't plan on making meth.

My SO picked me up a box after 2 weeks of me complaining that I can't breathe again. It cost us almost $20 for 15 days worth!!! I'm really annoyed about spending $40 per month so that I can breathe through my nose and can even consider stepping into my parents home without my body freaking out.

*Get to the point*... I guess what I'm asking is everyone's opinion. Do I just suck it up and be a mouth breather? Is anyone else in the same boat? Has anyone come across alternative methods for allergies that require decongestants to feel better? Has anyone that would normally take Allegra-D or Clartin-D visited their doctor and receive some allergy shot (I've only heard about this once or twice before)?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 06:32:45 PM by Latwell »

southern granny

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 07:20:15 PM »
I am allergic to  a lot of things.  I have been to doctors and tried a lot of prescription drugs, sprays, inhalers... etc.  I haven't really found anything that works for the allergies without side effects so I don't generally take anything.  I do keep a bottle of generic claritin and I take those if I feel that I am starting to get  an ear infection or sinus infection because of the allergies.  I haven't tried allergy shots.  It is a very long, expensive , and time consuming process.   Of course, I would like to live my life without itchy eyes and runny nose but I don't dwell on it and don't let it get me down.  If the Allegra D works that great for you then you just have to decide if it worth the cost to you.  Good luck to you.

DoubleDown

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 08:16:27 PM »
Besides pets, do you have any idea what you are allergic to? Honestly, rather than hunting down a lifetime supply of decongestants and antihistamines, I highly recommend having an allergist test you to see what you are allergic to. If you can avoid those triggers, your life will be so much better. Having to take allergy medicines forever is not ideal. When I left my home town and moved to the coast, my really bad pollen allergies went away entirely. It was sudden, and it was awesome.

Long-term nasal congestion and mouth breathing can lead to some serious health problems you might not expect (including justifiable homicide by your SO). But seriously, If you aren't sleeping well and possibly having apnea, that can cause some significant health risks down the line like heart disease. So have your doctor see what's causing your allergies, and see if you can eliminate it.

kimmarg

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 08:18:37 PM »
I would definitely go see a doctor. I don't know much about allergies but I will say that just because something is available over the counter doesn't mean it's cheapest that way. I have had a Doctor prescribe OTC stuff but then my insurance covers it and it ends up cheaper for me. Also they may be able to prescribe a larger amount so you don't have to go back so often.

LifeOffGrid

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 08:20:58 PM »
I think that health is one area that shouldn't be skimped on financially.

If you have allergies it may be worth investigating some IgE tests. As an example, I've figured out that I'm allergic to Sunflower (particularly the oil). Eliminating products from my diet that contain sunflower oil has made a huge difference; I'm virtually allergy free these days.

If you wake up drowsy and unrested, I would strongly advise seeing an ENT for an endoscopy to assess your upper airway to make sure you aren't prone to sleep apnea or any related conditions. The investment of surgery if required could pay off well in the long-term.

I think that investing in our health is just as important as investing in education. With optimal health comes optimal productivity!

Edit: Beaten to the punch.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 08:25:45 PM by LifeOffGrid »

JimLahey

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 09:32:20 PM »
Have you tried Zyrtec? It works great for me this time of year when my allergies bother me the most. I was buying the generic Zyrtec at Wal-Mart, then tried the generic from Walgreens. I recently discovered that Costco sells a year supply (365 tablets) of generic Zyrtec. You can actually buy it on Amazon, which is what I did since I don't live near a Costco. I've only been using it for a few days now but it seems to be every bit as good as Zyrtec and doesn't really cause drowsiness.

http://www.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Aller-Tec-Cetirizine-Hydrochloride/dp/B0036DEALS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411097113&sr=8-2&keywords=kirkland+allergy

mlipps

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 09:48:31 PM »
Why don't you buy Allegra in bulk and off brand Sudaffed in small quantities? Then you're only paying for the brand name for half the medicine.

galliver

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2014, 10:00:34 PM »
I was curious and looked up if Costco carries it because my allergic-to-the-world bf gets giant supplies of Zyrtec there and says it's much cheaper than regular stores (I think savings on that and his contact solution pays for his membership over the year). According to the website, they carry regular Allegra (not sure about D). However, I also discovered that Allegra-D is just Allegra+pseudoephedrine (generic Sudafed).

One thing I'm wondering is, do you need both components? If the antihistamine works to cut your allergy symptoms, maybe you won't have congestion to decongest (or runny nose to stop)? And if the allergy med doesn't work and it's the decongestant, maybe just take that? If you do need both, maybe see if getting them separately is cheaper, or allows you to e.g. only take the decongestant when you need it?

Finally, pseudoephedrine is a stimulant, which might account for your wakefulness (as well as being able to breathe at night, probably plays a role too!).

flyfig

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 11:32:13 PM »
Check with your allergist for a test to confirm what you are allergic to. Just good info to have and maybe they can advise on the risks and benefits for allergy shots and confirm if there isn't something else going on with your chronic congestion issue. Allergy shots helped me a lot (allergic to the world) and moving out of high pollen areas has eliminated any allergy meds. Allergy shot treatment (teaching your body to tolerate the allergen) requires regular doses over months to years (depends on allergen and sensitivity). The technology is so much better than when I was a child but it's still not 1 shot deal (bad pun).

Then see if you health insurance will help cover Allerga D- this would be a help with cost but not with needing to go back often for supply.

Worst case scenario- get the 2 generic components and swallow 2 pills vs 1. It might take a few tries to get the dosage right- the 24 hour version I think has a time-release formulation and you may not get the same thing from 2 generic pills. All that would happen is that you might get more side effects than benefit. Consider starting with dosage from the 12 hour version (if that works for you) and tweak it a little to get the same effect as you would from one Allergra D tablet.

Goldielocks

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2014, 12:11:30 AM »
Try a neti pot.

It works without drugs in two ways...
1. Clears congestion from sinus temporarily ( but oh so wonderful),
and 2. washes allergens out of nasal passages, so 2x per day use is plenty.
  Very cheap.
I assume you are inhaling most of your allergens like me.

This really works!  Also, keep allergens out if your bedroom, shower after moderate to heavy exposure.  Ensure you don't have other allergies too.

Second option is a nasal strip that opens your pathway at night.  May be pricey too.  I've only used it for colds.

theadvicist

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2014, 02:05:03 AM »
Disclaimer: no experience with allergies, this is a 'my friend said' story, but still, thought it might be useful to someone.

She had terrible pollen allergies. I saw some expensive barrier type balm which you put around your nostrils and it 'catches' the pollen and stops it entering the nose. I read the ingredients, laughed, and said, 'Why not just use lipbalm?'. Well, she tried it, and it worked. YMMV etc.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2014, 05:35:40 AM »
Yep, I agree with the recommendations to see a doctor, and (not sure how it works in the US) ask for a referral to an immunologist. If your allergies are seriously affecting your quality of life without medication, I'm of the strong opinion that one should seek proper medical advice.

I have ongoing allergy issues and started seeing an immunologist this year. I'm currently on a high dose nasal steroid, steroid inhaler and a very high dose of Telfast (same as Allegra, I just found out by googling). There's no way I'd be taking pseudoephedrine (really really hard to get here) to manage my allergies. I had the skin prick tests done earlier this year and now have some basic management advice on how to minimise the impact in my personal life.

Agree with Astatine, only the doc I saw was an ENT at an allergy specialty clinic.   Only go that route if you've got decent insurance as the prick and scratch tests can be very expensive.   Before finding out what I was allergic to I was taking Claritin D a lot and still getting sinus infections.  Now I just have a steroid nasal spray (generic is $9/month) and am way healthier for it.  Taking sudafed day after day is just not a good habit to get into.

astvilla

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2014, 07:10:42 AM »
Try a neti pot.

It works without drugs in two ways...
1. Clears congestion from sinus temporarily ( but oh so wonderful),
and 2. washes allergens out of nasal passages, so 2x per day use is plenty.
  Very cheap.
I assume you are inhaling most of your allergens like me.

This really works!  Also, keep allergens out if your bedroom, shower after moderate to heavy exposure.  Ensure you don't have other allergies too.

Second option is a nasal strip that opens your pathway at night.  May be pricey too.  I've only used it for colds.

I second this opinion. I used a neti pot and I'm pretty confident that the price per use is definitely MUCH cheaper than behind the counter pseudoephedrine. It definitely feels amazing after you 1st use it, you'll never feel so clear in your life. It's also doesn't go into your blood so side effects are mainly irritative and discomfort. It's awkward at first, I thought the idea of water going in 1 nostril and out the other was alien but worked for me. Early on some water came out my mouth too lol but I'm getting better using it. It depends probably on your facial structure too and it can be painful if not used correctly.

As others have said, consult an MD and get some advice on chronic allergies, preferably an ENT.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2014, 07:24:19 AM »
I would definitely go see a doctor. I don't know much about allergies but I will say that just because something is available over the counter doesn't mean it's cheapest that way. I have had a Doctor prescribe OTC stuff but then my insurance covers it and it ends up cheaper for me. Also they may be able to prescribe a larger amount so you don't have to go back so often.

yes! this. also as others have said I think you really just need to go to a doctor, period.

Why don't you buy Allegra in bulk and off brand Sudaffed in small quantities? Then you're only paying for the brand name for half the medicine.

this too, and you can actually buy generic Allegra as well, that's what my bf and I use during the seasons when our allergies are really bad (seems to work better than generic Claritin for both of us, for some reason, although it is more expensive which sucks).


Cromacster

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2014, 07:38:09 AM »
I had essentially the same story as you.  Allergies all my life living with a cat.  Situation only worsened when I went away to college then came back.  Usually with a stuffy nose and congestion in the head.

Usually Zytec-D would work, but yea that stuff gets expensive and it's only 12 hr.

I recently switched to Nasacort Nasal spray.  This stuff has been the best thing I have ever used for my allergies.  It keeps me clear for a full 24hrs and I can actually breathe through my nose.

Nice thing is it can be picked up on amazon for cheap (compared to instore prices).  I'd recommend giving it a try.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2014, 07:51:42 AM »
If Allegra works for you, here's what I would do:

Go to your drug store and buy a small quantity of "Fexofenadine".  That is the generic equivalent of Allegra.  Try it for a few days.  If it works for you, buy this:  http://www.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Aller-Fex-180-Tablets/dp/B00IWL6KV2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411134323&sr=8-1&keywords=fexofenadine

$0.27 per dose

Take it in the morning with a glass of water, not at night.

Latwell

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2014, 08:44:20 AM »
Thank you everyone for the responses.


@frugaliknowit - The fexofedadine isn't what's solving my allergy problem. That's the main part of the normal allegra. About a month or two ago I had purchased the normal Allegra took it for over a week and kept wondering why I wasn't feeling any better. Then I realized I bought the wrong kind. It's the pseudoephedrine in the D version which helps my allergies.

One time I had a sinus infection and my doctor gave me a nasal spray. They had suspected it would help my allergies, and if I did I should let them know. However, the nasal spray did not seem to last nearly as long as it should. Either way, I wasn't a fan of putting anything in my nose which is why I don't feel comfortable using the netipot.


@galliver -  "if the allergy med doesn't work and it's the decongestant, maybe just take that? If you do need both, maybe see if getting them separately is cheaper, or allows you to e.g. only take the decongestant when you need it?" It's definitely the decongestant that is helping and yes, the pseudoephedrine is also the reason for my wakefulness (which is a serious blessing).



Pretty much everyone is in agreement that I may as well see a doctor. I honestly have no idea what I'm allergic to, but I know that whatever it is can't be avoided because it's in my home, at my work, outside, and at my clients. My employer just added me to their insurance and I've been looking over the plan. The plan seems to be much better than my previous one and I believe the prick test is pretty much covered (or a small portion out of pocket). I think it's about time I give them a call and find out once and for all what's going on.

Thanks again everyone :)!

Timmmy

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2014, 08:59:55 AM »
Have you tried Zyrtec? It works great for me this time of year when my allergies bother me the most. I was buying the generic Zyrtec at Wal-Mart, then tried the generic from Walgreens. I recently discovered that Costco sells a year supply (365 tablets) of generic Zyrtec. You can actually buy it on Amazon, which is what I did since I don't live near a Costco. I've only been using it for a few days now but it seems to be every bit as good as Zyrtec and doesn't really cause drowsiness.

http://www.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Aller-Tec-Cetirizine-Hydrochloride/dp/B0036DEALS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411097113&sr=8-2&keywords=kirkland+allergy

I can't express enough how well fake zyrtec has worked for me.  And since it's a 24 hour pill you can buy a years supply (365) for $20.  See a doctor anyway but seriously try this. 

jflo

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2014, 10:06:39 AM »
I use saline rinse which is really just a small amount of salt and a pinch of baking soda mixed with warm water. Use neti pot or squeeze bottle (sold with premixed saline packets - can't remember the brand but its sold w the other allergy/saline products).
For this to work you need to realize that you are really trying to flush allergens out of your nasal passages before they become a problem, so if your allergies are severe or non-airborne it might not work, but I'm usually able to avoid the drugs with preventive rinses.

galliver

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2014, 10:10:51 AM »
I use saline rinse which is really just a small amount of salt and a pinch of baking soda mixed with warm water. Use neti pot or squeeze bottle (sold with premixed saline packets - can't remember the brand but its sold w the other allergy/saline products).
For this to work you need to realize that you are really trying to flush allergens out of your nasal passages before they become a problem, so if your allergies are severe or non-airborne it might not work, but I'm usually able to avoid the drugs with preventive rinses.

I really, really hope you use distilled water and are not risking brain amoebas (it sounds like you're mixing your own, I could have read that wrong).

ragnathor

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2014, 10:15:03 AM »
Note: I had terrible allergies growing up, I have an ENT in the immediate family, and I myself am a physician.

First I would like to echo what others have said that you should see a physician. ENT/allergy doctor is possibly your best bet. I would recommend getting an allergy test. Would want to rule out having sleep apnea or sinusitis as well.

I had same terrible allergies at home, and I found out I was allergic to dust mites. It turned out old mattresses/carpet/dust did terrible things for me. I got a room air purifier and allergen protective coverings for my mattress/pillows (total ~$150) and it did wonders for my allergies. This may be the case if you notice drastic differences in sleeping on a new bed/apartment vs an older place.

horsepoor

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2014, 10:25:11 AM »
Couple things:  I get a year's supply of generic Zyrtec from CostCo for like $15.  They have the Claritin generic too, for the same price.

Changing my diet has helped my allergies drastically.  Last year I was able to go all summer with no meds.  This year I've been getting by with a pill every couple days unless wildfires are blowing smoke into the valley, then I take a pill daily.  Diet changes mean mainly little to no grains, reduced dairy, and little to no processed foods.  Lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

Neti pot now and then when it seems like crap is building up in my sinuses.

RichMoose

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2014, 10:48:31 AM »
I would definitely invest in getting a prick test done. It may cost you some money if your health insurance doesn't cover it, but I think it's well worth it. I suffered from really bad allergies with asthma from when I was about 5 years old. I used Claritin, Reactine, Allegra, and some other OTC medications for a long time. They only kind of work half-assed for me and sometimes I was taking double doses just to get by. After I got my prick test done, I found that I was moderate to highly allergic to nearly every tree pollen imaginable, highly allergic to grass, moderate to cats, low to house dust, and not to any foods. The doctor scaled it out for me and based on pollination seasons my moderate-severe allergy season went from February to November in my area. Based on the test results and my ridiculous long season, I decided to go for shots. I'm still taking shots but it's not cheap, about $400 - $600 a year I would guess depending on your frequency and if your doctor supplying the serum intentionally low fills the vials so you have to buy more of them. I'm currently using a HSA through my employer to pay for them. Its actually worked great and now I supplement with OTC meds only for a week or so a year when we have forest fire smoke coming through. As for my shots, I go in once a month right now. It did start at once a week though. After the first year, my doctor let me do them at home as long as my wife is there and I have my Twinjet Epipen. Fortunately I've never had a reaction and from years of experience with allergies/asthma I can tell when one is coming.

The test was very helpful in my decision because if it showed I was allergic to only one to two tree pollens and cats, I could easily just take to Claritin-D during those short pollen seasons, try stay indoors, and avoid cats like the plague. Most trees pollinate from 1-3 weeks and at a specific time each year. Knowing what you're allergic to can significantly reduce your allergy medication costs over the years.

rubybeth

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2014, 11:32:16 AM »
Am I the only one here who doesn't think $40/month is 'antimustachian'? I think you should find out what you are allergic to via a doctor/allergist, but I take generic Zyrtec daily, at around $.25/day or whatever the generic on sale cost is, and it's totally worth it. And, get over putting things in your nose and do a nasal steroid if they prescribe it. It doesn't work immediately like an oral medication does--you need to keep doing it every day for many weeks, in some cases, to see the real benefit. I also like the neti-pot style thing, but I use a Sinus Rinse bottle instead. It's very easy to use and the packets prevent 'sting' and the first few times you use it, it's very weird, but I highly recommend (it's like $10 or so): http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/neilmed-sinus-rinse-original-sinus-kit/

beltim

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2014, 12:15:15 PM »
Am I the only one here who doesn't think $40/month is 'antimustachian'?

No.  There's probably an amount of money that I'd take in exchange for always having a runny and/or stuffed up nose, along with the rest of the OP's symptoms, but it'd have to be way more than $40/month.  I'd say 1-2 orders of magnitude more.

There's a difference between being frugal and cheap.  A lot of the posts so far have been identifying potentially frugal ideas to have the same quality of life at a lower price point than the current $40/month.  Going without entirely would clearly be cheap and miserly.

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2014, 12:26:17 PM »
Have you tried LOCAL honey?

If you find local (i.e. grown within 30 miles of your house, try a farmers market honey) and use it year round, it can help with many plant/nature based allergies. It will take a while to work (6 months?), so you may have to wait a while to see results. Will be a little bit cheaper, but most importantly - it is honey and not a drug.

Beric01

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2014, 12:30:08 PM »
Am I the only one here who doesn't think $40/month is 'antimustachian'?

No.  There's probably an amount of money that I'd take in exchange for always having a runny and/or stuffed up nose, along with the rest of the OP's symptoms, but it'd have to be way more than $40/month.  I'd say 1-2 orders of magnitude more.

There's a difference between being frugal and cheap.  A lot of the posts so far have been identifying potentially frugal ideas to have the same quality of life at a lower price point than the current $40/month.  Going without entirely would clearly be cheap and miserly.

I have had a stuffed up/runny nose year-round for the past 10 years. My eyes also get itchy when on grass. No allergy medicine has worked well for me. I've just learned to live with it! For one, I always carry a handkerchief.

I've wondered in the past if it's worth it to go in and see a specialist, but it's too expensive. A visit is not guaranteed to fix anything, while it is guaranteed to cost me a good bit of money.

beltim

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2014, 12:47:38 PM »
Am I the only one here who doesn't think $40/month is 'antimustachian'?

No.  There's probably an amount of money that I'd take in exchange for always having a runny and/or stuffed up nose, along with the rest of the OP's symptoms, but it'd have to be way more than $40/month.  I'd say 1-2 orders of magnitude more.

There's a difference between being frugal and cheap.  A lot of the posts so far have been identifying potentially frugal ideas to have the same quality of life at a lower price point than the current $40/month.  Going without entirely would clearly be cheap and miserly.

I have had a stuffed up/runny nose year-round for the past 10 years. My eyes also get itchy when on grass. No allergy medicine has worked well for me. I've just learned to live with it! For one, I always carry a handkerchief.

I've wondered in the past if it's worth it to go in and see a specialist, but it's too expensive. A visit is not guaranteed to fix anything, while it is guaranteed to cost me a good bit of money.

Your situation is potentially different.  The allergy meds that work for the OP don't work for you.  I do wonder, though, how much going to a specialist would cost you.  Over the last 10 years, or the next 50, it might be a very low cost per year.

Sylly

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2014, 01:06:48 PM »
I really, really hope you use distilled water and are not risking brain amoebas (it sounds like you're mixing your own, I could have read that wrong).

The two brands of neti pot stuff I'm aware of instructs the use of distilled or previously boiled water. When I use it, I boil the water earlier in the evening and use it closer to bed time, when it's cooled sufficiently.

DoubleDown

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2014, 02:28:31 PM »
I honestly have no idea what I'm allergic to, but I know that whatever it is can't be avoided because it's in my home, at my work, outside, and at my clients. My employer just added me to their insurance and I've been looking over the plan. The plan seems to be much better than my previous one and I believe the prick test is pretty much covered (or a small portion out of pocket). I think it's about time I give them a call and find out once and for all what's going on.

Are you certain that your troubles are from allergies??? The fact that allergy meds do nothing for you, and only decongestants bring relief suggests this has nothing at all to do with allergies. Are you having any other allergy symptoms like an itchy throat, itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, etc.? If you have only a stuffy nose with no other symptoms, a visit to an ENT would be in order. For example, a deviated septum is a very common malady that will cause constant nasal congestion, and surgery to correct it will work wonders -- same with enlarged turbinates -- you will never need drugs again and will breathe better than ever.*

If it is from allergies, then good for you on pursuing the prick test to determine what is causing the trouble. You never know, you might be allergic to things only in your current region/climate. If that's the case, you might consider moving to an area that doesn't have your triggers -- or at least take a trip for a few days and see what happens. You might find the difference to be night and day, especially in places like a beach or desert climate. Also, many people outgrow their allergies, or they change over time, so they may get better on their own.

If you still need the meds, I'd definitely discuss with your doc some better alternatives to pseudophedrine for long-term use.

* You can start with a small self-test, although an ENT will be the only definitive way to know for sure:

- Look in the mirror at your nose -- is it crooked at all, even a tiny bit?
- Plug one nostril at a time and try to breathe. Can you breathe easier on one side?
- Look in the mirror and breathe in quickly through your nose. Does either nostril suck in more than the other or close off?

If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, then you may have a deviated septum and/or enlarged turbinates. No amount of meds is likely to resolve this, and you really should consider surgery to correct it.

justchristine

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2014, 02:46:02 PM »
I had essentially the same story as you.  Allergies all my life living with a cat.  Situation only worsened when I went away to college then came back.  Usually with a stuffy nose and congestion in the head.

Usually Zytec-D would work, but yea that stuff gets expensive and it's only 12 hr.

I recently switched to Nasacort Nasal spray.  This stuff has been the best thing I have ever used for my allergies.  It keeps me clear for a full 24hrs and I can actually breathe through my nose.

Nice thing is it can be picked up on amazon for cheap (compared to instore prices).  I'd recommend giving it a try.

I just discovered the wonders of Nasacort too.  It has been an absolute miracle.  I have had bad allergies year round for about 25 yrs. I've been to multiple allergists, tried prescription and most of the OTC drugs and even did allergy shots for a number of years.  I tried various diets, neti pots and other holistic remedies with no luck.  While the neti pot did help with allergy induced sinus infections, it didn't help with my normal allergy symptoms.  The only thing that worked up until this year was Benadryl, which I had to offset the drowsiness with lots of caffeine.  Since switching to Nasacort, I've only needed to take my Benadryl a few times before bed when the mold counts were extremely high.

OP, don't be afraid to try new treatments because sometimes it's surprising what helps and what doesn't.  However, don't be afraid of sticking to a treatment that works because it's expensive.  What's the point of being frugal if you are physically miserable.

$200k

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2014, 03:41:48 PM »
Another +1 for the neti pot.  Also, yes, you must use distilled water or boiled water (let it cool, obviously) to avoid the brain eating amoebas from tap water that can kill you (google it).

Mega

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2014, 04:19:01 PM »
Also, not sure if it was mentioned, but it sounds like you have obstructive sleep apnea. You decongestant removes the blockage, which is why you feel better if you take it.

See an ENT

ToughMother

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2014, 05:21:15 PM »
I have more allergies (and severe asthma) than you can shake a stick at.  I LIVE on Allegra.  It is an important and beloved part of my budget because then I can breathe!!!!

If it works, buy it.  You get to live to save save save and FIRE some day -- all through a clear and happy nose.  ;-)

mozar

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2014, 11:24:25 AM »
I know several people who use boiron. I've never been patient enough to try it because it can take a few weeks to work. I knew a woman who used it for cat allergies. You take capsules that have tiny amounts of the allergen, to build up your immune system. My mom also uses boirpn. She has an immune disorder (that I also have) and one of the symptoms is that the moisture in her eyes will not either dry out or clump enough to remove it. So it just stays a consistency that bothers her all day. I'm not sure how the one she picked works but she has been symptom free for years. You just pick the one that addresses your symptoms.
http://www.amazon.com/Boiron-Homeopathic-Medicine-Montana-Pellets/dp/B0006NYI7C

CanuckExpat

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2014, 02:08:00 AM »
Latwell, I feel your pain and your joy.. I suffer from the same congestion and discomfort, and have found relief and sleep in Claratin-D.

Like you, I can't get it in bulk or cheap due to the prevalence of meth-heads. There is not much you can do about it, short of convincing your town/state/country to let you buy your medicine how ever you want or buying your pills online or in another country.. the last option might be a bit sketchy :)

One thing that might help: check if you have a Costco pharmacy nearby. They tend to sell a Kirkland brand generic version of Claratin D and Allegra-D I think. You still can't buy in bulk, but it is quite a bit cheaper than the name brand.

As others have mentioned you can try buying generic psuedopherine/sudafed pills. In my case, I never found that helped much. The allergy med versions have a slow release over 12/24 hours, and that worked much better for me than the straight up non-slow release pseudophed.

If you haven't, as others have also mentioned, seeing a doctor might help, but it's not a guarantee of a cure.
I've been through several GP, two allergists, and (from what I understand) a highly rated ENT, and unfortuately no closer to being drug free. I just understand better why they can't help me and have gone through a lot of prescription nasal sprays (and some serious co-pays) :)

Of course, you may not want to be taking pseudopherine regularly if you have heart or blood pressure issues, so that's something worth talking about with a doctor...

Other side tip, Costco for me has been a great place to buy the nasal spray, Nasocort, that people have mentioned, cheaply and in bulk. It hasn't helped me .nearly as much as the pseudo, but if you are looking to get it cheap, check Costco.

In the end, it is great to have a pill that lets you breath and sleep, do not underestimate that!

TomTX

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2014, 06:11:56 AM »
Why don't you buy Allegra in bulk and off brand Sudaffed in small quantities? Then you're only paying for the brand name for half the medicine.

30 doses of pseudoephedrine is less than $2 @ Costco.

Bristlingblackmustache

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2014, 07:59:51 PM »
My turn. I suffered from allergies my entire life (I'm 43). I went Paleo/Primal two years ago after reading Mark Sisson's blog called Marksdailyapple.com that's also where I found a link to MMM! Anyway I stopped eating all grains since there is no nutrition in them anyway. A BAGEL IS THE SAME AS A BAG OF SKITTLES. Get to the point right? Allergies, I found out are an auto-immune response most likely caused by leaky gut syndrome which gluten causes. Long story short, I went from taking two 24-hr Claratin D to ZERO, that's right no allergy meds in two years. I know it's the gluten because I'll get slight flare-ups after a weekend good beers. Oh ya I also went from around 18% body fat to about 12%. Check it out, MMM himself is probably 90% paleo.

Latwell

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2014, 07:17:37 AM »
Note: I had terrible allergies growing up, I have an ENT in the immediate family, and I myself am a physician.

I had same terrible allergies at home, and I found out I was allergic to dust mites. It turned out old mattresses/carpet/dust did terrible things for me. I got a room air purifier and allergen protective coverings for my mattress/pillows (total ~$150) and it did wonders for my allergies. This may be the case if you notice drastic differences in sleeping on a new bed/apartment vs an older place.

We actually just moved in to a brand new apartment (literally just finished being built in June, moved in July). I honestly didn't notice any differences between my allergies at the old place compared to the new place. Though, I did notice that my SO hasn't been sneezing as often. Also, I happened to get an air purifier last week for my SO. He's been running it almost constantly (I make him turn it off if we aren't around to save energy).

As for the coverings, I do have a covering for the bed (we had originally just got it to protect the bed) but I think I will also try a pillow protector. Thanks for the suggestion.


Are you certain that your troubles are from allergies??? The fact that allergy meds do nothing for you, and only decongestants bring relief suggests this has nothing at all to do with allergies. Are you having any other allergy symptoms like an itchy throat, itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, etc.? If you have only a stuffy nose with no other symptoms, a visit to an ENT would be in order. For example, a deviated septum is a very common malady that will cause constant nasal congestion, and surgery to correct it will work wonders -- same with enlarged turbinates -- you will never need drugs again and will breathe better than ever.*

It's definitely allergies. Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, itchy nose, itchy throat if I'm in a place that it really bad (my parent's attic, my workplace's storage room)


Also, not sure if it was mentioned, but it sounds like you have obstructive sleep apnea. You decongestant removes the blockage, which is why you feel better if you take it.
One or more people mentioned I am probably sleeping better because I can breathe better. Idk why I didn't think of it that way previously. That definitely makes sense.

Am I the only one here who doesn't think $40/month is 'antimustachian'?
There's a difference between being frugal and cheap.  A lot of the posts so far have been identifying potentially frugal ideas to have the same quality of life at a lower price point than the current $40/month.  Going without entirely would clearly be cheap and miserly.
I am definitely trying to find a frugal alternative. I'm definitely not being cheap because I keep buying the allergy medicine that works for me, just wish it didn't cost so much.






I haven't gone to the doctor yet but still plan to even if I find a solution for the sole reason of just wanting to finally know what I'm allergic to. I've decided to try a theory/method my friend uses.

I was discussing w/ a friend my allergy issue. They had similar issues as I do. They started off by taking the Decongestant version of something to have immediately relief, but then switched to the regular version of the product after a few days. They explained that it got rid of the difficult problem (stuffy nose) but then their stuffy nose wouldn't come back because the regular allergy medicine would continue to block the allergies which were causing the stuffy nose. They explained that they kept some decongestant version around incase they forgot to take the regular version one day. So if I forgot to take the regular Allegra last night, I could take the Allegra-D this morning to immediately have relief and then go back to the regular Allegra again afterwards. My friend also mentioned that without taking the decongestant first, the regular version would take a week of continued use to have the same results as the decongestant version.

I'm going to try the method my friend is using. If this works, then I'll be able to drastically cut my costs bc like many people have mentioned previously, the Sams club/Costco/BJ's has allergy medicine w/ 90ct for $32 here.

Dee18

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2014, 10:40:47 AM »
Zyrtec works best for me and it is cheap when purchased with a prescription.  Ask your doctor for one.  My last refill of 30 tablets was $ 3.65.  When the doctor first handed me a prescription for Zyrtec, I said, "isn't that an over the counter med?"  She said, "yes, at about ten times the price."  Plus, my insurance plan reimburses the $ 3.65 so it is actually free to me. 

MikeBear

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Re: Antimustachian Allergy Medicine
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2014, 05:33:26 PM »
Wal-Zyr 300 count brand of Zyrtec, is around $40.00 at our local Walgreens store. Since each pill last 24hours, that's over 10 months worth, or longer if you don't have to take one every single day.

$40.00/300 = 0.13 cents per pill.

$40 a year is pretty cheap...