RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 2, 2017) - For the 20 to 25 per cent of Canadians who are affected by seasonal allergies1, there are now more relief options available over-the-counter without a prescription.
One example is Flonase Allergy Relief which was approved for over-the-counter use in Canada in August of last year, making this the first spring allergy season where Canadians will be able to access the medication without a prescription. The intranasal corticosteroid spray relieves common symptoms associated with seasonal allergies, such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose and throat, nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes as well as management of sinus pain and pressure.
With many over-the-counter options available for specific allergy symptoms, London Drugs pharmacists are encouraging patients to ask for assistance in selecting the right medication. Pharmacists can provide information about new relief options, help patients understand how to use medications safely and identify potential side effects or drug interactions.
"The therapy of choice will depend on your symptoms, the severity of your symptoms, your past response to medications, and other medical conditions that you have, if any," says pharmacist Gianni Del Negro. "There may be new or better options available to treat your specific symptoms or that target specific allergens. We can help pinpoint which product will work best for you, whether it's using an antihistamine, decongestant, nasal spray or eye drops, for instance."
Del Negro recommends prepping the medicine cabinet early. Sometimes starting allergy medication two weeks prior to the beginning of the season allows the medication to enter the system and be in full effect by the time allergy season officially hits.
"Being proactive can help to minimize symptoms before they intensify. Don't wait until your eyes are itchy and you're sneezing continuously before seeking relief," advises Del Negro.
Since respiratory problems associated with seasonal allergies are initially caused by pollen and dust in the air, the best prevention method is allergen avoidance.
"Avoidance may mean changing your habits like staying indoors during high pollen times. If the allergen is something you can't completely avoid, like dust mites, there are other steps you can take. These may include removing household décor items that collect dust, using central air conditioning during high pollen times, reducing air humidity with a dehumidifier and using HEPA filters."
Del Negro says that most people with seasonal allergies know they have it, although it can sometimes be confused with the common cold. Before any over-the-counter antihistamines or allergy relief products are taken, patients need to ensure the allergies aren't something more severe.
ABOUT LONDON DRUGS
Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 80 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store www.LondonDrugs.com. London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development. @LondonDrugs
1 Allergy Asthma Information Association of Canada. Available at http://www.aaia.ca/en/media_statistics.htm. Accessed April 2017.