Claritin: Minimally effective vs. placebo
If I get to see an ad, I get to comment on it. I'm familiar with a lengthy article about the regulatory review of Claritin in which it was pointed out that test subjects experienced a 43% improvement in symptoms on Claritin compared to a 32% improvement on placebo. Turns out a more significant improvement requires a higher dose, 40mg, but that is sedating.
Claritin - My personal experience is that I have has excellent results with Claritin, I buy the generic version (Loratadine) and since I am a large guy, I have used 2 pills for years as my standard dose when I need medication. I also supplement as needed Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine). I have some seasonal allergy issues. I often struggled with how 1 pill for a 100lb person works for a 220lb. person as the recommended dose is a 10mg. pill. I did a little research a few years ago and found a graph that showed where side effects seemed to kick in and I felt safe taking 2 pills. Additional research also seemed to indicate they really don't know how long a dose of Claritin lasts or is effective, for some people it seems to be 16 hrs and others its 24 hrs. So I time my medications to make sure I am closer to the 16hr range of effectiveness. I have found other ways to help out with congestion/allergies when diving.
1.) Wake up a few hrs. early before diving. and let the head settle down a little.
2.) Take a hot shower early in the morning to break up the congestion.
3.) Try to descend feet first when diving.
4.) Decend slowly and let your buddy and DM know you might be slow to the bottom
5.) Be aware of reverse block possibilities for timing medications properly
I have no formal medical training - this is just the opinion of some idiot who is a diver for 30+ years and posts on the internet.
Last edited by bobcat; 04-24-2013 at 10:58 AM.
Originally Posted by Travis
When I've tried Claritin at home, it seems to have minimal effect, starting at least an hour after I've taken it and wearing off within 4-10 hours. Too generic loratadine provided by a friend on the dive boat when I was out of Pseudoephedrine. Result was having to sit out a dive - aborted at about 10' and took about five minutes to clear reverse squeezes (both ears) sufficiently to surface. Rather than clear my sinuses, the effect is to dry them out and create hard plugs from the soft mucus. Anyone else ever experienced a squeeze and a reverse squeeze simultaneously? While interesting, I don't recommend trying it!
Pseudoephedrine rocks - a 24 hour dose lasts through almost an entire dive day!
Otherwise agree with Bobcat and his list of suggestions - to which I'd like to add
6.) Avoid allergens for a period before diving. For me this means I'm better off on a dive trip than on weekend diving - driving from home. Locking cats out of the bedroom for a night is not sufficient.
Like a Finn out of water
My allergist gently prods me to get rid of our cats every time I see him.....but we definitely keep them permanently locked out of our bedroom and keep all dive gear in a separate room in the basement that they can't get to. For me, it's Allegra - 60mg every day.
I've never tried the shower suggestion before - good tip!
Last edited by large_diver; 04-25-2013 at 06:25 AM.
Taking an antihistamine shortly before a dive won't accomplish anything. They're meant to prevent symptoms or relieve them by reducing the reaction, but that takes time. They are drying (benadryl worse than the others) but won't really decongest you. I find Loratidine and Fexofenidine to work about the same. Decongesting takes pseudophed and if you're really congested, even that's not going to help unless taken at least 30 minutes before. As someone with severe allergies I always travel with Prednisone. I take it when I first begin noticing severe symptoms of allergy (not responding to antihistamines) It usually knocks back the allergic response enough to let me enjoy my vacation, and even dive. Steroids aren't benign either, so your allergist or PCP would be the one to let you know if they're advisable for you.