For allergy sufferers, treatment with prescription or over the counter drugs brings great relief, but for some, the cost in terms of side effects is high. Weight gain is often associated with the medicines used for allergies. This makes an individual feel they may have to choose between weight gain and a lessening of allergy symptoms such as swelling, sneezing and watery eyes.
One of the most common drugs taken to combat the symptoms of allergies, Benadryl includes weight gain in its list of side effects. Benadryl is known to slow down body functions and reactions, which is why driving and operating heavy machinery is forbidden while taking it. This is also why weight gain can be a side effect as a slower metabolism will absorb more calories from the food passing through the digestive processes. As it is available without a prescription, many allergy suffers self-medicate with this to cut costs and save time, when a consultation with their health care provider would be more suitable to tailor allergy drugs precisely to the individual.
Zyrtec (Cetirizine Hydrochloride)
This allergy drug uses antihistamine for treatment of multiple allergy symptoms. As it is available over the counter, statistics are hard to compile and not complete on what percentage of those taking it experience weight gain. The manufacturers suggest an estimated 2 percent are affected by weight gain and the best measures to combat it include dietary changes, more exercise and consulting with a physician to find a more suitable medicine.
Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride)
Zoloft is a mild sedative frequently prescribed to reduce anxiety and used in combination with allergy drugs, some of which produce sleeplessness and a feeling of nervousness in patients. It is known to increase appetite, leading to weight gain so a further consultation with a health care provider should be scheduled if this symptom appears with a gain of 20 pounds or more. Solutions may involve reducing dosage of Zoloft, changing to another medication, or switching the main allergy medication or lowering its dosage. It is very important to reduce dosage slowly and only with the supervision of a doctor, especially if a patient has been taking Zoloft for some time, as an abrupt cessation of the medication may produce unpleasant side effects. This is also true for any of the prescription medicines used to treat allergies.
As an allergy medicine frequently used in the treatment of children, Dimetapp is a household name that parents trust and are familiar with. What they may not know are the side effects, which include weight gain. Dimetapp is a first generation antihistamine that has been on the market for years, and any allergy sufferers who experience weight gain while taking it should consult with doctors to see if newer third generation allergy drugs are more suitable.
Chlor-Trimeton (Chlorpheniramine Maleate)
This is another allergy drug, commonly prescribed for any overreaction to external stimuli, (which is the definition of an allergy) that can result in weight gain from increased appetite. Another older form of allergy medication, Chlor-Trimeton, is popular with sufferers who only occasionally experience symptoms. For example, in the spring of each year one may use it and put up with its side effects, unaware that more recent drugs could provide the same degree of relief, or better, without side effects.