Fun with allergies

Apparently I’m not the only one suffering from allergies lately. Daniel Silverstone posted about his experiences in the UK so I thought I’d respond.

I only take Loratadine 10mg (brand name Claratin in the US) and find it effective. I’ve never taken more than the prescribed amount so I can’t speak to side effects, but I do have a remedy for when Loratadine doesn’t work – vitamin C.

In addition to it’s other benefits, vitamin C is an antihistamine. Earlier this week I took my allergy pill and an hour later I felt no better so I started taking C. I take two 500mg pills and an hour later I take 2 more and keep going until I see results. Once I’m in a full blown allergic reaction it takes a while for the level of C in the blood to build up and do it’s job (3 hours this time).

A gram an hour is extreme, but this particular day it was necessary. Sometimes I might do 500mg an hour. If I feel like I’m getting a cold I use the same strategy and it seems to help.

Vitamin C is acidic so overdosing will eventually cause diarrhea, but it’s a pretty benign side effect. If you get diarrhea it’s time to back off. There are less acidic forms of C but they’re hard to find and I’ve read they don’t get absorbed well. I’m not a doctor of course and I’m not telling anyone what to do, but I’ve been doing this for 15 years and it works for me.

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