Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where's my zyrtec?

The great thing about clinically quiescent lupus is that I'm on very few medications. The bad thing about clinically quiescent lupus...is that I'm on very few medications!

What do I mean? For the majority of my eight + years with lupus, I've been on Zyrtec (and Zantac) to control angioedema - random swellings in my lips and eyelids. As my disease activity lessened (and I started taking better care of myself), my swellings decreased considerably, so my doctor and I decided to see how I would do sans the two medications. Thankfully - I did great! I haven't had any swellings at all - but now that it's allergy season, I'm missing my Zyrtec. I never realized that for all of those years, the drug was keeping allergy symptoms at bay. For the past three springs that I've been Zyrtec-free - I've either lost my voice (due to a scratchy throat), had itchy, watery eyes, or, like this year, had a runny nose and congestion.

I know I could go back on Zyrtec (since it's now sold over-the-counter), but you know what? I'm enjoying my slimmed-down list of medications. I've worked hard to reduce my prescriptions to the two that I'm on...so I think I'll tough it out for now.

However, depending on the pollen count over the next few weeks - I may change my mind. Check back with me in a month...and if I don't get back to you...it's because I'm probably at the drugstore buying my Zyrtec.

4 comments:

  1. I feel you on this one. My allergies are out of control right now. My eyes have been itchy, my sinuses have been congested and my nose runny, and I'm sneezing a lot! In the past I have tried Claritin (over the counter) and it didn't seem to do much. Then I went to my primary care doc and he prescribed both Veramyst and Astelyn to help with my nose. After having to switch primary doctors because of insurance reasons, I've been lazy about getting new prescriptions of these nasal sprays, because they did seem to help a lot with making it easier to breathe. I have tried zyrtec a little recently, but it seems to tire me out easily (but with lupus sometimes it's hard to find the real culprit with fatigue - between the disease itself, being out in the sun during this warm weather we've been having in DC, and the meds I'm on - who knows! haha). As a lupus patient, I am on two meds - plaquenil, and lisinopril for high blood pressure. I also take something for anxiety, and a multivitamin, calcium + D, as well as a concentrated dose of vitamin D once a week to get my levels up. Phew. So, when it comes to adding anything else to the mix, I say to myself, gee, I'm such a walking pharmacy, let it stop! Especially being only 26 years old! :P

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  2. Oh, the pills just don't stop, do they? I agree that the fatigue side-effect is always hard to pinpoint. Is it lupus, or is it the drug, or both? I eventually was able to figure it out once I started keeping track of my meds on my chronic control spreadsheet, but it took awhile!

    And as for your age - I remember checking into the hospital once, and the nice lady who was registering me took one look at all of my checkmarks by the symptoms I was experiencing, my list of medications, and then my date of birth, and said, "Oh, honey. You're too young to have all this." Yeah, you think? :)

    Hang in there - hopefully, the rain will keep that nasty pollen away!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I really think less is more when it comes to taking pills! although with the lupus - sometimes I feel like I will always have to take something.

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  4. Yup - life with lupus seems to necessitate at least a few pills. But definitely - the fewer we have to take, the better!

    Thanks for stoping by - your site looks great!

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