Seasonal colds and OTC decongestants

So I feel like crap…but I don’t feel like crap. I’m wondering if the Claritin D I take for allergies has anything to do with it. I suspect the decongestant is preventing the buildup of snot in my head, which prevents the sinus drippage down the back of my throat, which keeps it from settling in my chest.

So I feel sick, but I don’t feel sick. Does that make sense?

I’ve noticed when my allergies are bad, and I don’t use the decongestant version specifically, my hearing gets worse, again, I suspect inflammation is affecting my hearing.

Claritin D is a tablet that combines loratidine and pseudoephedrine (PSE); the latter is a decongestant also commonly found in cold medications (although largely replaced with phenylephrine since PSE is a precurser in the manufacture of methamphetamine). It makes sense that when you take Claritin D, you get relief from cold symptoms as well as allergy symptoms.

I don’t know enough to know why your hearing could be affected, though your hypothesis makes a certain amount of sense to me.

I guess the question is: is some large percentage of a cold’s unpleasantness caused by the after effects…if you don’t get the runny nose, then you cut the cold short by 60%, because you don’t have the drainage, coagulation, and eventual removal phases of a headcold.

Maybe it depends on the type of illness it is. You might have a sinus infection instead of a cold, the symptoms are similar. And if you get rid of the infected mucus, that’s it. The sinus infection goes away. So stuff that thins your mucus could alleviate symptoms that way, too.

IANAD. All my medical knowledge comes from reading online and my memory is less than perfect.

Ears get stuffed up from seasonal allergies too (apparently it’s also caused by the nasal congestion), not just noses. My pharmacist says that pseudoephedrine is good to help with that symptom too, and it seems to me that she’s right.

It’s a bummer that

a) They treat the law-abiding citizens, all due to the behavior of a few drug dealers

and

b) It’s not as cheap, in volume, as the non-decongestant version, partially as a result of ‘a’.

Well, the price might have something to do with the fact that there are TWO medications in the same package. You’re not just paying for a package of loratidine, you’re paying for a package of loratidine and pseudoephedrine combined. It’s probably priced the same or a tiny bit lower than buying the drugs separately.

A large part of cold symptoms are from histamine reaction to the proteins from the virus. Thus, an antihistamine drug that also has decongestant in it would work very well for a cold. That’s why you pretty much see cold and allergy descriptors on most of those meds.

And here I thought not having a whole lotta colds lately we due to all the crap I caught when the kids went through daycare…perhaps it’s a combination of the two.