New medications available for the treatment of allergies and asthma

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Dr. Bullock highlights several medications that have become available in the past couple of years.

1. Cetirizine (trade name Zyrtec) has joined Loratadine as an over-the-counter, 24-hour, non-drowsy antihistamine for relief of nasal and eye allergy.

2. A drug named Xyzal, a new version of Zyrtec, has joined the list of prescription antihistamines available to children.

3. Allegra is now available in a chewable form.

4. Asmanex, an inhaled anti-inflammatory steroid unique in that it can be given just once a day, has been approved for asthmatic children down to the age of 4.

5. A new steroid with slightly different metabolism, Ciclesonide, has emerged and is available in an inhaled form as Alvesco, and in a nasal spray as Omnaris.

6. Symbicort, a combination of a steroid and a long-acting form of albuterol, is a new inhaled drug available for children ages 12 and older, with difficult-to-control asthma.

7. Xolair is a newer therapy used for asthmatic children, ages 12 and older with allergies and moderate to severe asthma. It is an immune monoclonal antibody therapy that blocks our own allergic antibody. It is given as an injection once or twice a month and usually is used in combination with other asthma medications and allergy shots.