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Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Friday, May 16, 2008
Dairy lurks EVERYWHERE

Anyone who deals with food allergies knows to check the ingredients of everything every time! Lactose and casein (one of the main proteins found in dairy) are commonly used as binding agents and can show up in paint, glue, toothpaste and many other household items as well as, of course, food.

Our supply of Benadryl just expired and with Zyrtec now available OTC, I decided to switch since it is what our allergist recommends. It is also my allergy medication of choice. Lucky for us Shop Rite had it on sale this week for $9.99 (normally close to $15 each) per bottle PLUS I had $8.00 worth of coupons. We like to have 3 bottles on hand because we have two emergency travel packs and then a supply for the house. So I sent J out to get two bottles of liquid and one chewables thinking the chewables would be convenient for a cooperative allergic child. The liquid is for the times I need to pour it down her throat. :)

Today, I looked at the packaging and saw flavorings (always a red flag) and "lactose monohydrate. Now I have no clue what the monohydrate means and there are ingredients that sound suspiciously like it is from dairy, but end up not being derived from dairy. So, as always, to be safe, I called. And yes, Zyrtec Chewables do indeed contain dairy. So that leads me to this question...

Why in the world would you put one of the Top 8 Food Allergens in an ALLERGY MEDICATION?!?

I'm waiting on confirmation that the liquid is safe from dairy. Since it is typically used as a binding agent, I doubt it - but as an Allergy Mom, we can never assume anything!!!

Let me also point out that Zyrtec has what looks like a handy link entitled, "Meet the Allergens" on their site. Nowhere on this page are food allergies mentioned.

And here is a video that will show you just how severe some children's allergies can be.

posted at 7:50 PM  

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Amy said...

After joining "FEAST" (our local support group), I learned that we don't have it so tough.
It's amazing what a little perspective can do! ;)

On the Zyrtec note, YIPES, I'm so glad you noticed that!! Pls let me know if you learn anything on that!

At 12:22 AM, Blogger Mamique said...

Thanks for the post. I knew to be vigilant, but it seems absurd that I'd have to check my childs allergy medication for allergens, lol! (yes, I'm shaking my head on that one)
FYI - Lactose is a sugar in dairy and people are not allergic to it (although they can have an intolerance), whey is the other protein that people can be allergic to (in addition to casein).
That being said, most lactose is derived from dairy so there is no guarantee that there will be no protein contamination, thus if it's listed as an ingredient, the product should be avoided.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Sue said...

Mamique - You’re right lactose is technically not a dairy protein. But, some dairy allergic children/people can and do react to it. I always err on the side of caution and will not give Kayla anything with dairy in it – in any form.

Amy – Will do.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Zany Mama said...

This reminds me of the benadryl chewables(?) which have soy - another great decision by medicine makers.

In a related rant, there are about 5 different kinds of over-the-counter zyrtec available right now...and they are ALL IN BOXES WHICH LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME. Hence, the "zyrtec for hives" which is for six year olds (according to the box) is in an amazingly similar package as the "zyrtec for allergies" (which can be taken by 2+ year olds).

If you happen to have a child who is between the ages of 2-6 and you accidentally give the 6 year old medicine to your 4 year old because the BOXES LOOK JUST THE SAME, you'll be relieved when poison control tells you that these are actually the exact same medicine...same active ingredient...same dosage...just marketed differently.

And a little part of your heart will nurture a resentment toward zyrtec's makers that you can't quite get over. Ugh.


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