Pollen season is upon us

By Mir
March 26, 2009

Well, it’s upon us here in the south. Maybe not so much up north, yet, but down here? Every day we wake up to a wonderland that includes a skim coat of yellow pollen on everything. The driveway, the car, the mailbox. Let’s just say I tell the kids to keep moving whenever they’re outside.

Last year was our first pollen season here, and I was delighted to discover that my child who’s allergic to everything was perfectly fine. I’d been warned of this—it usually takes a season to acclimate to new pollens, and then the following year the allergies begin. Still, I was somehow surprised this year when the poor kid started sneezing and scratching. It’s like he walked right out of one of those commercials: red, watery eyes; runny nose; little barky cough. Pitiful! So yesterday I went and bought him some generic Claritin. It cost $14 for 30 pills, which seemed ridiculous.

This morning I went straight to Amazon and confirmed my suspicion that this magical loratadine can be had much cheaper. For just a few dollars more, I can get 300 pills. Ten times as much for a couple more bucks, shipped free to my door? I’m in.


  1. Ain’t life in the south grand?

    Don’t even THINK about washing your car for a month or more…there’s just no point.

  2. The big yellow pollen is pine pollen, which I don’t think anyone is allergic to. It’s too big to get into the… something. Into whatever it is that triggers the allergy. But yeah, it’s ugly. And yeah, when we moved to Atlanta the first or second spring I developed a walrus-like cough to something, which I eventually adapted to.

  3. Actually, it’s probably good that you bought a small pack of Claritin to begin with. As I’m finding out with my daughter, every allergy medicine doesn’t work for every person, so it’s good to try something for a few days to make sure it works before you get, say, 300 pills.

    There now…don’t you feel smart? 🙂

  4. Oh, I’d forgotten about the pollen…we don’t like in the south any longer. Just as I’m feeling sorry for myself that spring has not arrived in the north, I see something that reminds me that there were things that weren’t all great. Still, I’ll take that anytime over the blasted ugly mud. 😉 Achoo. 😉

  5. Oh, the yellow stuff that coats everything here is oak pollen, and we are *definitely* allergic to that. What Amelia said is absolutely right, though. Claritin does nothing for me. Neither does Allegra. Zyrtec did for a while, but now does nothing. Turns out this is because I have non-allergic rhinitis (all the symptoms, none of the histamines), and a regular oral antihistamine won’t treat that. (It also means that a skin prick test is unlikely to determine what makes you react.) Oddly enough, I used to have regular allergic rhinitis as a kid up through about the age of 22, when things stopped working and the tests no longer showed reactions.

    The more you know!

  6. Claritin didnt work for me, I have to use Zyrtec and dang is that ever expensive! But a heads up the Costco version of zyrtec comes in a bottle of 300 for 13 bucks and works exactly the same 🙂

  7. Do you have Costco in the South? I’ve found that to be the cheapest place to get loratadine.

  8. My entire house, driveway, walkway, flower gardens, vege garden, cars, and my kids are coated in yellow oak pollen right now. We spent hours this weekend sweeping and raking it all up…..then the wind blew for like 2 minutes and coated everything again. Yuck. My little one woke up this morning sneezing, coughing, and rubbing her eyes. Poor little bear.

  9. That is so awesome. I would have never thought to look at Amazon- that just saved me some SERIOUS cash. I have to buy this stuff year round.

  10. Sold, dude. SOLD. I was clicking “Place your order” within 60 seconds.

  11. Does anyone sell a generic of the Children’s claritin-the chewables? I’ve been trying them all to see which one my son who’s 6 does the best with… Zyrtec made him drowsy, Singulair from the Dr. gave him horrible side effects. We go see an allergist to have the skin prick test done next month. We live in N.Carolina and we get the dusting of pollen ALL over everything as well. We live right across the road from a large forest of pines and it’s just horrible, our pool even gets a coating on top. Window washing after the pollen lets up is fun 🙂

  12. Then I went back and got mahself some generic Zyrtec, too. Do you know, I used to pay a $15 copay every month for that? And then it went over-the-counter and was, like, $30 a month and I said “Screw this” and I’ve been sneezing every since? NOT NO MORE, BABY. 100 generic Zyrtec for $8-something including shipping. Awwwww yeah.

  13. There’s a Costco version of Zyrtec?! I didn’t even know there was a generic of Zyrtec! I had hives for 18 months for no identifyable reason (horrific) and Zyrtec was the only thing that started to help. I feel incomplete if I don’t have any in the house even though I haven’t had hives for a few years.

    I used to pay $30/ month for it because I had to take 2/ day. Terrible.

  14. EG — Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s also both have a generic of liquid Zyrtec, so I bet they have a generic of the tablets, too.

    My daughter’s pediatrician has just switched her to allegra, which is still prescription, so I’m happy if SOMEbody can get some use out of my now-useless knowledge of Zyrtec generics…

  15. BJ’s (the wholesale store) carries the loratadin cheap as well – so much better than buying it just at the grocery. If you don’t feel like buying from Amazon. (Though with prime, I buy as much as possible through Amazon)

  16. EG- I’ve tried the Walgreens pill version of Zyrtec. For me it works just as well as Zyrtec and way cheaper. The first time I tried it I got it for free because it was on Walgreen’s rebate program.

  17. just checked Sam’s Club and they have the generic loratadine 300 tablets for $12.72! I know what I’m picking up next time I’m at Sam’s. My daughter and I take one every day for seasonal allergies.

  18. Yay, I tell people about this all the time!

    The “D” versions of loratadine and whatever-Zyrtec-is are actually the only ones that help me, so I still cough up the big bucks myself. But buying online/CostCo is a HUGE savings for people who use the regular. Wish I could find another (cheap) decongestant that doesn’t make me sleepy, and just take that WITH the super-saver regular allergy meds. 🙂

  19. I hate to sound a negative note, but there’s something called the ‘Claritin crash’. Claritin worked very well for me (I thought my allergy was gone, almost) for the first season I took it. The second season, it was like taking nothing at all.

    I’ve seen this mentioned several times around the Intarwebs. I don’t say don’t use it, but have caution about stocking up.

  20. Hey Julie T. –

    At my pediatrician’s recommendation, my son went straight from the Claritin children’s liquid (which I bought at Costco – but still not cheap), to chewing up regular adult claritin. They don’t taste great, but it is safe. You might ask the allergist about it next month. It would be a huge cost savings.

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