GlaxoSmithKline has announced the availability of Zyrtec®-R Tablet over-the-counter (OTC medicine) that replaces Zyrtec®, allowing consumers to get rapid and non-drowsy allergy relief without the need for a prescription. This is significant as it enables more people easy access to this medication in crucial moments when faced with allergic symptoms. If people are suffering from a blocked nose, they can still opt for Zyrtec®-D Tablet from their local pharmacist, which is targeted at nasal decongestion.
Globally, over 400 million suffer from symptoms of allergies such as dripping noses, itchy eyes and uncontrollable sneezing. In fact, from a recent local consumer research GSK conducted earlier this year, nearly 70% of respondents reported experiencing allergic symptoms throughout the year.
4 in 10 surveyed rely on a pharmacist or a staff member in the store for help when choosing medicines – indicating uncertainty about which allergy treatment is most effective in providing rapid and non-drowsy relief. Over half of respondents attributed the cause of their allergic symptoms to tropical weather patterns, dust, pet hair, air conditioning and even the haze.
In another comprehensive adult allergy cohort study conducted in Singapore involving close to 8,000 participants, it was revealed that allergic diseases can be caused by a number of common allergens that are present in considerable concentrations in Singapore. The study also indicated that there is a high prevalence of house dust mites (HDM) that is associated with an unusually high prevalence of allergic rhinitis (40% of respondents surveyed) and asthma (18% of respondents surveyed).
“I’ve witnessed a spike in cases of allergies in patients throughout my time as a doctor, with more coming through my door to get diagnosed. The monsoon and haze periods also tend to trigger allergy symptoms in some patients. Apart from advising my patients to avoid places or situations where they may be exposed to these allergens, I also advise them to keep their allergy medication within reach and keep it handy when they need it the most,” said Dr. Leong Jern Lin, Consultant Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon, ASCENT Ear Nose Throat Specialist Group.
“GSK recognises that allergies are common, particularly in tropical countries like Singapore due to our perennial warm and humid climate that is conducive for the growth of allergy triggers. With Zyrtec®-R now available without a prescription, people who suffer from allergies can access a rapid and non-drowsy relief more conveniently and quickly,” said Dipal Patel, General Manager, GSK Pharmaceuticals Singapore.
Zyrtec®-R is suitable for children 6 years and above. Adults and children aged 12 years and older should take one tablet twice daily in the morning and evening, while children aged 6 to 12 years should take half a tablet twice daily.