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New Medicine Could Help Those With Ragweed Allergies

Ragweed season is here, and there's a new medicine on the market that may help more than others, though it might be too late for this year.

"Ragweed is a weed that grows basically anywhere...in Indiana," said Dr. Scott Phillips with the Center For Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy in Indianapolis. "One of the problems with its pollen is that the surface has tiny spikes on it, and it is very light, so it can travel on the wind for miles."

A new pill that can be dissolved under the tongue is on the market that Phillips says is highly effective.  "It will actually desensitize your body to the ragweed to where you won't have the symptoms when ragweed starts blooming and pollinating," Phillips said.  However, there is a down side to the new pill, one that won't help allergy sufferers this year.  "It takes about 12 weeks of taking it prior to ragweed season before you get that benefit, so it's something we need to be thinking about in April or May for our patients who suffer from ragweed allergy."

That doesn't mean there is no hope for this ragweed season.  Phillips says your doctor can recommend one or a combination of medicines, many of which are available over-the-counter.  "There is a nasal steroid that is available over-the-counter.  There are also other over-the-counter medicines, like Zyrtec, Clairitin and Allegra, which can work hand-in-hand with the nasal spray."

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