Hay fever medication is out of stock in the run-up to high levels of pollen across England

Hay fever medication is out of stock in the run-up to high levels of pollen across England

A picture of some piriton tablets. Credit: alamy
Piriton allergy medication. Credit: alamy. Available at: https://www.alamy.com/AMCNAA

Stocks of chlorphenamine, the active antihistamine in Piriton, Allerief, Hayleve and many other hayfever tablets is at an all-time low, according to Boots.

This has led to a shortage in antihistamine and allergy tablets at the same time as a high pollen count is forecast this month.

The pollen count is currently at ‘high’, according to the Met Office, which causes the most common trigger of seasonal allergies.

Many types of antihistamines are unavailable online at Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy, but children’s antihistamine syrups remain in stock currently.

The coming days are set to be particularly difficult for hayfever sufferers in most of England and Wales, due to humid, windy weather.

Image of a Conifer tree dispersing Pollen.
Conifer tree pollen dispersal. Credit: Alamy. Available at: shorturl.at/lzCFM

Around 25% of people are affected by tree pollen, which usually occurs from late March to mid-May, whereas most people are allergic to grass pollen, which peaks twice from mid-May to July.

This overlap can make hayfever even more unbearable, depending on which type of pollen you are allergic to, which you can find out by checking which pollen levels are high when your allergies are worst.

Luckily, there seems to be a good supply of drugs using cetirizine hydrochloride, chlorphenamine’s non-drowsy counterpart,  available in stores and online, including Piriteze, Benadryl, Allacan and generic brands.

For treatment of hayfever, it is worth trying these cetirizine hydrochloride medications, as well as using Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing sunglasses, showering and changing your clothes after going outside, keeping windows and doors shut and vacuuming and dusting more frequently, according to the NHS.