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QUESTION: For the past two years I have been taking Telfast 180mg once daily in order to control my hay fever (mainly due to the cat, dog, and massive amounts of dust around our house). I notice no side effects from this medication, and I believe it has helped me to control my allergies completely. I am 13.

Does this medication have any effects long term? Could I take it everyday for the many years to come?

I believe this medication  is considered to be preventative. Is there a hay fever medication that works straight away when you are having symptoms, and is not required to be taken everyday?

Thanks Ravindra, I very much appreciate your response to come :)

ANSWER: Hi Samantha,
Firstly I am glad that you find Telfast effective and have  no problems with it. Telfast is Fexofenadine, a drug which  was introduced in medicine about 15 years ago. That might sound long enough for you, but we have only about 15 years of experience with  this drug.  Telfast is made from an older drug with which we have over 20 years of experience.
So far the studies conducted show that Telfast can be used continually for at least 10 years. You are as you say 13, many patients (of your age) get spontaneous cures around this age, and who knows you may be one the lucky ones. So let us not worry how long you can take it without problems. There is still time for that,  and who knows there may come along a newer drug which you could use longer!

I would like to inform you that Telfast is not merely a preventive agent, but it can be used during an attack of hay fever too. The action of Telfast is pretty fast and it would help you when you have an  attack too. However if you find that it is not fast enough, there are other drugs that can relieve you instantly, but the use of such drugs requires a doctor's prescription.

I hope this answers your questions, but if you still have any doubt, please get back to me.
I wish you all the best.
Ravindra Ghooi

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much Ravindra for your speedy reply :) One more thing...

I have recently discovered the availability of a smaller dose of Telfast (120mg, instead of the 180mg I have been taking).  Would switching to the smaller dose be a good idea. It is cheaper, and I figure why take more medication than you require?

Is this a plausible idea? Why/why not?

Also: I will have a break from the medication, in order to determine whether my allergy symptoms are still present :)  

Once again, I can't thank you enough/

Answer
Hi Samantha,
Yes to all your questions. It is a good idea if your problem can be solved by a smaller dose. Do try it.
While you keep away from the drug, be sure you have the drug with you for emergency ncase your symptoms are not controlled.
You could also try cetirizine (I dont know under what name it is available in Australia), that is a good drug  too.
All the best
Ravi Ghooi

Pharmacy

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Dr. Ravindra Bhaskar Ghooi

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I can provide information on drugs and medicines, their actions, uses, interactions and adverse effects. To avoid confusion, generic names of medicines may please be provided. I am a pharmacologist, having worked on animal and human pharmacology, and presently I am the Dean of Bilcare Research Academy, where we teach courses on clinical research. We dont work on saturdays and sundays, hence questions reachng me on these days will be replied on Monday, please bear with me.

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