Q. I am really allergic to cats. My nose gets stuffed up, my eyes start to itch and I become very spacey.
My wife and I were visiting friends who have two cats. I forgot to take my allergy medicine in advance and realized I would be in trouble since we would be sleeping in the guest bedroom where the cats hang out. My friend offered me a Claritin-D to prevent problems.
Shortly after taking this allergy medicine, I started having difficulty urinating. It got to the point where I feared I would have to go to the emergency room since I couldn’t empty my bladder. What was it about the Claritin-D that had this effect?
A. The D in Claritin-D and many other allergy and cold medicines stands for a decongestant called pseudoephedrine. It is found in Actifed, Allegra-D, Mucinex D, Sudafed and Zyrtec-D. This compound can aggravate symptoms of prostate enlargement and make it difficult to urinate.
Men with enlarged prostates need to avoid decongestants. The antihistamine diphenhydramine (DPH) may also increase prostate urinary symptoms. DPH is found in Benadryl as well as many nighttime pain relievers such as Advil PM, Tylenol PM and numerous others. Check the label before taking allergy medicines to avoid urinary retention.