1) I take Cetirizine HCI 10mgs before bed for allergies - then wake up early in the am (around 2 or 4) with my symptoms back (sore throat, stuffed nose, itchy inner ears, frequent "hard" sneezes, runny nose). It's been about 2 weeks now, at this point I think I may have something more, in conjunction with my cold/allergies. I'm considering taking antibiotics (a "Zpack" - Azithromycin 250 mg taken twice a day, then once a day until all the pills are gone). What are the potential side effects if I continue taking allergy meds with antibiotics [I'm aware that just taking antibiotics can be hard on the stomach - killing good bacteria that help with digestion]?
2) Upon one occasion of waking up at 2am with symptoms back, I've taken another 10 mgs of Cetirizine (Zrytec) - (twice the recommended dose for a 24 hr period - I took one before bed at 9pm)
What could be the side effects, besides the common ones of increased drowsiness, mental alertness, etc. (the only ones I've experienced thus far - not a problem for me when only taken at night only).
3) I've also taken it with two 25 mg Benadryls before bed and another when waking up with symptoms back in middle of the night. Additionally, every morning I'm taking a pill with 10mgs Loratadine (Claritin), USP & 240mg Pseudoephedrine, USP (slow release). On top of that, I take .25mgs of Colazepam (for anxiety/to help me fall asleep) before bed and when I wake up in the night.
I'm just trying to get some good sleep so my body can heal itself and I can get through the day - but I don't want to toxify my body with pharmaceuticals!!
What have been other peoples experiences with increasing dosage and/or combining these drugs? What are the potential risks of these drug combinations - besides the common ones of reduced mental alertness, drowsiness, etc.? I've heard taking Cetirizine (Zrytec), even regular dosage, by itself, every night has a cumulative effect on the liver and other cumulative side effects. I've heard this about Ibuprofen as well (which I've occasionally used in conjunction too). I know Colazepam can be highly addictive (don't feel this is true for me personally - as I take the lowest possible dose, only when necessary).
I've had difficulty finding information about this and other potential side effects of long term, regular use of these allergy drugs. It's my thought/feeling that, as with all drugs, the long term effects may not be known - and that the cumulative effect of multiple drugs, regular use and high dosages will have some effect on the bodies organs, systems, normal operation, etc.
I'd appreciate any help - additional information and/or people's personal experiences. I really appreciate this site and the people that take the time to share their experiences & contribute to it!