Dr Hilary issues stark warning against hay fever jabs
With a “pollen bomb” set to hit the UK this weekend, itchy eyes and runny noses will be rife across the country, leaving many hay fever sufferers reaching for medicine.
If your hay fever has been especially bad this year, you might be tempted to try some drastic measures.
You might have noticed adverts popping up on social media, hailing hay fever jabs as an effective way to ease your symptoms.
However, Dr Hilary Jones has warned against the shots which have been withdrawn from the NHS due to concerns over side effects.
Speaking on ITV’s show Lorraine, he said: “Worryingly, there have been warnings issued because some private clinics are advertising Kenalog injections, or advertising them on Instagram at 45 to 75 pounds a shot.
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“Kenalog injections are steroid injections. Now, this is an illegal promotion because it’s a prescription-only drug which is illegal to do in this country.
“You can do it in the States. But if it’s a prescription drug, you shouldn’t be just telling the world about it, ‘Come and get this, you can buy it’.”
Kenalog jabs work by suppressing your immune system’s abnormal reactions to pollen but it’s not intended for people with ordinary hay fever symptoms.
The shots should only be used in hay fever sufferers with particularly severe symptoms who can’t benefit from other treatments.
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What’s worse, the small injections also come with a list of side effects which prompted the NHS to withdraw this treatment in October 2019.
Dr Hilary said: “It has side effects, so it’s important to realise that whilst if you’ve got severe hay fever, where nothing else that you’ve been trying works, sometimes the steroid injection can be a value.
“But people have to be warned that it can cause menstrual irregularities, it can cause stomach pain, it can cause bone pain, it can cause various other side effects.
“It has to come with those kinds of precautionary warnings.
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“So just be aware that private clinics that are advertising these things are doing something illegal and that would tell you something about the clinic.”
Fortunately, there are plenty of other products and treatments that can come to the rescue.
From antihistamine drops to nasal sprays, various over-the-counter options can target itchy eyes, sneezing and a blocked nose.
If your symptoms don’t improve after trying medicines from the pharmacy, you should speak to your GP, the NHS advises.
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