Allergies –
a common disorder

Allergies –
a common disorder

Between 10 and 20 percent of people worldwide (with regional variations) have upper respiratory allergies, the symptoms of which often impact their daily lives. Bayer markets well-known and easy-to-use products to effectively relieve these allergy symptoms.

Video

Our video shows how Bayer’s nonprescription medicines help patients lead an active life.

Lulu knows she shouldn’t be on the sofa. “Get down from there!” commands Jennifer T. Lulu understands straight away. The black bulldog mix with the trusting eyes knows she has done something wrong and shoots a guilty glance at her owner before exiting the room. All that remains on the sofa are black dog-hairs, and until a few years ago this would have been a major problem. Jennifer is allergic to dogs and cats.

Allergies are on the rise

Up to 30 percent of all adults suffer from allergic rhinitis according to the World Allergy Organization and these figures are set to rise

It took her a while to realize this. When she was a student at New York University, she caught a cold – or at least, she thought that was what she had. The symptoms suggested as much, but they refused to go away even after several weeks. An internist in Manhattan correctly diagnosed the then 22-year-old’s condition: Her immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances. Like many other sufferers, she is allergic to pollen and animal hair. “Finally I knew what was going on. But it was also a shock. I grew up spending tons of time outdoors with my German Shepherd, a Yorkshire Terrier and a Labrador. Now I could no longer even visit friends who had pets.”

Allergies and their treatment with antihistamines

An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction of the body’s immune system to ordinarily harmless substances known as allergens. The immune system responds to these substances as if they were dangerous. They trigger a defense reaction by the body to, for example, pollen protein. Following initial contact with the allergen, the body develops corresponding antibodies.

1 If an allergen comes into contact with the body again, it is recognized by the mast cells of the body’s defense system which are found especially in the mucous membranes.

2 Already sensitized by the initial contact, the mast cells have formed large numbers of special receptors for the allergen. Mast cells release histamine, which serves as a messenger for the surrounding tissue.

3 Histamine then docks onto the receptors in the tissue cells, which then trigger the immune response. The body reacts with allergy symptoms.

4 Antihistamines like loratadine, the active substance in Claritin™, block histamine from docking onto its receptors, thereby hindering the cascade triggered by allergens.

Jennifer quite simply doesn’t have time for allergies. The single mother lives with her daughters Molly (9) and Lindsey (6) about an hour by car from New York City. The 42-year-old’s days are tightly scheduled. The alarm clock rings shortly before 7. Mom makes breakfast, gets her daughters ready for school and then goes jogging or heads over to her gym or her yoga school, both of which are only a few minutes away. “I don’t have time for long drives.” Then she starts work in her office adjacent to her kitchen. Jennifer is vice president of an association that helps students repay their loans. Her clients attend colleges on the East Coast of the United States, from Maine to Maryland. Once a month, she travels to the association’s headquarters in the Midwest.

Regular relaxation: as often as possible Jennifer T. attends a yoga class with instructor Fiona.
Family time in the garden: Jennifer with daughters Molly (right) and Lindsey (left) on their climbing tree – Lulu the dog often joins in (photo above).

Despite her very busy professional life, Jennifer is also a class mom at her daughters’ school and a Girl Scout Daisy Troop leader. She lives an active life despite her allergies – and now she has Lulu, a two-year-old crossbreed she got from an animal sanctuary. “I want my daughters to grow up with a pet. Dogs provide unconditional love and teach us how to take responsibility. That’s important to me.”

Round the clock

Bayer’s Claritin™ familiy of products with the antihistamine loratadine are available in more than 100 countries worldwide. Claritin™ is the market leader in the world’s largest OTC market, the United States. Indications and trademarks vary from country to country. In the United States, Claritin™ provides 24-hour nondrowsy relief from runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and itchy nose or throat, helping sufferers to actively enjoy their daily lives both indoors and outdoors. Claritin-D™ 12 and 24 hour products relieves the same symptoms as Claritin™, plus nasal congestion and sinus congestion and pressure.

For Jennifer, spring is a particularly difficult time. “I used to have to sneeze all the time, my nose would run.” She tried out lots of things to control her allergy symptoms. “Then I started using Claritin™. It’s exactly right for me. I can be there for my children and I can do my job and live my life without my allergies holding me back.”

Best-selling product

Claritin™ is the Consumer Health Division’s best-selling brand globally.

1899

Consumer Health can look back on a long tradition in the self-care market. It began in 1899 with the launch of Aspirin™, Bayer’s world-renowned iconic brand.

“We know the symptoms that affect allergy sufferers: itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, a runny or itchy nose. They can have an enormous impact on their daily routine and quality of life,” says Jay Kolpon, Global Category Business Unit Leader, Allergy. “We want to relieve sufferers from these symptoms. Our purpose is to enable them to embrace life with all their senses. Jennifer’s story is a wonderful example of how our products help people live a better life.”