Allergies affect over 50 million people in the US every year — are you one of them? While several remedies exist in the market already, there is considerable public confusion over which are effective or work for specific allergies, and thus unfortunately it’s estimated that 80% of allergy sufferers choose the wrong over-the-counter medicine.
Picnic — a new brand from the Thirty Madison healthcare company for people living with chronic illnesses — was launched to offer users a personalized approach to treating allergies.
Most people who suffer from allergies have tried several solutions with varying levels of success. Because allergies are highly personalized, the treatment, dosage, or timing — or some combination of all three — is challenging to get right, which means that irritation persists. But Picnic has created a personalized solution that provides meaningful relief for individual allergy sufferers to help them reclaim their lives and expect a better normal.
Picnic’s allergy treatment platform gives anyone suffering from involuntary reactions like allergic rhinitis access to a personalized treatment plan, a smarter online purchasing experience, and a team of trained allergists, always available to answer questions. We’ll dive into their full offering (and how it differs from your local drug store!), but first, a bit more context on allergy treatment in general, just to set the stage.
Why do people get allergies, anyway?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US and are caused by physical contact with pollen from plants or flowers, pets, or food.
Allergies can affect people all year round or seasonally, depending on their specific suffering. One of the most common types of allergy is allergic rhinitis, typically called hay fever, which is a condition that can cause symptoms like:
- Stuffy or blocked nose
- Runny nose
- Watery Eyes
- Itching of the nose, the eyes, or the roof of the mouth
These symptoms can be activated by a range of different hosts, both indoor and outdoor. Because the body senses an outside agent, it activates the natural defense of allergens, which then causes the familiar symptoms listed above like sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness.
What other problems do people with allergies get?
Allergies are a discomfort experienced by around 50 million people in the US. The symptoms can be anything from mild and seasonal to extreme and year-round. Many people have grown used to suffering in silence or with the occasional sniffle or sneeze. However, this is a problem that can cause considerable distress.
Allergies affect how people feel. They influence their energy levels, and all the sniffing, coughing, and sneezing can affect them socially. Additionally, during the global pandemic, the glares of disapproval given to those with sneeze, sniffle, or cough symptoms took on a more sinister edge.
Why is it so hard to find quality allergy meds?
While there are a range of options abundantly available to allergy sufferers, two problems are commonly cited that prevent folks finding the relief they desperately need.
- Chronic shortage of immunologists
Because symptoms are so personal, many sufferers had tried one or two brands on the market and gave up when they didn’t work. This is unfortunate as there will be something there for them with the proper guidance. Attaining that guidance is where things get complicated.
Finding an allergist can be something of a problem in the US. The waiting list is often months-long because there are only 5,000 practicing allergists in the whole country. Because there are around 50 million people who suffer from allergies, that means one allergist for every 10,000 patients.
Getting access to specialist care — and a treatment plan that is tailored to work specifically for their allergies — is, therefore, a difficulty that many don’t tackle, so they are left to suffer alone in silence. Guessing which branded options will work or how frequently they need to use them is a lottery that most sufferers don’t win.
- Costly branded options
Another barrier to relief is cost. Too often, the right kind of medicine exists, but it is not covered by health care and therefore becomes entirely out of the reach of those who need them most.
Picnic Allergy hopes to change this by recommending the right kind of plan at far more affordable prices by prescribing generic versions of expensive branded meds, both over-the-counter and prescribed by a doctor. And, because their teams of allergists and immunologists are easily accessible online, people from all over the country can access the right kind of medicine and a plan tailored to work at the correct times for them — all at a price that’s affordable.
What is Picnic, and what kind of allergy meds does it offer?
Picnic allergy has a range of different remedies available for anyone who needs allergy relief which can be ordered as part of a monthly subscription service.
The platform is bright and easy to browse and comes packed with lots of additional information about the individual oral, nasal, and eye medications they provide.
What are the benefits of Picnic’s allergy service?
- Personalized allergy treatments
Because most allergies vary from person to person, a dynamic, personalized quiz is used to obtain the specifics of each customer’s history of allergy problems and build a monthly plan to help them manage their allergies.
One of the biggest problems that those with allergies talk about when trying to get medicine to treat their symptoms is the confusion with buying drugs. Instead of wandering around the aisles wondering what will work best for them, Picnic Allergy offers a consultation that helps guide the customer to the most effective medicines.
- Access To Expert Allergists
For most people, getting access to an immunologist takes months on a waiting list — if they’re even available. Picnic Allergy helps customers sidestep this process by granting them access to their qualified and licensed immunologists. This way, customers can get the correct prescriptions, the best answers to their questions, and even support and understanding of their condition.
What allergy meds does Picnic offer?
Because many of the brand name solutions on the market are already highly effective —but quite expensive — Picnic Allergy helps its customers by providing them with affordable, generic versions of effective treatments. These allergy treatment prescriptions are tailored towards the individual and contain one or a combination of oral pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops.
Desloratadine, which is traded under the name Clarinex, is a pill that can be taken daily to relieve allergy symptoms. It’s the only prescription non-drowsy antihistamine, and it can also be paired up with a nasal spray or eye drops to stop allergic reactions.
Fexofenadine, the active ingredient in Allegra, is a non-drowsy pill that can be taken orally to relieve nose, throat, and eye symptoms.
Sold under the trade Benadryl, Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that is taken to soothe itches. It is beneficial when taken at night, but it can cause drowsiness, so it is recommended to refrain from driving or operating machinery.
Loratadine is generic Claritin and can be taken orally for 24-hr relief from itches, sneezes, and runny noses.
Cetirizine is sold under the trade name Zyrtec. It is a powerful 24-hr antihistamine that can be taken a few hours before bedtime to soothe the allergy symptoms and is particularly useful to halt a runny or blocked nose.
Intra Nasal Sprays
Fluticasone, which trades under the name Flonase, is a steroid nasal spray that can be prescribed when oral medicine alone is insufficient to clear up symptoms.
Azelastine Nasal Spray
Traded as Astelin, Azelastine is a quick-acting antihistamine nasal spray medication that can be administered through spraying. Because of the delivery method, it acts much faster than the other oral medicines.
Also sold under the brand name Nasonex, the Mometasone spray can be used for inflammation and other nasal symptoms. Unlike other nasal sprays, Mometasone does not contain alcohol which users report contributes to a more pleasant experience without the slight burning or flowery taste of other nasal sprays.
Azelastine Eye Drops
These are also sold under the brand name Optivar and are used to act fast on eye symptoms for allergy sufferers. It contains antihistamines and inflammatory inhibitors, which are perfect for calming down and soothing itchy eyes.
How do you know which allergy meds to order?
Because allergies and their symptoms differ from person to person, sufferers can benefit from treatments that are tailored towards their specific reactions. Picnic’s website offers a novel way for sufferers to figure out what different medication is most suitable for them in the form of a virtual consultation quiz.
Picnic’s online allergy quiz asks respondents to fill out what symptoms they typically suffer from — and which bother them the most — to recommend one, or a combination of multiple, oral, nasal, or eye drop medications. These treatment plans are dependent on the preferences and severity of the symptoms, so there is something for people who suffer from mild distress as well as those unlucky stuck with chronic debilitating .
These consultations are reviewed by one of Picnic’s licensed medical professionals who generally turn around a personalized recommendation in no more than 24hrs. As with all of the telemedicine companies, Picnic Allergy requests a government-issued ID. That’s because state regulations require that patient’s identities be verified before prescribing meds, so just something to note as you’re thinking about starting.
Can Picnic prescribe Rx allergy meds in your state?
Because each state has its own rules on telemedicine, Picnic Allergy is not available in every state just yet. However, they are expanding rapidly with more states being added each day. They suggest that you check for announcements on their Instagram and Twitter pages.
However, it’s worth noting that these geographical restrictions only pertain to prescription medicines. Picnic Allergy’s wide range of over-the-counter medicines can be bought freely.
Does Picnic accept FSA or HSA?
Yes, most FSA or HSA cards are accepted for payment with the Picnic Allergy Payments Processor.
Does Picnic give refunds or accept returns if your meds don’t work as hoped?
Unfortunately, per their website, because the medicines are packaged for individual use, they cannot be recycled for other patients. Their pharmacy’s regulations stipulate that even unopened medication cannot be accepted for returns and that all purchases are final.
That said, exchanges are possible, and Picnic states they can replace defective or damaged goods if that’s ever the issue.
How does Picnic compare to other online allergy treatment providers?
Of course, Picnic Allergy isn’t the only option on the market for allergy sufferers. Here, we take a look at some of their competitors like Roman and Rory.
|Best online allergy relief platform: Picnic vs Roman vs Rory|
|Can prescribe Rx allergy meds online?||✅||✅||✅|
|Offer personalized treatment?||✅||✅||✅|
|Offers at-home allergy testing kit?||❌||✅||❌|
|Allergy Med Pricing||
|Introductory Discount||❌||❌||20% off your first 3 months|
|Offers all-natural remedies?||❌||❌||Saline Nasal Spray & Honey Lozenges|
There are other companies that provide at-home allergy tests, including the indoor & outdoor allergy package from Labcorp OnDemand.
Additional allergy medicines offered by Picnic
While Picnic offers most of the same traditional allergy meds provided by rival brands, they also prescribe a few which are harder to find online:
Picnic Allergy Reviews: What are customers saying?
Before deciding what allergy telemedicine platform is right for you, it’s worth looking at a few reviews from real, sniffling customers.
The Verdict: Is Picnic’s online allergy treatment legit?
Picnic Allergy is backed by ThirtyMadison, the healthcare company making affordable specialized care available to everyone via successful ventures like Keeps for hair loss, Cove for migraine, and Evens for acid reflux. So while Picnic Allergy is very much a new venture, the team behind them has a trusted and long-term presence in the healthcare space and knows how to deliver a world-class telemedicine experience.
For people who suffer from chronic allergies, this is a welcome alternative to the confusing experience of trying to guess which medicine at the drugstore. Personalized plans designed to work around the individual’s specific allergies and symptoms are more effective. Furthermore, making the medicine affordable and delivered monthly means that sufferers don’t have to worry about getting caught off guard.
The team at Picnic Allergy is well qualified in the field of allergies and immunology, and the treatments they recommend are widely popular and clinically backed. Rest assured, they know how to craft an allergy treatment plan that will work for your unique situation.
If you’re new to allergies and don’t know where to start, or a chronic sufferer who’s fed up with your current (ineffective) regiment, Picnic offers a straightforward and easy-to-use service. Curious how it works? Give them a try today and save 20% on your first three months! Oh, and let us know about your experience in the comments below.
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