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Have the Last Laugh on Allergies This Season: Actress Molly Shannon Teams with The Allergy Foundation to Talk About Allergies

- New Survey Shows How Allergies Take a Toll on Americans' Personal and

Professional Lives -

FT. WASHINGTON, Pa., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- With the first day of spring only 15 days away, actress and entertainer Molly Shannon is teaming with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to launch the Allergies Are No Laughing Matter educational campaign. Molly and AAFA, with support from the makers of ZYRTEC(R), today introduced a new online Allergy Quiz to help Americans learn if they may have allergies, so they can laugh more and sneeze less this spring.

Known for her characters on "Saturday Night Live"* and movie roles including "Year of the Dog,"* Molly suffers from both indoor and outdoor allergies. "Allergies are not something I joke about, especially when I'm on the set with my animal co-stars or spending time with my kids," she says. "Before I learned how to control my allergy symptoms, it was really tough. I even avoided doing a lot of things I enjoyed because they triggered my allergies. I've teamed with AAFA, and the makers of ZYRTEC(R), to help other people like me. They can tackle their allergies, like I have, and not miss a beat this spring or all year long."

Allergies take a toll on Americans both personally and professionally, according to a new survey by Kelton Research, in which 50 percent of U.S. allergy sufferers said allergies negatively affected their work, and almost three out of 10 (27 percent) have missed an event, such as a wedding or party, because of their allergies. Hitting closer to home, one out of five (20 percent) people told a family member they couldn't get a dog or cat because of their allergies.

The educational campaign announced today includes a quick and simple online Allergy Quiz with educational allergy tips, available on By visiting the website, Americans can learn about allergy symptoms, how to avoid triggers, and how to best treat their symptoms.

"Molly's story shows people that they can manage their allergies, so that it doesn't disrupt their quality of life," says Mike Tringale, Director of External Affairs at AAFA. "With this new online Allergy Quiz, you can learn if your chronic sneezing, itching and runny eyes may be caused by allergies, so you can do something about it now and avoid major allergy problems this spring."

According to Danica Schulte, M.D., of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, parents with allergies often struggle to cope with their children's allergies on top of managing their own symptoms. "I see patients all the time who complain about upper respiratory allergy symptoms, and it becomes especially difficult when their children have allergies too," Dr. Schulte says. "The good news is that an effective new treatment is available now without a prescription at your local store. This will be a huge convenience for allergy sufferers and busy parents."

About Allergies

More than 35 million Americans suffer from indoor and outdoor allergic rhinitis, also known as upper respiratory allergies. Allergies are caused when a person's immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances. These substances are often referred to as triggers. People can encounter indoor and outdoor allergy triggers anytime throughout the year that can lead to allergy symptoms. Indoor allergies can occur year round and are triggered by substances such as mold, dust mites, and pet dander. These allergens are often inhaled through the nose and mouth, putting the allergens in contact with the immune cells in the lining of the nose, mouth, throat, and airways of the lungs causing an allergic response.

Similarly, outdoor allergies can occur when outdoor allergens such as pollen from grasses, weeds and trees are inhaled through the nose and mouth into the lungs causing an allergic response. Those who suffer from outdoor allergies are often affected by allergies in the spring and fall. Symptoms for both indoor and outdoor allergies can include itchy, watery eyes, itchy nose or throat, sneezing and runny nose.

About AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1953, is the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest and largest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA provides practical information, community based services and support through a national network of chapters and support groups. AAFA develops health education, organizes state and national advocacy efforts and funds research to find better treatment and cures. Visit to learn more.


ZYRTEC(R) is an antihistamine that helps block the action of histamine in the body. ZYRTEC(R) helps provide 24 hour relief of your worst indoor and outdoor upper respiratory allergy symptoms including symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. These symptoms can be caused by allergy triggers such as dust, mold and pet dander, tree pollen, weeds and grasses. ZYRTEC(R) has proven to be generally well-tolerated. In studies, ZYRTEC(R) began working within one hour and showed continued symptom relief for a full-24 hours from a single dose. For more information about ZYRTEC(R), visit

About McNeil Consumer Healthcare

McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the- counter (OTC) products. McNeil Consumer Healthcare is most widely recognized for the complete line of TYLENOL(R) acetaminophen products, the leading pain reliever brand in the adult and pediatric categories. The TYLENOL(R) product line consists of hundreds of products across a variety of pain categories including: arthritis pain, pain with accompanying sleeplessness and upper respiratory. Other McNeil Consumer Healthcare brands include BENADRYL(R) allergy medicines; IMODIUM(R) A-D anti-diarrheal; MOTRIN(R) IB; PediaCare(R) upper respiratory medicines for children; ROLAIDS(R) antacid products; ST. JOSEPH(R) Adult Regimen Aspirin; and SUDAFED(R) and SUDAFED PE(R) nasal decongestants.

*Property of one of the following: NBC Studios, Paramount Vantage


Kathryn Ritzinger

Cohn & Wolfe

(212) 798-9829 (Office)

(646) 872-2912 (Mobile)

Peggy Ballman

McNeil Consumer Healthcare

(908) 310-7721 (Mobile)

Angel Waldron


(202) 466-7643 x248 (Office)

SOURCE McNeil Consumer Healthcare
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