Allergies

Allergy Medications

Allergy medications can reduce the reaction of the allergens or block the symptoms of chemicals like histamine. Medicines are available in the form of shots (injections), skin creams, eye drops, nasal sprays, liquids and pills. Some drugs are available over the counter, while some are available only by prescription. Following are some types of allergy medicines.

Antihistamines

These are the most important medicines to treat allergic reactions. These drugs aid in relieving runny nose, sneezing and itching. They also reduce chest congestion. Your health care provider prescribes a “non-sedating” antihistamine for helping to manage the symptoms without any drowsiness. Several over the counter antihistamines can cause drowsiness and also carry some warnings about the mental alertness, particularly while operating machinery or driving.

Decongestants

These are available in pill or nasal spray form. Generally, decongestants in oral form long period to work, while nasal sprays give immediate relief from the symptoms. The pills are suggested for long use as decongestant nasal sprays can worsen the condition if used for more than 5 – 7 days.

If you are using medicines for lowering blood pressure, talk to physician about using decongestants because they can increase blood pressure. These can also restrict urinary flow, cause insomnia or irritability. Decongestants are not prescribed for people suffering from glaucoma.

Combination Medications

Certain allergy medications contain both a decongestant and an antihistamine for reliving many symptoms such as a runny nose, itching and sneezing. Combination medicines help in clearing the nasal passages. These are also available by prescription and over the counter. The prescription combination medicines are less likely to trigger drowsiness.

Nasal sprays

These help in preventing the symptoms of nasal allergy. These are available in the following ways:

  • Salt-water solution

    It gives relief from mild congestion, prevents crusting and loosens mucus.

  • Decongestant

    This is available by prescription and over the counter. This clears nasal passages. Decongestants must not be used more than 3 days as they can aggravate the symptoms.

  • Corticosteroids

    These are available by prescription only. It reduces the inflammation and other non-allergic or nasal allergy symptoms. They work completely after a week or two.

  • Antihistamine

    These are available by prescription only. Only one topical antihistamine nasal spray is available now. It reduces non-allergic or allergic symptoms.

Immunotherapy

Allergy shots or immunotherapy can be an effective treatment if other medical techniques fail to improve the condition. These are currently prescribed for people with fire ant or bee sting allergies, allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.

These are a few allergy medications which help you in treating the symptoms of various allergies.

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