Categories of Allergy Medicine
Hay fever is a common allergy symptom and to avoid it it’s best to limit your contact to substances that cause your hay fever. If your condition is not too severe, over-the-counter or OTC Allergy Medicine may be adequate to relieve symptoms. For worse symptoms, you may need prescription medicines.
If a child has hay fever, then rather than giving OTC medicine it is important to talk with your doctor about treatment. Not all medicines are approved for use among children therefore read the labels carefully.
Allergy medicine categories are like these:
• Antihistamines- These preparations are available in the form of pills. However, they are also available in nasal sprays and eyedrops form. It can help to get rid of itching, sneezing and a runny nose having less effect on congestion. They mostly block a symptom-causing chemical excreted by your immune system when exposed to an allergic reaction or histamine.
OTCallergy medicine include cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), and fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy). The prescription based antihistamine nasal sprays such as azelastine (Astelin, Astepro) and olopatadine (Patanase) can treat nasal symptoms. Antihistamine eyedropslikeketotifenfumarate (Alaway) help to treat eye itchiness and irritation caused by hay fever.
• Decongestants. These are available in OTC and prescription tablets, liquids, and nasal sprays. OTC oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine- Sudafed, Afrinol, and others. Nasal sprays phenylephrine hydrochloride (Neo-Synephrine) as well asoxymetazoline (Afrin).
Oral decongestants can relate to a number of side effects, i.e. increased blood pressure, irritability, insomnia and headache. Don’t use a decongestant nasal spray for over two or three days at a time since it can actually worsen symptoms if used continuously rebound congestion.
• Cromolyn sodium. This is available as an OTC nasal spray that must be used few times a day. It’s also available in the form of eye-drop with a prescription. It helps relieve allergy symptoms by preventing the release of histamine. It is most effective when you start using it prior to having symptoms, cromolyn sodium doesn’t show serious side effects.
• Nasal corticosteroids. These prescription nasal sprays help treat and prevent the nasal inflammation, runny nose and nasal itching caused by hay fever. They are the most effective for many people, and often the first type of medication prescribed.
Examples of Nasal corticosteroids aremometasone (Nasonex) and budesonide (Rhinocort), and they both are available by prescription, and budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), Fluticasone (Flonase Allergy Relief), and triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour), available over the counter. The prescription nasal spray fluticasone (Dymista) and azelastinecombines an antihistamine with a steroid.
Nasal corticosteroids are a long-term and safe treatment for most people. Ill effects include an unpleasant taste or smell and nose irritation. Adverse effects of steroid are rare.
• Leukotriene modifier. Montelukast is a prescription tablet taken to block the action of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are immune system chemicals that cause allergy symptoms like excess mucus production. It is effective in treating allergy-induced asthma and used when nasal sprays can’t be tolerated for mild asthma.
Montelukast can result in headaches. It has been linked to psychological reactions in rare cases, such as agitation, hallucinations, aggression, depression and suicidal thinking.
• Nasal ipratropium. It is available in a prescription nasal spray. Ipratropium helps relieve severe runny nose by averting the glands in your nose from producing excess liquid. It’s not effective for treating sneezing, congestion or postnasal drip.
• Oral corticosteroids. Corticosteroid pills like prednisone sometimes are used to relieve allergy symptoms. Since the long-term use of corticosteroids can lead to serious side effects like cataracts, osteoporosis or muscle weakness.
Many people get the relief from a combination of different allergy meds. You might need to try a few before you find what works best.