For most people, allergies are a prevalent issue and choosing the right allergy medication isn’t easy as you expect. So if you’re coughing, wheezing, getting a runny nose or a sneezing fit – you’re not alone.
An allergic reaction happens as the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance such as cold, dust, hair, food, grass, insect, and so on. But while allergies can be unpleasant they are not very hard to get rid of. With good allergy medication, you can easily take care of these allergic reactions. But, how do you choose the best allergy medication?
- What Is The Best Allergy Medicine For You?
- 9 Important Things To Consider When Choosing Your Allergy Medication
- Is Your Allergy Seasonal or Perennial?
- What Could Possibly Be Your Symptoms?
- Which Is Better – OTC or Brand Medication?
- What If OTC Medication Doesn’t Work For You?
- How Do You Combat Drowsiness Due To Allergy Medication?
- Can You Take More Than One Allergy Medication At Once?
- Can You Drink Alcohol While On Allergy Medication?
- Can You Take OTC Allergy Medication Every Day?
- When Should You Avoid Taking Allergy Medication?
What Is The Best Allergy Medicine For You?
What allergy medication absolutely relieves your symptoms depends on the signs of your allergic reaction. Make sure you do your homework before you choose the right allergy drug for you. We wouldn’t like to see you taking the wrong medicine for your allergy.
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But most allergy medication fall into the four major categories:
- Antihistamines: When you have symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose, this form of allergy medication comes in handy. As the name suggests, antihistamines mainly block histamines in the body and decrease those symptoms. Example include; Brompheniramine (Dimetane), Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin), etc.
- Decongestants: In the case of a stuffy nose, these are useful and are frequently sold along with antihistamines such as Allegra-D, Zyrtec-D, and Claritin-D. Sudafed is one popular decongestant. Although most people may take these drugs, as they can only exacerbate their issues, people with high blood pressure should avoid them.
- Nasal Steroids: When you want to reduce the inflammation of the nasal passage and nasal congestion, nasal steroids come in handy. It is recommended to use this in conjunction with saline drops or sprays as it will prevent the drying out of your nasal passage. Rhinocort, Flonase, and Nasacort are only a few widely used nasal steroids.
- Eye Drops: Itchy and watery eyes are allergy symptoms which are particularly painful and irritating. Eye drops may be helpful to fight this as they soothe the itching and decrease the redness of the eyes. Pataday and Zaditor are eye drops that have been approved by the FDA and are available in most pharmacies.
9 Important Things To Consider When Choosing Your Allergy Medication
Here are a few suggestions you should be aware of before you choose your allergy medication:
Is Your Allergy Seasonal or Perennial?
After all, those pesky allergy symptoms might not be very long-lasting. In essence, the allergic reactions may either be seasonal or perennial. Seasonal allergies can be caused by cold, pollen, grass, or weeds and are most likely to occur annually from January to April.
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Perennial allergies may be caused by environmental factors such as dust, mites, mould, insects, pet hair or specified food types. Allergic responses to these triggers are not time-bound and each time you are exposed to them, you start to react.
You will have to choose drugs that better fits your condition, depending on whether your allergy is perennial or seasonal. The bulk of this drug is available in both Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs and as prescription drugs.
What Could Possibly Be Your Symptoms?
The symptoms can range from incessant sneezing to fatigue, regardless of whether your allergies are seasonal or perennial. You can find yourself struggling when your body attempts to counteract the cause of the reaction. Symptoms include:
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Chest congestion
- Itchy throat
Which Is Better – OTC or Brand Medication?
Whether OTC or branded drug, the majority of medicinal items have the same mix. The main difference between a branded medication and the OTC medication is price.
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Your pharmacist will help you find OTC medicine that is just as effective as relieving the symptoms of your allergy and is also available at almost a fraction of the price of a branded variety.
What If OTC Medication Doesn’t Work For You?
It’s not always important to reduce your allergy symptoms with the most widely available drug at your pharmacy. To learn the exact conditions for your reaction to particular allergens, you can visit a physician and then take the medications they recommend specifically for your condition.
In addition, while most allergy medications are available over the counter, a pharmacist might need you to get a prescription. It’s best to see the physician and consult them in such cases.
How Do You Combat Drowsiness Due To Allergy Medication?
Many of us are resisting taking allergy medication, afraid it will put us to sleep immediately. Many older antihistamines like Benadryl are capable of inducing drowsiness. Although it’s said newer ones like Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, and Xyzal are less likely to make you drowsy.
Consult your pharmacist when you want a cough and cold medicine and take their advice to find a medicine that won’t put you to sleep.
Can You Take More Than One Allergy Medication At Once?
Allergy medication can be used in combination depending on the symptoms. Taking an antihistamine with a decongestant, for example, is perfectly appropriate and can be extremely beneficial.
However, avoid doubling up on allergy drugs. Taking Allegra in the morning and Zyrtec in the evening, for example, may be dangerous until the doctor has clearly advised you.
Can You Drink Alcohol While On Allergy Medication?
If you are on some medicine, it is extremely unethical to drink alcohol. With the risk of side effects and disability, drinking alcohol while being on an older antihistamine like Benadryl can be extremely harmful.
Although the result is not as bad when combined with the newer antihistamines, consuming alcohol when experiencing an allergic reaction is still not advisable!
Can You Take OTC Allergy Medication Every Day?
OTC allergy drugs are not dangerous, and taking them every day is also completely safe. They are relatively mild and are only working to ease symptoms.
In addition, it often takes up to two weeks for OTC nasal sprays to take their effect, and so it would only be standard for you to use it for that duration. Additionally, if you feel ill with any of the associated symptoms, you should take antihistamines as long as you obey the directions on the box.
When Should You Avoid Taking Allergy Medication?
If you have complications with your prostate or glaucoma, stop using older antihistamines such as Benadryl. Non-sedating antihistamines are suitable for nearly anyone’s use. Decongestants are better used for those who have high blood pressure.
If you are pregnant or a new mom who is breastfeeding, it is best to check with your doctor before taking any allergy medication for your reactions.
In both adults and children alike, allergic reactions are very normal. Depending on the symptoms of the allergy and following your pharmacist’s proper advice, you should make the right choice for an allergy medication that will make you feel much better!