So that moment of the year is near when a runny nose, watery eyes or sneezing are returning to make your life uncomfortable. Avoiding such allergic things are necessary, but in case of serious issues, medicines are imperative. If you look around for top allergy medications, there are tablets or pills, liquids, nasal sprays, inhalers and even skin creams as well as injections available in the market. While some medicines can be bought over-the-counter, some are exclusively available by doctor’s prescription only.
There are certain divisions among the allergy medications, knowing these can be of great help at the time of need.
Allergy is caused by histamine which is resulted by body’s immune system as a reaction to the allergic products. Antihistamine medicines block histamine and give relief to the patient. These are available in pills, liquids, sprays and eye drops.
If you’re suffering from watery eyes, runny nose, swelling or some other sorts of signs of allergies, oral antihistamines are good for you. These are available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Some medicines are sedatives and cause drowsiness, so it’s important to take great care if you’re going to drive. Nowadays second-generation antihistamines are more popular than older antihistamines like Benadryl or Diphenhydramine, Chlorpheniramine because of their less-sedative features. Although overdosages of even these medications like Cetirizine,
Desloratadine, Fexofenadine or Levocetirizine can cause drowsiness.
- Nasal sprays
If you’re suffering from sneezing or a runny nose, blocked sinus or postnasal drip, nasal sprays can be useful. In terms of side effects, overdosage can lead to addiction and sometimes may include bitterness in tastes, sedation, and tiredness. Among prescribed ones which are used as top allergy medications, Azelastine and Olopatadine are good.
- Eye drops
There are antihistamine eye drops which are available as OTC drop can be helpful for getting relief from red or swollen eye or watery eyes. In case of a stinging sensation in eyes, keep them in the fridge. Azelastine, Emedastine, Ketotifen, Olopatadine have good effects.
Those medicines which are useful in giving fast and temporary relief in the sinus or nasal blockage, are termed as decongestants. But not everyone can use these as top allergy medications, especially pregnant and nursing women as these can result in lack of sleep, headache, high blood pressure, irritability, etc. Older people (above 60) or this having cardiac issues, hypertension, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and glaucoma can’t be prescribed these types of medicines. These are also available in pills, liquids, and sprays.
- Pills and liquids
These decongestants are taken orally and useful for sinus blockage. Several types like pseudoephedrine (Afrinol, Sudafed, others), come under OTC decongestants. Besides, some oral medicines carry a combination of decongestant as well as antihistamines.
- Nasal Sprays
Similar to the antihistamines, these sprays and drops are quite effective only if temporarily used. Usually, as per recommendation, three days of dosage is appropriate, and repeated use can be harmful in causing a cycle of recurring congestion or blockage. Among such medicines, Oxymetazoline and Tetrahydrozoline are effective.
Such medicines suppress inflammation caused by an allergy. Among the forms of corticosteroids, nasal sprays, inhalers, pills liquids and eye drops are available along with skin creams.
- Nasal sprays
Sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness are cured by these sprays. Unpleasant smell or nasal irritation can result in a severe level of side-effects. Generic medicines like Budesonide, Fluticasone furoate, Mometasone, Fluticasone propionate are some of the top allergy medications.
Inhalers are used on a daily basis for people having asthma, caused by dirt, airborne allergens. There are some prescribed inhalers with generic Mometasone, Beclomethasone, Fluticasone, Budesonide, etc. Besides, a few ones have corticosteroids as well as other asthma medicines in combination.
- Eye drops
Before using any drops, clinical diagnosis and checkups by an ophthalmologist are necessary. Vision problems, cataract, glaucoma, and other eye infections must be thoroughly checked. Fluorometholone, Loteprednol are some of them. Among pills or liquids, a severe condition of allergies needs such medicines. But persistent use can cause cataract, muscle weakness, ulcer in the stomach, rising blood sugar, osteoporosis. Skin creams with corticosteroid can be helpful in reducing itchy, scaling and other irritation. But it’s necessary to get doctor’s prescription and check up before availing some OTC as long-term dose can result in thinning of skin layers, and damaged hormone quantities.
These oral medicines are used to block leukotrienes, caused by allergies and help in getting relief from allergic symptoms. Doctor’s prescription is necessary for this.
In case of pollens, dust mites, molds related allergens, immunotherapy is useful if other treatments are not effective. Series of injections for 3 to 5 years are also there. Sublingual immunotherapy is used for treating hay fever and other common allergic symptoms.
Mast cell stabilizers
Slow yet useful in terms of effects to inhibit mast cell chemicals during allergic reactions. Usually taken when antihistamines are not effective and available in sprays, eye drops.
But before using any of the top allergy medications, it’s important to talk to the doctor about the medical history and if you’re already on some medicines for other physiological conditions.