Sneezing, running nose, itchy or watery eyes…if you’ve suffered from any of these symptoms recently, you need relief, but not necessarily from the common cold.
These symptoms, along with fever, fatigue, or rash, are all allergy symptoms.
Fortunately, there is relief. Prescription and over-the-counter allergy medication can help you and the 50 million plus people who suffer from allergies each year (and that’s just in the U.S.).
Depending on your symptoms and their severity, you have a few different allergy medications available to you. Keep reading to find out what your options are, so you can have an informed discussion with your doctor.
Types of Allergy Medications
When it comes to allergy medications, there are three broad categories that they fall into: antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids. Depending on your allergies, you may use only one or multiple types of medication for your allergy relief.
Antihistamines are either used as needed or every day. They can be taken as a liquid, nasal spray, pill, or eye drops.
Antihistamines are a popular choice for treating allergies. You may not be familiar with the generic names of cetirizine, loratadine, or azelastine.
However, you’ve probably heard of their brand names: Zyrtec, Claritin, and Astelin.
So if you’re wondering, “what is Astelin prescribed for?” The answer is simple: it’s a long-term treatment for seasonal allergies.
Antihistamines usually start working within 1-2 hours. Some antihistamine nasal sprays work much sooner – as quickly as 15 minutes.
Decongestants are only used for short-term use. It’s recommended to take them for no more than a few days.
As their name implies, they are suitable to relieve sinus and nasal congestion. They can be described alongside antihistamines.
Drugs such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) are a decongestant. Some drugs such as fexofenadine/pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D) combine both an antihistamine and a decongestant. While these combination drugs can be effective, you may experience side effects from one of the drug types.
If you’re a little stuffed up and need some temporary relief, a decongestant can help. They usually start working within 30 minutes.
Nasal steroids are also called corticosteroids. They are available in sprays, pills, eye drops, inhalers, liquid, and even skin cream forms.
A few examples of popular nasal steroids include triamcinolone (Nasacort) and fluticasone propionate (Flonase).
If you have seasonal allergies that tend to last for a few weeks, nasal steroids can be used every day for relief. For maximum effectiveness, it may take a few weeks to see results. However, unlike other allergy solutions, nasal steroids are better for preventing allergy symptoms.
Talk to Your Doctor About Allergy Medications
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and your allergy treatment options. There are many allergy medications available.
It’s likely you may be able to find an affordable over-the-counter solution that requires no prescription, and safely and effectively relieves you of your symptoms. With the right medicine, you can quickly find relief.
If you liked this article, please check out the rest of our site for more great content.