If you suffer with allergies, depending on the severity, you may at some point need to consider medications to help you manage symptoms. Here are 5 of the most common medications used and the pros and cons of each.
Antihistamines – These are probably the most widely used and well known of the medications we will discuss in this article. They can be bought over the counter at drug stores and super markets under various brand names. But the bottom line is that they contain Diphenhydramine.
This drug relieves watering eyes, sneezing, itching, runny nose and swelling of nasal tissue, and reduce mucous production and post nasal drip. And while these are all great, they often cause sleepiness. For others they can also result in hyperactivity, nervousness, and constipation.
Decongestants – The active ingredients are Pseudoephedine and ibuprofen. These reduce the size of the blood vessels which in the nasal cavity means a reduction of congestion because of the reduction volume of fluid that is able to get out. And being able to breathe through your nose again is great.
The down side is that they can pose an added risk for those with high blood pressure because making the blood vessels smaller increases blood pressure. Used over a long period of time, over the counter decongestants can cause an increase in congestion. Those that are prescribed by a doctor can be used for a longer period of times without this side effect.
Inhaled Anti-Inflammatory – Allows more air into the nose by reducing inflammation of the soft tissue. The active ingredient is Cromolyn. And the good news is that this drug has relatively few negative side effects.
Leukotriene Modifiers – This medication work to stop symptoms before they occur. When the body of an allergic person encounters an allergen, the chemical leukotriene is released into the blood as a defense and cause muscles to contract, an increase of fluids from blood vessels, and an increase in inflammation. The modifiers neutralize leukotriene and that often results in fewer symptoms.
This type of drug can react differently and / or poorly with other drugs including aspirin. Nausea, infection, and headache are a few of the side effects that can result.
Nasal Steroids – Steroids reduce inflammation, and when sprayed into the nose they reduce mucous production as well as nasal inflammation. They are absorbed fairly quickly into the body and give relief for allergic rhinitis. Using them for some may result in irritation and bleeding of the nose.
Different people are affected by medications differently based on their body make – up and other medications that they may be taking. But knowing what is available gives you the most options for getting relief that will let you manage your life regularly allergies.