Allergy Season

Many people treat spring allergies with a number of over-the-counter drugs. Over-the-counter allergy drugs are effective for many people and include the following:

  • Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching by lowering the amount of histamine (the substance produced during allergic reaction) in the body.

  • Decongestants clear mucus out of the nasal passageways to relieve congestion and swelling.

  • Antihistamine / decongestants combine the effects of both drugs.

  • Nasal spray decongestants relieve congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages faster than oral decongestants.

  • Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can help prevent hay fever by stopping the release of histamine before it can trigger allergy symptoms.

  • Eye drops relieve itchy, watery eyes.

Even though you can buy these allergy drugs without a prescription, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you choose the right medication. This will ensure the over-the-counter drugs you are taking do not react with prescription medication. Don’t use over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants for more than a few days without consulting your doctor.

If over-the-counter remedies don’t help allergies, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication or allergy shots.

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