Taking Antihistamines With Other Medicines Food Or Alcohol
Speak to a pharmacist or GP before taking antihistamines if youre already taking other medicines.
There may be a risk the medicines do not mix, which could stop either from working properly or increase the risk of side effects.
Examples of medicines that could cause problems if taken with antihistamines include some types of:
- stomach ulcer or indigestion medicines
- cough and cold remedies that also contain an antihistamine
Try not to drink alcohol while taking an antihistamine, particularly if its a type that makes you drowsy, as it can increase the chances of it making you feel sleepy.
Food and other drinks do not affect most antihistamines, but check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to make sure.
The Cost Of Otc Allergy Medicine
OTC allergy medications vary significantly in price, according to our analysis. Costs ranged from around 25 cents for an antihistamine tablet to nearly $20 for a months supply of nasal spray.
Our Best OTC Allergy Medications for Adults and Children ranking didnt include the vast number of generic versions with the same active ingredients as many brand name products. Generic products are held to the same FDA regulations as brand name products, making them just as effective as their brand name counterparts but at a lower price.
If you find that Claritin, for example, is an antihistamine that works for you, you may want to consider a generic version of loratadine as a more affordable alternative.
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Types Of Otc Nasal Sprays
OTC nasal sprays can be categorized by their active ingredients .
- Steroid. OTC steroid nasal sprays are mean to reduce inflammation. Thats why theyre recommended for treating allergies and chronic sinusitis. The steroid sprays may contain budesonide or fluticasone.
- Antihistamine. Antihistamine sprays are meant to blunt the impact of an allergen that your body is reacting to. These products are mostly recommended for allergies. Active antihistamine ingredients in nasal sprays are azelastine or olopatadine.
- Nasal decongestant. These types of sprays aim to shrink irritated blood vessels that line your nose, reducing inflammation to help you breathe more easily. Ingredients may include oxymetazoline hydrochloride or phenylephrine hydrochloride.
- Saline. Saline sprays dont contain active ingredients, but they can loosen mucus and help you to breathe more easily.
Over The Counter Painkillers To Get Rid Of Sinus Headaches
Though the decongestants can reduce the swelling and improve the breathing through nostrils, it cannot reduce the pain. So, to reduce the pain, there are some over the counter painkillers that are best to get rid of sinus headaches fast. These include Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Acetaminophen and Naproxem sodium. However, for these medicines as well, prolonged intake is not recommended. You must follow the label instructions for dosage and stop taking them altogether if it is already 10 days or as your doctor prescribes.
For pregnant women, aspirin and ibuprofen are not prescribed. They can take acetaminophen instead. However, one must consult a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications since it may have major side effects on the pregnancy and the baby.
It must also be mentioned that many of the over the counter painkillers already contain decongestants. So, if you are taking decongestants separately, make sure that you control your dosage and avoid taking too much of it through two different medicines. Most of the over the counter pain relievers help in reducing inflammation along with the pain. So, if the cause of the sinus headache is inflammation, these medicines would be able to cure them as well.
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Flonase 24hour Allergy Relief Nasal Spray
Flonase provides users with 24-hour relief from both year-round and seasonal allergies. For most users,it successfully alleviates sneezing, nasal congestion and runny, itchy noses. Flonase also helps eliminate itchy, watery eyes. It does so by blocking six inflammatory substances: histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines, and leukotrienes. Importantly, Flonase is non-drowsy, non-jittery and can be used by anyone over age 2 . Its worth noting that it may take a few days for the spray to become effective and has a scent of roses, which some people find irritating.
Medicines That Help Relieve Sinus Congestion
Brand names of some of the best OTC medications for sinus congestion include:
Which Otc Allergy Medication Is Best For You
Runny nose, watery eyes, nasal itching, sneezingdo any of these sound familiar to you? Many of us suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are usually due to tree pollens in the spring, grass pollens in the summer, and weed pollens in the fall. Some people even suffer from indoor allergies such as animal dander, dust mites, and molds.
The first step to managing allergies is to avoid exposure to allergens that trigger an allergic reaction. People are most commonly exposed to allergens by inhaling them. Outdoor allergens are often responsible for seasonal allergy symptoms while indoor allergens may be responsible for year-round allergy symptoms.
Often, allergens cant be completely avoided, and drug therapy is needed to decrease or prevent symptoms due to allergies. Common over the counter medications used to treat allergies include oral antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids.
Oral AntihistaminesOral antihistamines are often considered the first-line agents for the treatment of mild to moderate allergy symptoms and are sometimes given in combination with a nasal decongestant or a nasal steroid. These medications are effective in reducing symptoms of itching, sneezing, and runny noses. There are two types of oral antihistamines: first-generation and second-generation antihistamines. For the best symptom relief, antihistamines should be taken either prophylactically , or on a regular basis if needed chronically.
What About Side Effects
You shouldnât drive when you take antihistamines such as brompheniramine , chlorpheniramine , clemastine , and diphenhydramine . They can make you drowsy. Others such as desloratadine , fexofenadine , and loratadine usually donât.
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
You shouldnât take decongestants if you have certain health issues, including high blood pressure or heart problems. If you have prostate problems that make it hard to pee, these drugs can make the problem worse.
Donât use decongestant nasal sprays for more than 3 days in a row, as they may make your nasal congestion and swelling worse and last longer.
Check the drug label for more information about side effects.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology: “Tips to Remember: Asthma and Allergy Medications” and “Allergic Conditions: Antihistamines.”
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Side Effects Of Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is well tolerated, and most people do well with it. The rare side effects of allergy shots include redness, inflammation or irritation at the site of injection, with occasional allergic reaction to the allergy shot. There are no reported side effects or issues from the use of allergy drops. If you are interested in taking the easiest route to a long-term solution with no side effects, schedule an appointment with us to begin the process of allergy drop treatment.
The Best Of Both Antihistamines And Decongestants
Certain OTC allergy medications like Allegra Allergy contain both an antihistamine and decongestant to relieve multiple symptoms at once. These combination drugs can be an effective treatment for people who experience nasal congestion or trouble breathing in addition to other common allergies like hay fever, itchy skin, scratchy throat, hives, or itchy eyes.
Examples of Combination Over the Counter Allergy Medications
Side Effects of Combination Medications
Due to the fact that OTC allergy combination medications typically include both antihistamines and decongestants, patients can experience side effects associated with either treatment. While these combination medications are non-drowsy and drowsiness is unlikely, it can still occur, as can insomnia or irritability and an increase in blood pressure.
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Find Out More About Your Medicine
The leaflet that comes in the packet with your medicine will have detailed information about it, including how to take it and what side effects you might get.
If you no longer have the leaflet that came with your medicine, you can search for an online version of it using our medicines guide.
You may also find information on individual antihistamines on these websites:
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Knowing The Difference Is The Key To Treatment
For too many of us, springtime is synonymous with congestion. The combination of lingering winter colds and air suddenly full of pollen conspires to make it the season of stuffy noses, runny eyes, aching headsand frustrating attempts to rein them all in.
Effective treatment starts with knowing whether your symptoms stem from allergies, such as hay fever, or sinusitis, an infection of the air cavities surrounding the nasal passages that frequently develops as a complication of the common cold.
But knowing the difference can be hard since some symptoms can overlap. And even when you know the cause, there are so many treatments to choose from that its easy to end up with something that doesnt help much or even causes more problems than it solves.
For example, millions of Americans are prescribed antibiotics for sinusitis even though the drugs usually arent necessary. The problem is so widespread that such organizations as the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recently started a campaign to discourage doctors from prescribing those drugs unnecessarily.
Allergy sufferers are often unsure of which drugstore products they should turn to or which lifestyle changes are most effective. Thats unfortunate not only because it prolongs their misery but also because growing research suggests that inadequately controlled nasal allergies can worsen other health problems, notably asthma.
The Best Allergy Medicine Delivered Straight To Your Door
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Allergy Medicine Treating The Bodys Adverse Reaction To A Substance
A good percentage of the worlds population is affected by an allergy.
An allergy is the bodys reaction to a substance that doesnt cause much harm to other people, but it does to you. These allergens include dust, pollen, chemicals, foods, animal fur and insect stings.
Allergic reactions include:
- Skin rashes dermatitis, hives
- Excessive sweating
- Bloated stomach, intestinal disturbances, and others. In rare instances, the immune systems react so strongly to the offending substance that death occurs. The most deadly reaction occurs when the allergen gets into the bloodstream and causes an anaphylactic reaction respiratory distress, severe itching, and shock.
Allergies can be debilitating and sinusitis is often so painful it can lead to time off from work. Acute sinusitis will develop quickly and lasts up to 10 days while chronic sinusitis is a long-term inflammation of the sinuses.
In adults, chronic sinusitis can lead to nasal swelling. Allergies cause histamine to be released and this causes the inner lining of the nose to swell and prevent sinus drainage. People with asthma and immune system problems develop chronic sinusitis more often than others.
When Do You Need An Allergy Medicine How Do You Know If You Need One
Dont wait for a full-blown attack of coughing and sniffing before you take an allergy medicine. Then again, before you start taking an antihistamine, make sure you have an allergy and not something else. You want the medication to launch an immediate attack on your sniffles so that they dont develop into anything. Another important factor is consistency. If you are one who easily forgets to take meds, then maybe opting for an allergy shot is a better option for you.
Desensitization or immunotherapy using a repeated injection of an offending allergen can bring relief. You start off with visiting your doctor once or twice a week, with the dosage going up gradually until you get a maintenance dose. Then youll get a shot every 3 or 4 weeks for about 4 or 5 months. The doctor will then increase the time between shots so that youre getting them once a month for 3 5 years. During this time your allergy symptoms may disappear almost completely.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Fast
You can treat a sinus infection at home or with OTC medications for symptom relief, and/or a prescription antibiotic medication, in the case of a bacterial infection. Stay hydrated, use a humidifier, and sleep at an incline to help resolve your sinus infection quickly. Consult your healthcare provider to see if you need an antibiotic.
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Combination Antihistamine And Decongestant
There are also medications that combine both antihistamines and decongestants. These are also typically available through the pharmacist or by prescription and not over the counter. You can recognize which medications are a combination because the name is followed by a -D. These include:
A Guide To The Best Over
Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies, or the whole year is just one big sneezing fit, finding the best over-the-counter allergy medicine can be a case of trial and error. With antihistamines, decongestants, combination treatments and more to choose from, there’s a lot of products to sift through as you try to find the right medication for your allergy symptoms.
Thankfully, with the passage of the CARES Act in March 2020, an allergy sufferer can now purchase over-the-counter allergy medicines with their FSA with no prescription required, so you can now factor in the cost of these medicines into your yearly FSA contributions. Effectively, an entire section of your pharmacy has just been opened up to FSA spending, so it’s time to take advantage!
FSAstore.com makes it easy to get the health and wellness products you need to stay healthy, and with hundreds of newly stocked medications now available, we have a lot more topics to write about on the FSA Learning Center! First, let’s start by examining the most common allergy medicines available for FSA spending, so you can pinpoint the best or new over-the-counter allergy meds for you and your family.
Your OTC Allergy Meds Guide
When should I use antihistamines?
Common Over-the-Counter Antihistamines: Cetirizine , Desloratadine , Fexofenadine , Levocetirizine and Loratadine .
When should I use a decongestant?
When should I use corticosteroids?
4. Mast Cell Stabilizers
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