Allergies. Such a simple word. But if you suffer from allergies you know they are nothing close to being simple. Allergy symptoms can range from sneezing, watery eyes, sinus congestion, to skin problems such as rashes and hives.
But what can you do to stop them? If you know what prompts your allergic reaction, you stay away from that substance as best as you can. But sometimes the cause of ones allergies is not easy to pinpoint, even with testing. Or a person is allergic to so many things that they all can’t be avoided. When this is the case, one needs to take allergy medications.
Allergy medicines comes in both prescription and over the counter forms . They also come in pill form, spray form that you inhale, and even liquid form.
The following is a brief summary of the most common allergy medicines on the market today, along with some of their side effects.
Afrin: This is an over-the counter inhalant spray. It is used as a decongestant. It is rather inexpensive ranging from under $5.00. The major side effect is dryness of the sinus passage and it can become addictive.
Allegra: This is a prescription allergy medicine and comes in different formulas: This medicine also now comes in generic form.
180 mg: side effects: low side effects but may cause headache, cold, backache
60 mg: side effects: cold, flu, nausea, drowsiness
30 mg: side effects: headache, cold, coughing
Allegra D-12 or 24 hour – side effects: headache, insomnia, nausea, backache,
restlessness, heart palpations.
Benadryl: This can be given by prescription (at a higher dosage) or you can buy it over the counter. It is one of the older allergy medicines. It can help with red eyes, itching from hives and rashes and even help with sinus congestion. It’s major side effect is drowsiness.
Clarinex; This is also given by a prescription. The major side effects are dry mouth, fatigue, sleepiness, and sore throat.
Flonase: This is given by a prescription. It comes in a spray formula that you spray into your nose. It is suppose to help with indoor and outdoor allergies. You must use this spray daily to prevent allergies. Side effects are: headaches, sore throat and nose bleeds.
Nasonex: This is also a prescription drug. It is a steroid that comes in a nasal spray. Possible side effects are: headache, viral infection, sore throat and nose bleeds.
Singulair: This is a prescription medicine used to treat both allergies and asthma. Common side effects are headache and muscle aches.
Zyrtec: This prescribed medicine helps both indoor and outdoor allergies. It is also safe for children to use. It also comes in a decongestant formula. Side effects are: drowsiness, sore throat, fatigue. When taking the formula that includes a decongestant it can also cause, restlessness, insomnia, weakness and nervousness.
There are many other allergy medicines available both by prescription and over the counter. How do you choose what is right for you? First, talk to your doctor and then your pharmacist. Tell them your symptoms. You should also consider the price. Most prescribed allergy medicines are expensive. Of course, there is help with the cost, if you qualify.
You may want to start with some of the popular over the counter medicines before trying the prescription ones. It would also be wise to keep a journal of each medicine you try and whenever one does not work for you, add it to your list along with an explanation as to why it did not help. Then when and if you have to see your doctor about your allergies, you will have a starting point for him/her.
Allergies are not simple to diagnosis or treat. Do your research and beware of any and all side effects.