Allergy medications: Know your options

Allergy drugs: Know your options

Several varieties of drugs are used to address allergy symptoms. Here’s more details.

By Mayo Clinic Personnel

Allergy drugs are offered as supplements, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, eyedrops, skin creams and shots (injections). Some are offered about-the-counter other folks are offered by prescription only. Here’s a summary of the varieties of allergy drugs and why they are used.


Antihistamines block histamine, a symptom-resulting in chemical released by your immune method for the duration of an allergic response.

Tablets and liquids

Oral antihistamines are offered about-the-counter and by prescription. They simplicity a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives, swelling, and other symptoms or symptoms of allergies. Because some of these medications can make you sense drowsy and tired, get them with warning when you need to have to drive or do other pursuits that have to have alertness.

Antihistamines that are likely to bring about drowsiness contain:

  • Diphenhydramine
  • Chlorpheniramine

These antihistamines are much a lot less very likely to bring about drowsiness:

  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy)
  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra, Allegra Allergy)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal, Xyzal Allergy)
  • Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)

Nasal sprays

Antihistamine nasal sprays assistance relieve sneezing, itchy or runny nose, sinus congestion, and postnasal drip. Side outcomes of antihistamine nasal sprays may well contain a bitter style, drowsiness or emotion tired. Prescription antihistamine nasal sprays contain:

  • Azelastine (Astelin, Astepro)
  • Olopatadine (Patanase)


Antihistamine eyedrops, offered about-the-counter or by prescription, can simplicity itchy, red, swollen eyes. These drops may well have a blend of antihistamines and other medications.

Side outcomes may well contain headache and dry eyes. If antihistamine drops sting or burn, try holding them in the refrigerator or working with refrigerated synthetic-tear drops just before you use them. Illustrations contain:

  • Ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor)
  • Olopatadine (Pataday, Patanol, Pazeo)
  • Pheniramine and naphazoline (Visine, Opcon-A, other folks)


Decongestants are used for swift, temporary aid of nasal and sinus congestion. They can bring about problems sleeping, headache, increased blood force and irritability. They are not proposed for individuals with higher blood force, cardiovascular condition, glaucoma or hyperthyroidism.

Tablets and liquids

Oral decongestants relieve nasal and sinus congestion triggered by hay fever (allergic rhinitis). A lot of decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), are offered about-the-counter.

A variety of oral allergy drugs incorporate a decongestant and an antihistamine. Illustrations contain:

  • Cetirizine and pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D 12 Hour)
  • Desloratadine and pseudoephedrine (Clarinex-D)
  • Fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D)
  • Loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D)

Nasal sprays and drops

Nasal decongestant sprays and drops relieve nasal and sinus congestion if used only for a shorter time. Recurring use of these medications for more than a few consecutive times could consequence in a cycle exactly where congestion recurs or receives worse. Illustrations contain:

  • Oxymetazoline (Afrin)
  • Tetrahydrozoline (Tyzine)


Corticosteroids relieve symptoms by suppressing allergy-linked irritation.

Nasal sprays

Corticosteroid sprays stop and relieve stuffiness, sneezing and runny nose. Side outcomes can contain an unpleasant style, nasal discomfort and nosebleeds. Illustrations contain:

  • Budesonide (Rhinocort)
  • Fluticasone furoate (Flonase Sensimist)
  • Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Aid)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour)

For individuals who are bothered by the emotion of liquid functioning down their throats or the unpleasant style of these sprays, there are two aerosol formulation:

  • Beclomethasone (Qnasl)
  • Ciclesonide (Zetonna)


Inhaled corticosteroids are usually used day by day as section of treatment method for bronchial asthma triggered or challenging by reactions to airborne allergy triggers (allergens). Side outcomes are typically small and can contain mouth and throat discomfort and oral yeast bacterial infections.

Some inhalers combine corticosteroids with very long-acting bronchodilators. Prescription inhalers contain:

  • Beclomethasone (Qvar Redihaler)
  • Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
  • Ciclesonide (Alvesco)
  • Fluticasone (Flovent)
  • Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)


Corticosteroid eyedrops are used to relieve persistent itchy, red or watery eyes when other interventions are not powerful. A medical professional specializing in eye problems (ophthalmologist) commonly monitors the use of these drops mainly because of the chance of troubles, such as cataracts, glaucoma and infection. Illustrations contain:

  • Fluorometholone (Flarex, FML)
  • Loteprednol (Alrex, Lotemax)
  • Prednisolone (Omnipred, Pred Forte, other folks)

Tablets and liquids

Oral corticosteroids are used to address intense symptoms triggered by all varieties of allergic reactions. Lengthy-time period use can bring about cataracts, osteoporosis, muscle weak spot, tummy ulcers, increased blood sugar (glucose) and delayed advancement in young children. Oral corticosteroids can also worsen higher blood force.

Prescription oral corticosteroids contain:

  • Prednisolone (Prelone)
  • Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)

Skin creams

Corticosteroid creams relieve allergic skin reactions such as itching, redness or scaling. Some very low-potency corticosteroid creams are offered without having a prescription, but discuss to your health practitioner just before working with these medications for more than a number of months.

Side outcomes can contain skin discoloration and discomfort. Lengthy-time period use, specially of stronger prescription corticosteroids, can bring about thinning of the skin and irregular hormone amounts. Illustrations contain:

  • Betamethasone (Dermabet, Diprolene, other folks)
  • Desonide (Desonate, DesOwen)
  • Hydrocortisone (Locoid, Micort-HC, other folks)
  • Mometasone (Elocon)
  • Triamcinolone

Mast mobile stabilizers

Mast mobile stabilizers block the release of chemicals in the immune method that contribute to allergic reactions. These medications are typically risk-free but commonly need to have to be used for numerous times to generate the comprehensive influence. They are commonly used when antihistamines are not performing or not very well-tolerated.

Nasal spray

More than-the-counter nasal sprays contain cromolyn (Nasalcrom).


Prescription eyedrops contain the subsequent:

  • Cromolyn (Crolom)
  • Lodoxamide (Alomide)
  • Nedocromil (Alocril)

Leukotriene inhibitors

A leukotriene inhibitor is a prescription treatment that blocks symptom-resulting in chemicals identified as leukotrienes. This oral treatment relieves allergy symptoms and symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. Only a person variety of this drug, montelukast (Singulair), is approved for dealing with hay fever.

In some individuals, leukotriene inhibitors can bring about psychological symptoms such as nervousness, melancholy, peculiar goals, problems sleeping, and suicidal contemplating or behavior.

Allergen immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is thoroughly timed and slowly increased exposure to allergens, specifically all those that are tough to prevent, such as pollens, dust mites and molds. The intention is to prepare the body’s immune method not to respond to these allergens.

Immunotherapy may well be used when other treatment plans are not powerful or tolerated. It is also valuable in minimizing bronchial asthma symptoms in some patients.


Immunotherapy could be provided as a sequence of injections, commonly a person or two times a 7 days. The dose could be increased weekly or each individual two months centered on the patient’s tolerance. Injections of the utmost tolerated dose could then be provided each individual two to four months year spherical.

Side outcomes may well contain discomfort at the injection internet site and allergy symptoms such as sneezing, congestion or hives. Not often, allergy shots can bring about anaphylaxis, a sudden daily life-threatening response that leads to swelling in the throat, problem respiratory, and other symptoms and symptoms.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)

With this variety of immunotherapy, you area an allergen-centered pill beneath your tongue (sublingual) and enable it to be absorbed. This treatment method has been demonstrated to minimize runny nose, congestion, eye discomfort and other symptoms related with hay fever. It also improves bronchial asthma symptoms.

One particular SLIT pill consists of dust mites (Odactra). Several SLIT tablets incorporate extracts from pollens of various varieties of grass, such as the subsequent:

  • Short ragweed (Ragwitek)
  • Sweet vernal, orchard, perennial rye, Timothy and Kentucky blue grass (Oralair)
  • Timothy grass (Grastek)

Organic drugs

Some drugs goal a precise response in the immune method and try to stop it from going on. These drugs are provided as injections. They contain dupilumab (Dupixent) to address allergic skin reactions and omalizumab (Xolair) to address bronchial asthma or hives when other drugs never assistance.

Side outcomes of organic drugs could contain redness, itchiness, or discomfort of the eyes and discomfort at the injection internet site.

Crisis epinephrine shots

Epinephrine shots are used to address anaphylaxis, a sudden, daily life-threatening response. The drug is administered with a self-injecting syringe and needle machine (automobile-injector). You may well need to have to have two automobile-injectors if there is certainly a probability you could have a intense allergic response to a certain food, such as peanuts, or if you’re allergic to bee or wasp venom.

A second injection is occasionally essential. As a consequence, it is really vital to phone 911 or get immediate crisis healthcare treatment.

A health and fitness treatment experienced will prepare you on how to use an epinephrine automobile-injector. It is really vital to get the variety that your health practitioner prescribes, as the approach for injection could differ marginally for each individual manufacturer. Also, be absolutely sure to exchange your crisis epinephrine just before the expiration day.

Illustrations of these drugs contain:

  • Adrenaclick
  • Auvi-Q
  • EpiPen
  • EpiPen Jr

Get your doctor’s tips

Perform with your health practitioner to opt for the most powerful allergy drugs and prevent troubles. Even about-the-counter allergy drugs have side outcomes, and some allergy drugs can bring about troubles when merged with other drugs.

It is really specially vital to discuss to your health practitioner about having allergy drugs in the subsequent situations:

  • You are expecting or breast-feeding.
  • You have a persistent health and fitness ailment, such as diabetic issues, glaucoma, osteoporosis or higher blood force.
  • You are having other drugs, such as natural supplements.
  • You are dealing with allergies in a child. Little ones need to have various doses of treatment or various drugs from grown ups.
  • You are dealing with allergies in an older adult. Some allergy drugs can bring about confusion, urinary tract symptoms or other side outcomes in older grown ups.
  • You are presently having an allergy treatment that is just not performing. Bring the treatment with you in its first bottle or package deal when you see your health practitioner.

Preserve observe of your symptoms, when you use your drugs and how much you use. This will assistance your health practitioner determine out what will work finest. You may well need to have to try a number of drugs to determine which are most powerful and have the minimum bothersome side outcomes for you.