- Nasal allergy medication facts
- Nasal allergy (allergic rhinitis) medication introduction
- Nasal allergy symptoms: an overview of treatments
- What's the difference between a controller and a reliever?
- What are antihistamines?
- How do antihistamines work?
- What are common side effects of antihistamines?
- What are decongestants?
- How do decongestants work?
- When should I use topical decongestants?
- What are side effects of decongestants?
- What about combination antihistamine/decongestant preparations?
- Nasal steroid sprays
- Other nasal sprays that might help
- Tips for proper use of nasal sprays
Nasal allergy (allergic rhinitis) medication introduction
Although they are the cornerstone of allergy treatment, avoidance measures are not always enough to manage all of the symptoms of nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis). When the symptoms of nasal allergies are mild or intermittent, antihistamines with or without decongestants can help. Very often, some relief can be found in taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and this is usually the first step an allergy sufferer will take. Self-medication, though, is frequently inadequate since OTC drugs cannot adequately treat the more intense inflammation that develops in the nose. At this stage, anti-inflammatory medications are required, usually in the form of intra- nasal steroid sprays (sprayed into the nose).
The combination of an antihistamine (with or without a decongestant) and a topical nasal steroid spray will usually afford good relief with minimal side effects. Other classes of medications have also been used. For example, leukotriene receptor antagonists, cromolyns and anticholinergic agents are all types of medications used to treat nasal allergies. The following article presents aspects of these medication types in more detail to understand their role in the treatment of nasal allergy.
Nasal allergy symptoms: an overview of treatments
This is a simplified overview of nasal allergy symptoms and the treatment(s) used to reduce or stop these symptoms.
|Sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose/throat||Antihistamine|
|Combinations of sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose/throat, and stuffy nose||Antihistamine plus a decongestant. For more severe symptoms, steroids, cromolyn (Intal, Opticrom, Gastrocrom), or anticholinergic agents may be added.|
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