More than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. And even though allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in this country, there is still no cure for them, the organization notes. Allergic reactions occur when a person’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance. for many people, that means avoiding triggers like pet dander, mold, and pollen from grass, weeds, and trees.
Allergic reactions can vary widely. Sneezing, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, hives, and rashes are all common in allergy sufferers. In more severe cases, people may experience asthma attacks, low blood pressure, and difficulty breathing.
Because it’s impossible to completely avoid allergens, many people turn to herbal remedies and medications to help relieve their symptoms and prevent more serious reactions. But what do pharmacists recommend? Read on for their top picks for specific situations.
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This antihistamine will not put you to sleep.
The Cleveland Clinic explains that histamine is “the main chemical responsible for itching associated with allergies” and can “make your blood vessels more permeable (leaky), causing congestion.” Conversely, antihistamines work to block these effects of histamine. For everyday use, many allergists recommend non-sedating antihistamines that won’t put you to sleep during your day.
When comparing the drugs cetirizine (brand name: Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra) and loratadine (Claritin), “fexofenadine is the only long-acting, non-sedating antihistamine approved for airline pilots because it is the least sedating of the three,” Marc AronicaMD, told the Cleveland Clinic.
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Try this if you need something fast acting.
“Although it is more likely to cause drowsiness, cetirizine also has the fastest onset of action – in other words, it starts working the fastest,” the Cleveland Clinic wrote.
Zyrtec, a common brand-name cetirizine medication, treats watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, itching and hives, according to Web MD. However, it does not prevent hives or anaphylaxis and has been shown to cause depression in some patients.
This antihistamine is associated with a powerful decongestant.
According to US News & World Report, pharmacists have rated Claritin (a brand name for the drug loratadine) as the number one allergy option.
Claritin-D, an over-the-counter (OTC) version of Claritin, combines loratadine with the powerful decongestant pseudoephedrine. The Cleveland Clinic explains, “If there’s a ‘-D’ at the end of your medication name, it stands for ‘decongestant’, which means it’s an antihistamine/decongestant hybrid.” It helps your allergies by both reducing blood vessel swelling and blocking histamine, they say.
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Nasal spray can help completely prevent seasonal allergies.
Aronica and the Cleveland Clinic team urge allergy sufferers not to forget about nasal sprays when allergy season arrives. Over-the-counter (OTC) steroid sprays, such as fluticasone and betamethasone, or BTC antihistamine sprays, such as azelastine and olopatadine, not only help with allergy symptoms, but may even help them. prevent it from happening in the first place when you take it before allergy season wreaks havoc on your sinuses.
“Nasal sprays are really the best medical therapies we have for managing allergic rhinitis,” Aronica said, referring to inflammation of the nasal passages caused by allergens. “I tell my patients to start using a nasal spray at least two to three weeks before allergy season starts.”
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and health agencies, but our content is not intended to replace professional advice. Regarding any medications you are taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your health care provider directly.
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