FROM OUR EXPERTS
There are tons of allergy medicines available , both over the counter and by prescription. So, how can you know which one is best?
The answer to this question is not a simple one. First, it will be helpful to explore the main type of medicine used to treat allergies, which is an antihistamine . An antihistamine is a drug that blocks a receptor for histamine. Histamine is a chemical in your body that over-reacts to certain triggers, or allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust mites or pet dander and produces allergy symptoms. These symptoms can include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, sniffling, and itching. So, antihistamines help relieve or prevent those symptoms.
Let's look closer at the different choices you have for allergy medication:
First-generation antihistamines. These are the original medicines developed to treat allergy symptoms and are available over the counter. These medications are generally effective, but have some bothersome side effects, especially drowsiness, w...
Alternative Names Benadryl overdose; Sominex overdose; Nytol overdose References Wax P. Anticholinergic toxicity. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide . 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 183. Kirk MA, Baer AB. Anticholinergics and antihistamines. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose . 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 39.
Treatment If rhinitis symptoms are caused by non-allergic conditions, particularly if there are accompanying symptoms indicating a serious problem, the doctor should treat any underlying disorders. If rhinitis is caused by medications, such as decongestants, the patient may need to stop taking them or find alternatives. A variety of factors must be considered in selecting a treatment approach. These include: Severity of the symptoms Frequency (seasonal versus all year, how often during the week) Age of patient Presence of other related illnesses, such as asthma, atopic eczema, sinusitis, and polyps Patient preference regarding types of treatment Association with allergens Potential and known side effects of medications Patient's age Treatment Options Patients with allergic rhinitis have many treatment options available to them: Environmental control measures can help reduce exposure to allergens. Nasal washes may provide good symptomatic relief for some patients. Different nasal sprays, including na...
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