Do seasonal allergies bring you down? Airborne pollens like tree pollen in spring, grass pollen in summer, and ragweed in the fall cause that discomfort, also known as hay fever. They can bring on symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.
So, which meds might work best for you?
First, discuss your symptoms with your doctor to make sure they're caused by allergies. Then talk over your treatment options.
Be sure to read and follow labels carefully if you opt to take over-the-counter medications, and follow the directions on how to take it. Remember that you can also get most OTC medications as generic and store brands.
Nasal Corticosteroid Sprays
The first medicine your doctor will likely recommend is a nasal steroid. You can also take these with an antihistamine if needed.
A few sprays are available over the counter:
How they work: They lower inflammation.
Prescription examples include:
- Budesonide (Rhinocort)
- Ciclesonide (Omnaris)
- Fluticasone furoate ( Veramyst)
- Fluticasone propionate ( Flonase)
- Mometasone ( Nasonex)
Possible side effects are nosebleeds and a sore nose.
You can get many types, both over the counter and by prescription. They are sometimes combined with other medications like decongestants.
Antihistamines come in many forms, such as:
- Eye drops
- Nose sprays
Over-the-counter types you take by mouth include:
- Brompheniramine ( Dimetapp Allergy)
- Cetirizine ( Zyrtec)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton Allergy)
- Diphenhydramine ( Benadryl Allergy)
- Fexofenadine ( Allegra)
- Loratadine ( Alavert, Claritin)
Some antihistamines can make you drowsy. If you take them, avoid alcohol and be careful when driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you're not alert.
Prescription antihistamines include:
- Azelastine ( Astelin, Astepro)
- Desloratadine ( Clarinex)
- Levocetirizine ( Xyzal)
- Olopatadine ( Patanase)