What Are the Side Effects of Bronchodilators?
Bronchodilators are potent drugs. If overused, they can cause dangerous side effects such as high blood pressure and a fast heartbeat.
Mast Cell Stabilizers
Mast cell stabilizers can be used to treat mild to moderate inflammation in the bronchial tubes and other allergy symptoms. These medications can also be used to prevent asthma symptoms during exercise and can be given before exposure to an allergen when it cannot be avoided.
Mast cell stabilizers are available as inhalers for asthma, eyedrops for allergic conjunctivitis, and nasal sprays for nasal allergy symptoms. Like with many drugs, it may take several weeks before the full effects are felt.
Some examples of mast cell stabilizers include:
- Cromolyn sodium (Intal)
- Lodoxamide (Alomide)
- Nedocromil (Alocril)
How Do Mast Cell Stabilizers Work?
Mast cell stabilizers work by preventing the release of histamine from mast cells (cells that make and store histamine). Some of these drugs also have important anti-inflammatory effects, but typically they are not as effective as steroids.
What Are the Side Effects of Mast Cell Stabilizers?
Throat irritation, coughing or skin rashes sometimes can occur with inhaled mast cell stabilizers. Mast cell stabilizers in the form of eye drops may cause burning, stinging, or blurred vision when they are administered.
Leukotriene modifiers are used to treat asthma and nasal allergy symptoms. They can be prescribed along with other drugs.
These medications are available only with a doctor's prescription and come as pills, chewable tablets, and oral granules.
Examples of leukotriene modifiers include:
- Monteleukast (Singulair)
- Zafirlukast (Accolate)
- Zyflo (zileuton)
How Do Leukotriene Modifiers Work?
Leukotriene modifiers block the effects of leukotrienes, chemicals produced in the body in response to an allergic reaction.
What Are the Side Effects of Leukotriene Modifiers?
Side effects of these drugs are rare, especially for Accolate and Singulair, but may include:
- Stomach pain or stomach upset
- Stuffy nose
- Behavioral issues
Other Over-The-Counter Products
Some simple over-the-counter products can help with allergy symptoms. They include:
- Saltwater solution, or saline, is available as a nasal spray to relieve mild congestion, loosen mucus, and prevent crusting. These sprays contain no medicine.
- Artificial tears, which also contain no medicine, are available to treat itchy, watery, and red eyes.