Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Prescription Treatments for Allergic Rhinitis continued...

If you are concerned about taking a steroid, experts stress that these are very safe drugs. One key advantage of nasal sprays is that they focus the medication on the affected area – in your nose – and deliver with minimal risk instead of circulating it throughout the body.

Prescription antihistamines and decongestants. Your doctor may also recommend a prescription antihistamine pill like desloratadine ( Clarinex) or levocetirizine ( Xyzal). Some prescription antihistamines also contain a decongestant. Azelastine ( Astelin) is a nasal spray antihistamine that’s often used alongside steroid sprays. Antihistamines also come as prescription eye drops.

Other medications. Singulair, a medication called a "leukotriene modifier" helps relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis, but should not be the main form of treatment. Depending on your symptoms, prescription sprays and eye drops are also options. For severe flare-ups, oral steroids can help -- prednisone is the standard.

Immunotherapy. While other treatments for allergic rhinitis are a temporary fix, immunotherapy -- in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets or drops -- can be a genuine cure. They work by regularly exposing you to tiny amounts of an allergen, so your body slowly becomes used to it. Over time, even large amounts shouldn’t provoke an allergic reaction. Allergy shots are effective in about 85% to 90% of people.

If you’re wary of long-term drug use, allergy shots might be the best approach. “What you’re getting in the injection is a tiny amount of the allergen, and your immune system does the rest,” says Bowser. “It’s really the most natural treatment we have.”

The tablets currently available include Grastek, Ragwitek, and Oralair. After an initial dose in your doctor's office, this type of treatment is usually used at home.

Allergic Rhinitis Self-Care

Medications are often the key to handling nasal allergies and sinus problems. But there’s also a lot that you can do on your own. Here are some suggestions.

Nasal irrigation. To the uninitiated, squirting salt water in your nose might seem to be a bizarre treatment for nasal allergies. But it works. “Some trials found that nasal irrigation works as well as antihistamines in reducing symptoms,” says Bowser. There’s evidence that it relieves sinus symptoms, too.


doctor and patient

Tips for Parents During Allergy Season

How to reduce/treat seasonal allergies in children.

View Now