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Allergies Health Center

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Understanding Allergies -- Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Allergies? continued...

Respiratory allergies: Doctors recommend treating allergic rhinitis or hay fever with intranasal steroids. Nasal corticosteroids are typically more effective over the long term and must be used regularly. Two corticosteroid sprays, Nasacort and Flonase, are available over the counter. (such as over-the-counter loratadine) are also used in treatment, but can cause some drowsiness. Another class of drug used for hay fever is the leukotriene receptor antagonist, taken orally every day. Also, allergy shots have a high success rate for treating allergic rhinitis after one year of treatment. Prescription under-the-tongue tablets are now an option also. The tablets contain the same type of extracts used in allergy shots. As with the shots, the goal is to gradually boost a patient’s tolerance of allergy triggers.

Food allergies: The best treatment for food allergies is avoidance. If your reactions to certain foods are irritating and exacerbate conditions like eczema, but aren’t life-endangering, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or topical creams to help relieve symptoms. If you are extremely allergic and likely to go into anaphylactic shock, your doctor will prescribe an emergency kit, which you must carry with you at all times. This kit contains a preloaded injection of epinephrine, a fast-acting drug that counters anaphylactic shock. Your doctor can show you how to use this properly. You should not hesitate to use the epinephrine auto-injector if you start showing any symptoms of anaphylaxis. Even if the symptoms turn out to not be allergy related, using the auto-injector as a precaution will not harm you.

Drug allergies: If you are allergic to medications, wear a Medic-Alert bracelet and always discuss this allergy with doctors when they prescribe new medications. Some skin rashes associated with drug allergies can be generally treated with antihistamines; occasionally they are treated with oral or skin (topical) steroids. Some specialists can provide effective desensitization therapy for some antibiotics.

Insect sting allergies: Avoidance is the best treatment, but allergy shots may make it so that someone doesn't have much of an allergic reaction to insect stings. If you are extremely allergic and likely to go into anaphylactic shock, your doctor will prescribe an emergency kit, which you must carry with you at all times. This kit contains a preloaded injection of epinephrine, a fast-acting drug that counters anaphylactic shock. Your doctor can show you how to use this properly. Do not hesitate to use the epinephrine auto-injector if you have any symptom of anaphylaxis. Using the auto-injector as a precaution will not harm you.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on October 21, 2015
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