Allergy Medicine Comparison
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Allergy Medicine Buying Guide
Use of Allergy Medicine
There are several types of people that can benefit from allergy medicine. We have listed them below.
- Allergy sufferers from seasonal changes – If you suffer from seasonal allergies you may need to take allergy medicine during the seasons that bother you, most likely fall and spring. The season or seasons that affect you will depend on what you are allergic to. This can also change from year to year and as you get older.
- Children – Children’s allergies usually start developing around 3 years of age. The majority of allergy medicine for kids is not safe for children that are younger than 2 so if you notice allergies showing up before then, it is best to take them to their pediatrician to be evaluated. Much of the allergy medicine on the market is designed for ages 6 and up so be sure your child is the proper age and follow the directions on the box.
- Allergy Sufferers from Indoor Allergens – People that have indoor allergies are usually allergic to things such as pet dander, mold, and dust. Look for allergy medicines that address these indoor irritants so you get the best relief from a medicine that contains the proper, active ingredients.
- Chronic Allergy Sufferers – For people that chronically suffer from multiple allergens there are more aggressive options to think about such as regular allergy shots or taking a combination of allergy medicines. If insurance covers it, you may even want to be tested to discover exactly what you are allergic to.
Types of Allergy Medicines
There are several different types of allergy medications on the market to fit every person’s preferences and needs. We’ve listed the most common types below.
- Antihistamines – This is the most common type of allergy medication. It works by blocking histamine in your system. Histamine is a chemical that is released by your immune system when an allergen triggers it. Some antihistamines are non-drowsy but many are not. If you find that your medicine isn’t the non-drowsy type, the best time to take it may be before bed.
- Steroids – Another name for steroids is corticosteroids. Steroids can be prescribed for some allergy sufferers and they help by reducing inflammation. They can be prescribed by allergists and doctors for sneezing, runny noses and stuffy noses that result from either seasonal or chronic allergies. Steroids can come in pill, liquid or an inhaler form which is most often used for those suffering from asthma.
- Saline – This saltwater solution comes in the form of nasal spray or drops and helps congestion. It has no medicine in it at all but can relieve sinus headaches by clearing nasal passages.
- Decongestants – This can be liquid, pills, nasal sprays or even eye drops. Decongestants relieve nasal and head congestion due to allergies. It is most often taken in conjunction with antihistamines.
- Eye drops – Many allergy sufferers have itchy, watery eyes that are red and irritated much of the time – especially if they are not taking the proper steps to relieve their symptoms. Artificial tears are a great way to soothe irritated eyes that many people suffer from.
Common Allergy Medicine Side Effects
Every type of medication can have potential side effects and allergy medications are no different. There are several things that you will want to be aware of when it comes to the potential side effects of allergy medications.
- Higher Blood Pressure – Since decongestants can raise blood pressure, it is a good idea to pay attention to this and make sure that your blood pressure isn’t affected. If you already have high blood pressure you will either need to take a medicine specifically designed for those with high blood pressure or find another method of dealing with your symptoms.
- Being Sleepy – Since a lot of antihistamines are sedatives, you may find that you get sleepy while taking them. The medicines that can make you tired will state this on the box. However, you will still need to pay attention to your surroundings and what you’re doing. If the medicine does tend to make you tired, take it at night when you are ready for bed and be sure not to drive or operate heavy machinery.
- Insomnia – On the other side, some antihistamines have the opposite effect. They will stimulate your body and you will have trouble going to sleep. Again, it is important to take this medicine when you are home so you can see how your system will react.
- Increased hunger – Another effect antihistamines might have on you is an increase in appetite. This is not a desirable side effect if you are watching your food intake as increases in appetite can lead to weight gain if you are not careful.
Common Allergy Symptoms
People will react to allergens in different ways but there are some common reactions and symptoms that all people with allergies seem to suffer from. It is these symptoms that allergy medicines are designed to help relieve.
- Rashes – Hives can be a common symptom of an allergy such as insect bites or dust.
- Itchy eyes – Eye drops can help relieve itchy eyes. Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with irritated eyes that itch and water. They can also feel extremely dry and rough like sand paper.
- Nasal congestion – This is one of the most common allergy symptoms and it can be treated in a variety of ways. Antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal sprays are all good ways to treat nasal congestion.
Duration Levels for Effectiveness
The length of time between dosages of allergy medicine will vary depending on the type of medication you use. The most common duration will be every 6 hours, every 12 hours, or every 24 hours. If the medicine is supposed to be taken only once every 24 hours, be sure not to take more than that. If you find the benefits wear off before it is time to take another pill, talk to your doctor about adding a different or stronger medication.
If you take prescription medication, be sure to know its active, allergy ingredients. There are some common drug interactions you want to watch out for.
- Antihistamines – Do not take antihistamines with any other medicine that makes you tired. These will include anti-depressants, sleeping medications and narcotic pain killers. Since many antihistamines already make you tired, taking them with other things that can cause drowsiness can be very dangerous.
- Steroids – There are some drugs that can affect the metabolism of steroids including ritonavir and ketoconazole. If you are taking other medications, be sure to ask your doctor about whether they will have any interactions that could be a problem.
- Decongestants – Antidepressants or cold medicines can interact with decongestants and cause problems. Blood pressure or migraine medications can also be a problem when taken with decongestants.
Suffering from allergies can be frustrating and can make you feel terrible if you don’t take any medications to try and relieve your symptoms. There are so many kinds of medicine on the market that suffering is basically unnecessary.
Even if you must try a few different types of allergy medicines, it is worth the effort to find a good-quality, effective medicine that will help you feel better. If you notice that your symptoms are not getting better, even with allergy medicines, be sure to talk to your doctor to see if you need something stronger.
The information in this buyer’s guide has been designed to help allergy sufferers get relief from their allergies without much hassle. With all the available choices, it could easily be a challenge to find one that works well and takes care of your symptoms. The right knowledge makes the entire process easier and eliminates guesswork and stress from the process.