Take An Antihistamine But Choose The Right One
As soon as allergy symptoms set in, Dr. Hays says your first line of defense should be antihistamines.
“Antihistamines are really effective for treating allergies,” says Dr. Hays. “They need to be taken every day while you’re experiencing symptoms, and people with seasonal allergies should proactively take them throughout both the fall and spring allergy seasons.”
There are two things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right antihistamine. Dr. Hays says the best antihistamines are ones that are long-acting and non-sedating. To find one that meets this criteria, look for the following types of antihistamines:
Some antihistamine drugs such as diphenhydramine are effective, but can make you very drowsy. Dr. Hays recommends taking this type of antihistamine only before bed.
Whether you’re buying name-brand or generic, the antihistamine drug name will be mentioned somewhere on the box typically on the front.
“One of the main advantages of antihistamines is that they help with the majority, if not all, of your allergy symptoms,” Dr. Hays explains. “In addition, they kick in pretty quickly. You should notice a reduction in your symptoms in just a few hours.”
What Is The Best Allergy Medicine
The short answer is it depends. As described above, there are a few things to consider when selecting the right allergy medicine for you:
How quickly you need relief
Fast-acting medications, like decongestants and antihistamines, work quickly if youre experiencing symptoms. And while antihistamines can be taken daily, decongestants should only be used as needed short term.
Antihistamines and nasal steroids can be good options for preventing symptoms from happening if taken daily before allergy season hits. Experts currently recommend intranasal steroids as the first-choice treatment for people with persistent symptoms.
Lastly, keep in mind that not all antihistamines are created equal Benadryl can make you feel drowsy, whereas Allegra and Claritin may be less sedating. Since all antihistamines may cause some drowsiness, its best to see how you respond to them before engaging in activities that require alertness or concentration.
Find Out More About Your Medicine
The leaflet that comes in the packet with your medicine will have detailed information about it, including how to take it and what side effects you might get.
If you no longer have the leaflet that came with your medicine, you can search for an online version of it using our medicines guide.
You may also find information on individual antihistamines on these websites:
Best Time Of Day To Take Allergy Medicine Or Asthma Medication:
6 AM in the morning is the best time of the day to take asthma medication, because asthma attacks most commonly occur in the morning. Therefore, taking the medicine early in the day will help to control inflammation. My question though is does this apply to all allergy medications? Or just asthma medications? If you know , please leave a comment below! I always take my allergy medicine at night so that it does not make me drowsy, but perhaps I should change!
When Is The Best Time To Take Allergy Medicine
My older son, Will, suffers from seasonal allergies. Every spring, when pollens from grasses, trees and weeds fill the air, his nose gets stuffy and his eyes become watery and itchy.
Weve found that antihistamines can provide significant relief. This spring, weve been giving Claritin to Will on a daily basis, and that has seemed to ease his symptoms. But I was wondering whether timing matters. Is there a particular time of day thats best for giving him his allergy medication?
Dr. Prescott prescribes
Claritin, or loratadine, is what Id call a second generation antihistamine. Like its older cousins such as Benadryl and chlorpheniramine, it blocks the action of allergy-causing histamines, which the body releases to try to sweep pollen and other allergens out of your system.
This new wave of allergy fighters, which also includes drugs such as Allegra and Zyrtec and their generic twins, is slightly less effective than the first generation of antihistamines. But these newer drugs hold a considerable advantage over traditional antihistamines: They dont make you drowsy.
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Is It Safe To Take An Antihistamine Daily
Experts say, its usually okay. Taken in the recommended doses, antihistamines can be taken daily, but patients should make sure they do not interact with their other medications, saysSandra Lin, MD, professor and vice director of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at John Hopkins School of Medicine.
In other words, youll need to make sure that you choose the right antihistamine for everyday use. First-generation antihistamines come with risk of more side effects and interactions, so are not generally advised for long-term usage. Additionally, frequent use of the first generation antihistamines may lead to excessive weight gain.
With first-generation antihistamines, some people note decreasing effectiveness if used daily for several days, says Dr. Lin. Because they cause drowsiness, they are not safe to mix with alcoholsomething to consider if you plan to have a drink during allergy season.
The risk of interaction increases with combination products. Some allergy medications contain an antihistamine and a decongestant . The decongestant component can cause elevated blood pressure and elevated heart rate, saysStephen Tilles, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Washington. However, Dr. Lin says antihistamines alone are not bad for the heart in otherwise healthy people.
|Safety and dosage guidelines for daily use of antihistamines|
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
Best Overall: Allegra Adult Non
Provides relief within an hour
Non-drowsy unlike other antihistamines
Soothes both indoor and outdoor allergies
Might not work for everybody
When it comes to treating allergies, there’s one ingredient that is head and shoulders above the rest.
The best allergy medications are antihistamines, says Allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network Dr. Purvi Parikh. If your eyes are starting to itch or your nose is running, the antihistamine in the Allegra Adult 24-Hour Allergy Relief can help make you feel better in as little as one hour. Beyond the pills record-breaking relief, it includes fexofenadine, a special non-drowsy antihistamine ingredient that wont affect your energy levels. All in all, its great to know that this medicine can provide 24 hours of relief without getting in the way of your day.
Recommended Reading: Fexofenadine Versus Loratadine
Tips For Nighttime Allergy Relief
by Sleep Center of Middle Tennessee | Mar 22, 2021
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Do you struggle with allergy symptoms? Do they feel especially bad at night when youre trying to fall asleep or stay asleep? Whether your allergy response is caused by dust mites, pet dander, or pollen, seasonal allergies are an all too familiar annoyance. They often feel worse in the morning or at night calling for much needed nighttime allergy relief.
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is common during allergy season. Inflammation occurs when you become exposed to an allergen like pollen, mold spores, or pet dander, among others.
Your allergic reaction may vary, but allergy symptoms often mimic cold symptoms. You may experience nasal congestion, sinus pain, a runny nose or itchy nose, sore throat, itchy eyes or watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and fatigue.
Each of these symptoms is unpleasant during the day. At night, when youre trying desperately to fall asleep, they can feel even worse. Especially when they keep you awake which further compounds the foggy-heading exhaustion you feel during the day when allergies strike.
Related: Can Allergies Make You Tired?
Can I Share My Prescription Antihistamines With Friends Who Have Allergies
No. Even if your friend has a similar allergy, do not share your medicine. You should never share a prescription medicine with another person. Your doctor has examined you and has picked a medicine that is right only for your problem. Some antihistamines can cause serious side effects if they are given to people who are taking another medicine, or who should not take antihistamines for another reason.
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Nasal Steroids Side Effects
Serious side effects with nasal steroid sprays are rare because very little of these medicines are actually absorbed by the body. They do, however, carry the risk of nasal tissue inflammation. Thats why its important to have regular check-ups with a provider when using these medications for long periods of time.
Reduce Your Reaction To Allergens
Still not finding sufficient relief from seasonal allergy symptoms, and/or have year-round allergies that are very bothersome? You might find immunotherapy useful.
This prescription treatment involves exposing you to ever-larger amounts of allergens, gradually increasing your tolerance.
Traditional immunotherapy is delivered via regular shotsoften for three to five yearsand can help with seasonal and year-round allergens. Over 80 percent of the time, people experience relief, Hong says. The shots carry a small risk of a severe allergic reaction, so youll need to have them in a doctors office.
If your seasonal allergies are to grasses and/or youre allergic to dust mites, you might look into a newer prescription option: sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT. Here, you typically place a dissolvable tablet containing purified extracts of allergens under your tongue.
Currently, four treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration are available: Odactra, for house dust mite allergies, Oralair, for five different grass pollens, Grastek, for Timothy grass allergies, and Ragwitek, for ragweed allergies.
This is a really good option for people who are allergic to these types of pollen but arent seeing improvement on nasal and antihistamine sprays, or develop other complications from these allergies, such as sinus infections or asthma, Hong says.
Read Also: Zyrtec Allergy Dissolve Tablets
Best Two Hours Before Bedtime: Nerve
When youre dealing with chronic nerve pain, you dont want to trade one set of problems for another. And when it comes to medications like gabapentin and pregabalin, you could be doing just that if you take them during the day. Common side effects of medications for nerve pain include drowsiness, confusion, and unsteadiness, which is why its good to take these medications prior to bedtime, says Dr. Ascher. Many patients also complain that their nerve pain will keep them up at night, so I tell my patients to take them two hours before they are ready to go to sleep. Dr. Ascher additionally cautions against taking other prescription pain or antidepressant meds at the same time, as they can increase side effects. He also recommends avoiding antacids two hours before and after your dosage because they can affect absorption and efficacy.
Im So Confusedthe Allergy Aisle Is So Overwhelming Can You Break Down Each Medication
The allergy aisle can be extremely confusing. You may think youre going to pop in for a box of Claritin, and then see 24 different kinds of Claritin: brand, generic, different dosage, and forms.
Allergy medications generally fall into the following categories:
- Antihistamines: These meds block histamine and can help symptoms of sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and post-nasal drip. Benadryl is an older, first generation antihistamine, which can cause drowsiness. Newer antihistamines, like Claritin , Allegra , Zyrtec , and Xyzal , are less likely to cause drowsiness.
- These help relieve a stuffy nose. A common decongestant is Sudafed . Decongestants are sold alone and in combination with antihistamines . If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid decongestants, as they can increase blood pressure.
- Nasal steroids: These help decrease inflammation in your nasal passages, relieving nasal congestion. They may take up to two weeks to work. Some examples are: Flonase , Nasacort , and Rhinocort . When using nasal steroids, you can also use nasal saline drops or sprays so your nasal passages dont dry out.
- Eye drops: Allergy eye drops can help relieve symptoms of itchy, red eyes. Some examples are Zaditor and Pataday , which has been approved by the FDA and should be available OTC soon.
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What Medicine Helps With Allergies
Best Over-the-Counter Treatments to Ease Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
- Oral Antihistamines. According to Moore, oral antihistamines can be good for combatting those common
- Claritin 24-Hour Allergy Tablets. Claritin aims to eliminate sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses.
- Zyrtec Allergy Tablets. Zyrtec delivers temporary relief from hay fever
Wash Your Clothes Immediately
If youve spent any time outside during high pollen count dates youll benefit from a quick change of clothes when you get home instead of continuing to lounge around in them.
Rather than wait until laundry day, throw them into the washer and immediately wash your clothes. Even when you cant see the pollen or allergens they linger on your clothes and contribute to inflammation and upper respiratory allergies.
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Keep Sniffles And Itchy Eyes At Bay With These Options
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Verywell Family / Sabring Jiang
From pets to pollen, allergies are the worst. Unfortunately, its often difficult to avoid the stuff youre allergic to. Who can resist an adorable puppy or a lovely stroll in the park? To get your watery eyes, runny nose, and all other symptoms under control, you need a reliable over-the-counter allergy medicine.
Even though there are dozens of options available to treat allergies, the various options can be overwhelming. Allergy medications may promise instant relief, but theyre not all the samesome may induce drowsiness, while others may only treat specific allergies. Take into consideration your individual symptoms, which may be treated best by specific ingredients or forms, from liquid and sprays to tablets.
Whether youre looking for natural ingredients or a non-drowsy pill that will keep you going throughout the day, these are the best OTC allergy medicines.
Timed To Symptoms: Osteoarthritis Meds
According to the research published in Pharmaceutics, osteoarthritis pain peaks in the late afternoon and evening, so its best to start NSAIDs, such as naproxen and ibuprofenthe most widely used meds for osteoarthritisbefore noon, so theyll kick in at the appropriate time. If youre prone to afternoon pain, take meds between mid-morning and noon for evening pain, schedule them for mid-afternoon and for nighttime pain, take them with your evening meal.
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Can I Drink Alcohol With My Allergy Medications
Generally, it is not advisable to combine allergy meds with alcohol. Combining the more sedating antihistamines with alcohol can be very dangerous, increasing the risk of side effects and impairment. Combining the newer, less sedating antihistamines with alcohol is less dangerous, but should still be avoided.
Additional Treatments To Consider For Cat Allergies
- Allergy shots Cat lovers who suffer from allergies can benefit from weekly injections that increase in potency for six months, followed by 3-5 years of monthly maintenance injections. This method is very effective, but may cause skin reactions.
- Use an air purifier In rooms you share with your cat, clean the air with an air purifier that has a HEPA-certified filter. HEPA filters reduce airborne pet allergens by forcing air through a special filter that traps pet dander, as well as pollen, dust mites, and other allergens.
- Bathe your cat While bathing your cat in the tub sounds terrifying, wiping your furry friend down with a wet towel daily can help lower his allergens.
- Cat-free room Chose a room, preferably your bedroom to keep your cat out of. Dust and vacuum that room thoroughly and make an effort to keep your door closed.
- Try medication For those looking to make medicine a part of their daily routine, oral antihistamines can help keep cat allergies under control. Intranasal corticosteroid spray and antihistamine eye drops are also options that can help.
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Best Eye Drops: Alcon Naphcon Eye Drops
Non-oral solution for itchy, red eyes
Great size for on-the-go relief
Clears the eyes quickly
Can cause eye dryness if used excessively
Itchy, red eyes are a common reaction to allergies, but luckily, this problem can quickly be solved with proper eye drops. The highly recommended Alcon Naphcon-A Allergy Relief Eye Drops are a reliable option as the formula combines a redness reliever and an antihistamine ingredient to bring your eyes back to normal.
Avoid Foods That Can Cause A Reaction
People with seasonal allergies often have antibodies that can cause their immune system to overreact to certain foods. This phenomenon is called cross-reactivity. For instance, if youre allergic to ragweed, you may experience allergy symptoms like itching on your lips, tongue, and mouth if you eat bananas, melons, cucumber, or zucchini, Dykewicz says. If youre allergic to birch tree pollen, you may have allergy symptoms after eating apples, pears, peaches, hazelnuts, kiwi, carrots, or celery. These problems may only occur during the season in which your allergies are at their worst.
Regardless of the season, help minimize your allergy symptoms by keeping all these triggers in mind and avoiding them as much as possible.
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Add A Nasal Steroid Spray
Antihistamines can relieve the mild congestion that comes along with most bouts of allergies, but some people may experience more severe congestion. If this sounds like you, Dr. Hays recommends using a nasal steroid spray in addition to taking an antihistamine.
Until recently, nasal steroid sprays were offered only by prescription. Now, there are a few you can buy over-the-counter, including:
“Nasal steroid sprays won’t help with all of your allergy symptoms, such as itchy and watery eyes, but they do help with nasal congestion, post-nasal drip and scratchy throat,” Dr. Hays explains.
Just like antihistamines, Dr. Hays says that nasal steroid sprays need to be used every day to be effective. The good news is that they’re also generally safe and well-tolerated.
“However, unlike antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays don’t provide quick relief from allergy symptoms,” Dr. Hays says. “It can take a few days for a nasal steroid spray to take effect.”