Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Allergies give a hard time to everyone who suffers from them. Allergy sufferers are familiar with how irritating and exhausting it is to blow nose every minute, suffering from eye itchiness and having terrible headaches. These are only a few of life-impairing allergy symptoms that allergy patients find hard to bear with. To get back on track of their life without allergy symptoms, allergy patients purchase countless over-the-counter allergy medications. However, even choosing non-prescription allergy medications is stressful and people do not know what over-the-counter allergy medicine is better for them. This article will help you know which over-the-counter allergy medication like antihistamines or decongestants is better for you to treat allergy. Let us see what the best non-prescription allergy medications are:

How Does Antihistamines and Decongestants Work in Treating Allergies?

How Does Antihistamines Work in Treating Allergies?

Active Ingredients of antihistamines are cetirizine, Loratadine, Chlorpheniramine, Diphenhydramine and the common trade names are Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton.

Antihistamines are superb group of non-prescription allergy medications. They relieve common allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itching, watery eyes, and excessive sneezing. Antihistamines fight against chemicals called histamines that promote allergic reactions. Histamines are released into our organism once our immune system detects an allergen that it considers a threat.

What is the Typical Dosage for Antihistamines?

Most of the antihistamines come in the form of pills or liquid form. Some of the antihistamines are sold as nasal sprays or eye drops. Benadryl is taken three to four times per day, 25 mg to 50 mg. Chlor-Trimeton of 4 mg can be taken six times every day. Zyrtec and Claritin are taken only once per day.

Caution: Chlor-Trimeton and Benadryl can cause several side effects, with the most common being drowsiness. Zyrtec and Claritin don't cause drowsiness and are preferred over Chlor-Trimeton and Benadryl. If you have a diagnosis of glaucoma, high BP, asthma or you take sleep meds and muscle relaxants, speak to your doctor before purchasing OTC antihistamines.

How Does Decongestants Work in Treating Allergies?

Active ingredients of decongestants include oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine. The common trade names: Afrin Nasal Spray, Sudafed PE, Sudafed.
OTC decongestants help you breathe easier by constricting blood vessels in your nose. The typical dosage include 30 mg Sudafed tablets can be taken up to eight times in 24 hours. 10 mg Sudafed PE can be taken up to six times per day. Afrin can be taken two times every day.

US Food and Drug Administration has suggested that the sales of OTC pseudoepheridine should be monitored. The reason for it is that pseudoepheridine is used in the making of illegal drugs.

Before purchasing OTC pseudoepheridine medications, you must speak with your pharmacist which also must register your purchase of pseudoepheridine. However, it will be worthy to purchase OTC pseudoepheridine since it performs better than other decongestants.

Before you purchase any OTC antihistamine drug, talk with your medical doctor about your possible purchase if you take insulin, seizure meds, asthma meds, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 11, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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