If you suffer from allergies, then you know what a hassle they can be. There are different medications available that treat various causes and aspects of allergies. Most allergy remedies are available over-the-counter and some your doctor needs to prescribe. I will be covering natural alternatives in another post.
Corticosteroids are prescription medications that work to reduce inflammation to an allergic reaction. Corticosteroids are an allergy cure that comes in the form of pills, sprays and inhalers. Prednisone is one example of oral corticosteroids. Pills are prescribed on a short-term basis due to the risk of side effects. Nasacort and Flonase are examples of prescription nasal sprays. Common complaints with nasal sprays include irritation, nosebleeds and an unpleasant taste in the back of the mouth. Maxidex is an example of eye drops that treat itchy and watery eyes associated with allergies. Eye drops also should not be used on a long term basis due to side effects.
Decongestants and Antihistamines
Antihistamines reduce histamine production, which causes inflammation. Antihistamines come in pills, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops. Antihistamines are generally available over the counter, but prescription strengths are available for treatment-resistant cases.
Decongestants are a temporary allergy remedy that is used to relieve nasal congestion caused by allergies. Decongestants come in the same forms as antihistamines. Nasal decongestants can cause rebound congestion (worse than it was to begin with) when used for more than approximately one week. Decongestants can work as a headache remedy for sinus pressure, especially combinations including ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Epinephrine is a type of adrenaline that comes in the form of an injection you can use in case of a severe allergic reaction. Some people know they have a severe allergy, such as those who cannot breathe when stung by a bee or eating food with peanuts. The epinephrine shot prevents anaphylactic shock long enough to get to a hospital.
Some other allergy remedy medications include Singulair and mast cell stabilizer eye drops (such as Crolom or Alomide), which are available via prescription. Singulair targets chemicals known as leukotrienes to relieve symptoms of allergies. According to the FDA, Singulair can cause mood instability (anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, depression and irritability) in some people. Mast cell stabilizer eye drops block histamines and other chemicals that cause the symptoms associated with allergies.
References – Mayo Clinic and FDA