Sneezing, eyes watering and skin itching? It has been a very robust allergy season. You may be wondering if it will ever end and what to take – given all the over the counter options. There are a number of things you can do for the allergies. If you are looking into medication, for certain the non sedating antihistamines can be helpful and in theory, help control symptoms for up to 24 hrs. Of course, not all allergy drugs work equally well for all people. You may need to switch brands.
It may be worth trying a number of options, including:
• Cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy and generic), which is available as an over-the-counter generic but might be more likely to cause sedation than loratadine ( Claritin) or Fexofenadine ( Allegra).
• Older antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy and generic) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton and generic), which not only can cause drowsiness but also dry eyes and mouth, and urinary retention, only last about 4-6 hours. In addition, these medications should be avoided by people with narrow-angle glaucoma or an enlarged prostate.
• Desloratadine (Clarinex), which is still only available as an expensive, brand-name prescription drug.
You may also benefit from decreasing the inflammation in the nostrils/ turbinates/ sinus passages with a nasal steroid spray. Fluticasone, nasal steroid spray was recently released over the counter, ( it is same dose as the previous prescription version).
Finally, lifestyle changes, such as staying indoors when the pollen count is high, can also help.
For sure, if you are miserable and have tried these remedies available over the counter, Go online to schedule an appointment and we can go to next steps to get you back in your game !
Kathy Alvarez, MD.