4 over-the-counter treatments for seasonal allergies
Antihistamines: These are first-line options to help reduce typical symptoms such as itching, sneezing and runny nose. Use two to five hours before allergen exposure or on a regular basis, if needed. Over-the-counter antihistamines for seasonal allergies include Benadryl, Dramamine, Zyrtec, Claritin, Xyzal and Allegra.
Intranasal: Nasal sprays can help treat itching, sneezing and runny nose. They should be taken on a regular basis, not just when symptoms are present. Recommended brands include Nasacort, Flonase and Rhinocort.
Decongestants: Decongestants can help relieve nasal congestion. They can be taken orally or as a nasal spray. Sudafed is the best known and an effective brand for oral use. Nasal sprays such as Neo-Synephrine, Afrin and Dristan can also be beneficial; however, they should only be used for two to three days to prevent rebound congestion.
Nasal saline: Typically known as a neti-pot, studies have shown nasal saline as a very effective treatment. It can be used alone or with other allergy treatments.
- 1 tsp. un-iodized salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups of lukewarm water (distilled, sterile, boiled tap water)
Your pharmacist can be a useful resource for choosing the right product to treat your symptoms. Read labels carefully and talk with your primary care provider or a pharmacist for more information.