Using Antihistamine and Decongestant for Allergy Treatment

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Antihistamines

It is the most popular medication for allergy by preventing or relieving the effects of histamine, including watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, and breathing difficulty. When we encounter allergens, our cells create histamine, along with leukotrienes and cytokines, in response to immunoglobulin E (igE) antibodies. Histamine is the cause of annoying reactions in your eyes, lungs, skin, nose,
 intestinal tract, or throat.
 Antihistamines will block the bad effects of histamine. It is most effective if taken before being exposed to allergens; for example, before having a picnic to a garden that is full with blossoming flowers or a trip to an animal shelter. Antihistamines drugs are available without a prescription at most drugstores, and some are prescribed.

OTC (over-the-counter) antihistamines include Allegra, Dimetane, Benadryl, Tavist, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Chlor-Trimeton. Less potent nonprescription antihistamines drugs are usually short-acting, which will help relieve mild and moderate cases of allergy symptoms, while longer-acting drugs are usually stronger and used more severe cases, for example cetirizine and fexofenadine.

Other than being the most widely used, antihistamines is a highly standardized remedy for allergies. For decades, people have been consuming antihistamines to treat allergy symptoms, and these drugs have gotten more practical over the decades. The older formulas in Benadryl, Dimetapp and Chlor-Trimeton are notorious for causing severe drowsiness and worked for less than six hours, and need decongestants to relieve stuffiness. Updated formulas, like the new Xysal may effectively relieve allergy symptoms and keep you alert without the need of decongestants. Other than the liquid forms and oral pill, antihistamines are currently available in eyedrops and nasal sprays, which are especially effective in treating eye and nose symptoms of allergies, for example itching, redness, burning, and watering.

Antihistamines are also sometimes used to treat non-allergies conditions, for example, it helps to prevent dizziness, vomiting, and nausea, to relieve urticaria (nettle rash) and to reduce tremors and stiffness in people with Parkinson’s disease. Before taking antihistamines or other allergy drugs, either prescription or over-the-counter, you should talk to the doctor. You should inform the doctor if you have intestinal problems, difficulty urinating, stomach ulcer, kidney or liver disease, as they may interfere with antihistamines.

Decongestant

Another type of medication frequently used to relieve the sinus and nasal congestion for hay fever and other inhaled allergic reactions is a decongestant. It works to relieve and drain the nasal passages while reducing the overall discomfort.

Decongestants are sold both with a prescription and over-the-counter, and they come in nasal spray, syrup, and pill. The most popular over-the-counter decongestant is Sudafed. But, most drugstores keep all drugs that contain pseudoephedrine behind the counter lately, so you perhaps need to ask for it. You should still talk with the doctor before using a decongestant with pseudoephedrine, as it can have some displeasing side effects, including pounding heartbeat, nervousness, dizziness, headache, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, and, in some cases, convulsions. A few of these side effects may be really serious or even fatal in a few cases; if you feel sudden dizziness, severe headache, severe nausea, a fast, pounding heartbeat, and convulsions, or vomiting, stop taking pseudoephedrine and contact your doctor immediately.

Combining Antihistamine and Decongestant

If you have a severe case of allergy, you will benefit from a combination of antihistamine-decongestant. These drugs target allergies by neutralizing histamine, while treating runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion that accompany serious allergic reactions (like hay fever). More specifically, decongestants will narrow blood vessels on your nose, which can help stopping it from running.

Antihistamine-decongestant drug combinations are available in varying strength, both with a prescription and over-the-counter. OTC formulas include Tylenol Allergy And Sinus and Benadryl Allergy And Sinus. Remember that antihistamine-decongestant drugs contain components that may be hazardous to some people. Before taking either an OTC or prescription formula, tell the doctor if you have these medical problems, including heart problems, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, urinary or thyroid problem.


Source: Health Guidance

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