Skip to main content

Search

Allergy Medicines 101: The Different Types of Allergy Medicines

Share

Allergy Medicine 101

If you’re one of the 50 million Americans bogged down by the itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion of seasonal or indoor allergies, you’ve likely spent a fair amount of time debating between various medicine options at your local pharmacy. Here are the basics you need to know to make a more informed decision about your pathway to relief.

Decongestants
Perhaps the most well-known of allergy relief options, decongestants function by temporarily narrowing the blood vessels and reducing the membrane swelling that accompanies nasal and sinus congestion.

Typical forms:

  • Nasal Spray
  • Tablet
  • Liquid
  • Eye Drops

Antihistamines
Histamine is one of the chemicals your body’s immune system releases in response to an allergen exposure, the side effects of which are those frustrating symptoms like watery eyes and runny nose. Antihistamines block the histamine from reaching its final destination in your body, thereby reducing the allergy symptoms.

Typical forms:

  • Tablet
  • Liquid
  • Eye Drops
  • Nasal Spray (prescription only)

Intranasal Corticosteroids
As a cortisone-based steroid, this nasal spray form of relief helps reduce congestion as well as inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages caused by your immune system.

Typical forms:

  • Nasal Spray

Immunotherapy
Also called “allergy shots,” immunotherapy consists of a series of treatments administered by a doctor to treat seasonal allergies and indoor allergens. Each dosage introduces the body to successively stronger amounts of the allergen, provoking a reaction from the body’s immune system. Over three to five years of treatment, the body builds up its tolerance to the allergen, reducing or altogether eliminating symptoms. Although a bigger (and usually more expensive) commitment, immunotherapy reduces hay fever symptoms in roughly 85 percent of people with allergic rhinitis.  

Typical forms:

  • Shot
  • Tablet
  • Oral Drops

Because allergy sufferers may have different triggers and we each have unique internal make-ups, there’s simply no one-size-fits-all solution. Keep this in mind when asking friends what works for them! For the best solution, talk to your doctor about your specific allergens and symptoms, as well as the medicinal path you’re most comfortable taking. And remember that it’s important to follow dosing instructions carefully for the best results.

 

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016

 

How to prevent sinus congestion

There's a big difference between true sinus infections and common sinus congestion. Controlling these four key factors will help you reduce common sinus irritation.

5 Makeup Tricks & Timesaving Tips

Learn some helpful tips for how to simplify your beauty routine with these makeup tricks and timesaving tips from the experts at HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®.