Choosing the right medications is essential to gaining control over symptoms as allergy season comes into full bloom, allergy specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center warn.
“It's reasonable to try some of the over-the- counter drugs first, and if you're not satisfied with those results, then you need to see a doctor,” said Dr. David Khan, associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and director of the asthma clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Antihistamines are the most common medications and can usually help relieve itching, sneezing and runny noses, but don't generally help with stuffiness. Oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine target stuffy noses.
Prescription antihistamines are generally less sedating than over-the-counter options and won't affect your work or school performance. Physicians also can prescribe corticosteroid anti-inflammatory prescription nasal sprays that can be used regularly.
However, allergy shots are still the most effective medical treatment, he said, actually making allergy sufferers less allergic. And rush immunotherapy, which involves taking fewer shots over a shorter time period, gets allergy sufferers to an effective dose more rapidly.