Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the upper respiratory tract and results in symptoms such as nasal congestion, itching in the nose, watery eyes, sneezing, sore throat and wheezing. Mild symptoms may be effectively relieved with over-the-counter (OTC) medications while symptoms that last for a longer period need medical intervention or prescription drugs. It should also be noted that these medicines are not advised for children below 2 years of age and used with caution or under medical guidance in children. Pregnant women should take medical advice before taking any of these medications.1,2
The common OTC medications for allergic rhinitis have been grouped as: 1–4
These medications are commonly available as combination products.
These are effective in reducing the symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing and itching but do not relieve congestion. Some of the commonly available OTC antihistamines include:
These are helpful in clearing congestion in the nose. Pseudoephedrine is the commonly available OTC decongestant.
Pseudoephedrine 30–60 mg orally at 4–6 hourly intervals; the total dose should not exceed 240 mg/day.
Can cause nervousness, rapid heart rate
When to Seek Medical Help
Prompt medical attention should be sought in the following cases:
1.Douglass JA, O’Hehir RE. Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of allergic disease: The basics. MJA 2006; 185: 228–233.
2.Willsie SK. Improved strategies and new treatment options for allergic rhinitis. JAOA. 2002; 102(6): S7–14.
3.Walker S, Sheikh A. Rhinitis. BMJ. 2002; 324: 403.
4.Corren J. Allergic rhinitis: treating the adult. J Aller Clin Immunol. 2000; 105(6): S610–615.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: May 10, 2015
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