Which medications are used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?

Updated: May 18, 2018
  • Author: Javed Sheikh, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Most cases of allergic rhinitis respond to pharmacotherapy. Patients with intermittent symptoms are often treated adequately with oral antihistamines, decongestants, or both as needed. Regular use of an intranasal steroid spray may be more appropriate for patients with chronic symptoms. [80] Daily use of an antihistamine, decongestant, or both can be considered either instead of or in addition to nasal steroids. The newer, second-generation (ie, nonsedating) antihistamines are usually preferable to avoid sedation and other adverse effects associated with the older, first-generation antihistamines. Ocular antihistamine drops (for eye symptoms), intranasal antihistamine sprays, intranasal cromolyn, intranasal anticholinergic sprays, and short courses of oral corticosteroids (reserved for severe, acute episodes only) may also provide relief.


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