Spring allergy season is officially here, with many of us around the country already suffering with sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose and itchy eyes as a result of the tree pollen in the air. Fortunately, for those people who rely on over-the-counter medicines for the treatment of their allergies, Allegra becomes available over-the-counter (OTC) this week without a prescription. Allegra (fexofenadine) is the only truly non-sedating antihistamine available for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria. Claritin and Zyrtec, which are considered to be low-sedating antihistamines, have been available OTC for a few years, and are also reasonable treatments for allergies. Allegra products (with coupons available) are available in 12 and 24 -hour dosing regimens, as well as with pseudoephedrine (as Allegra-D), and in children's dosing as tablets, oral-disintegrating tablets, and liquid for those as young as 2 years of age.
Allegra (fexofenadine) is a newer generation antihistamine approved for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and urticaria (hives) for adults and children 6 months of age and older. Allegra starts to work within an hour, so taking Allegra on an as-needed basis can be effective for the treatment of hay fever and hives... Read more
Histamine is a chemical that is normally produced in the body and stored in allergic cells, such as mast cells and basophils. In people with allergies, histamine is released from these cells in a response to allergens. Histamine binds to the histamine receptor, which is present on various cells in the body, and results in allergic symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose, hives, or even anaphylaxis. Antihistamines are medications that block the receptor for histamine, thereby stopping the symptoms that histamine causes... Read more
There are numerous over-the-counter (OTC) medications available for the treatment of allergy symptoms. Some of these, like oral decongestants such as Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and sedating antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), have been available for many years. Others, such as Claritin (loratadine) and Zyrtec-D (cetirizine/pseudoephedrine), have only recently become available OTC without a prescription... Read more