There are several medication options available over the counter or by prescription.
These act by blocking the release of histamine, a chemical produced by the body that triggers an inflammatory reaction that can produce swelling, congestion, itching, sneezing, and a runny nose. They are available as either an over-the-counter pill or by prescription. Should their side effects be mentioned? They are for the decongestants below.
Available as either a nasal spray or pill. We do not recommend nasal decongestant sprays as they are addicting and have a high potential for rebound congestion if used for more than 3 days. The only potent oral decongestant available is pseudoephedrine. It acts by reducing blood flow and therefore shrinking the membranes in your nose. Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant and there are several drawbacks to its use such as elevated blood pressure, jitteriness, anxiety, and poor sleep.
Nasal Steroids Sprays
These reduce the inflammatory response and are the preferred treatment for mild allergies. They are very effective at reducing nasal congestions and allergic inflammation.
Leukotriene blockers reduce mucosal inflammation. They are usually used in combination with other treatments listed on this page.