You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

You May Want To Skip Allergy Meds That Has Decongestant In Their Ingredient List

Prevention Logo By Korin Miller, Andi Breitowich of Prevention | Slide 1 of 13: Mentally, you’re outside enjoying the warm weather. Physically, you’re congested, sneezing, and coughing. You know the feeling, right? Yep, it's allergy season. That's when the best allergy medicine can come in handy.Thankfully, OTC allergy medications are as effective as most prescription ones, says Evan Li, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, immunology, allergy, and rheumatology at the Baylor College of Medicine. Actually, many of them used to be prescription meds, points out Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network. That’s right—it’s possible to find something that delivers maximum relief in your local pharmacy. That said, if you continue to have serious symptoms, consult with your doctor. So, how often can you take allergy meds? It’s safe to take antihistamines daily, says Rabia Chaudhry, MD, an allergist and immunologist at South Florida Food Allergy Center. And many allergy meds work almost instantly. “Oral antihistamines can begin working 20 to 180 minutes after ingestion, while nasal steroids work best when used daily,” she says. What if your nose is still making you miserable after you took an antihistamine, though? You can definitely take more than one med at a time. “It’s not uncommon for a patient with severe allergies [to take] daily nasal steroids and oral antihistamines,” says Dr. Chaudhry. But with so many OTC medicines to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s how to find the right allergy medicine for you and recommendations from the pros.

Mentally, you’re outside enjoying the warm weather. Physically, you’re congested, sneezing, and coughing. You know the feeling, right? Yep, it's allergy season. That's when the best allergy medicine can come in handy.

Thankfully, OTC allergy medications are as effective as most prescription ones, says Evan Li, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, immunology, allergy, and rheumatology at the Baylor College of Medicine. Actually, many of them used to be prescription meds, points out Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network. That’s right—it’s possible to find something that delivers maximum relief in your local pharmacy. That said, if you continue to have serious symptoms, consult with your doctor.

So, how often can you take allergy meds? It’s safe to take antihistamines daily, says Rabia Chaudhry, MD, an allergist and immunologist at South Florida Food Allergy Center. And many allergy meds work almost instantly. “Oral antihistamines can begin working 20 to 180 minutes after ingestion, while nasal steroids work best when used daily,” she says.

What if your nose is still making you miserable after you took an antihistamine, though? You can definitely take more than one med at a time. “It’s not uncommon for a patient with severe allergies [to take] daily nasal steroids and oral antihistamines,” says Dr. Chaudhry.

But with so many OTC medicines to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s how to find the right allergy medicine for you and recommendations from the pros.

© Christine Giordano

More from Prevention

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon