allergy medication, over the counter

Your eyes are itchy, your throat is itchy and you are sneezing.   Pollen fills the air and you wonder…

What can I take for Allergies

Treatment options are plentiful.  Allergies don’t have to control your life.  Continue reading for my guide to allergy medications.


Full prescription strength fexofenadine hydrochloride is available over the counter.  If you use the 180mg dose, you can have all day relief from just one dose.

Side effects tend to be mild and most people tolerate it very well.  Drowsiness usually does not occur with fexofenadine either.

It can be taken without regard to food.

If you have sinus pressure and pain, ask your pharmacist about the combination with pseudoephedrine.  It is sold under the brand name Allegra-D®.  The added decongestant can help open up the sinuses.


This product is the generic for the popular Claritin®.  This is the allergy medication I recommend the most at the pharmacy.  I like it because few people experience side effects, it is non-drowsy and it is a simply once a day dose.

This works great for seasonal allergies and even hives.  One time my daughter started to breakout in a rash all over her body from a dark chocolate bar.  I had her chew one of these and the blotches started to disappear almost as fast as they appeared.

Claritin-D® is the combination of loratadine and pseudoephedrine.  It is great for those of you who have sinus pressure and congestion.  In most states you can buy it from your pharmacist with a photo ID.  It can raise blood pressure a bit, so avoid it if you have uncontrolled hypertension.


Another great option.  Cetirizne hcl is no longer prescription only and is sold under the brand name Zyrtec®.

For most people this is a non-drowsy antihistamine.  However, some people do get some drowsiness.  Take the first dose at home so you know how you’ll react.

Do not use this medication if you’ve ever had problems taking hydroxyzine.

Dosage may need to be altered if you have poor liver or kidney function.


This is the strongest antihistamine available.  Sold under the brand name Benadryl®, diphenhydramine hydrochloride will usually control all your allergy symptoms.

It also has the most side effects.  In fact it causes so much drowsiness that the active ingredient is sold as a sleep aid – Tylenol PM and Simply Sleep.. to name a few.

Caution should be exercised while using this medication.  Especially in the elderly.  It can increase the chance of falls.  Many people also report unusual dreams while using diphenhydramine hcl.

Avoid taking if: you have a history of sleep apnea, are a nursing mother or have difficulty urinating.


Allergy treatment on a budget, that’s what I like to call Chlorpheniramine maleate.  This is a first generation antihistamine, but is tolerated by most people really well.  And, the best part – you can purchase 100 tablets for about five dollars or less.

A 4mg tablet about every six hours will keep most allergy symptoms at bay.

Not to be used if you: have narrow-angle glaucoma, enlarged prostate, bladder obstruction, or if you are breast feeding.

ALWAYS speak to your Doctor or Pharmacist if you are taking other medications or have health conditions before starting an antihistamine.

Is there anything else?

There are precautions you can take to reduce your exposure to pollen and other irritants that may cause allergy symptoms.

Close your windows during the allergy season.  This will reduce the amount of pollen in your home.

Stay inside between 5am and 10am – peak pollen hours.

Go to the beach.  Or, any other place that has limited vegetation.

Use a sinus rinse kit.  They work.  It is a bit akward at first, however, removing the pollen and other debris from your sinuses can have an amazing effect.  Try the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit.

Save Up to 80% Off Your Meds…
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Comment Below! Because we’d like to hear your experience or further questions


The pharmaceutical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
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