Sneeze, Cough, Sniffle - It’s Allergy Season!

By: Gloria Gibrael, our volunteer guest blogger and MHP student


Seasonal allergy symptoms have already begun: itchy eyes and/or nose, sneezing, runny and/or stuffy nose. These symptoms can continue for months during the spring season and may affect school, work, and life in general. If your symptoms bother you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about over the counter medication. There are many options to treat allergy symptoms without a prescription:

Antihistamines: these will treat itching, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes. Common antihistamines are Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec. The generic (store-brand) medications will work just as well and are also cheaper.

Decongestants: these will help with the pressure in your sinuses and the stuffy noses. Pseudoephedrine is the active ingredient in decongestants and will be available behind the pharmacy counter. A government-issued id is required for purchase. Sudafed is the brand-name form of pseudoephedrine.

Combination antihistamine/decongestant: these treat the above two conditions at the same time. Available behind the pharmacy counter with a government-issued id. These include Claritin-D, Allegra-D, and Zyrtec-D. These also have generic equivalents that will be cheaper.

Speak with the pharmacist before purchasing these OTC medications if you are taking any other medications or if you have high blood pressure.