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Medications for Allergic Rhinitis

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by Badash M
The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medicines listed below. Only the most common side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medicines as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
There are many types of medicines—both over-the-counter and prescription—that can be used to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and each class of medicines works differently in the body. However, once a definite diagnosis of allergic rhinitis is made, the first-line treatment of choice is nasal corticosteroid spray, as it is has been shown to be the most effective with the fewest side effects. Ask your doctor which medicines may offer the best prevention against allergic rhinitis symptoms.

Prescription Medications

  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • Levocetirizine dihydrochloride (Xyzal)
Oral Decongestants and Antihistamine Combinations
  • Fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D)
  • Acrivastine and pseudoephedrine (Semprex-D)
  • Azatadine and pseudoephedrine (Trinalin)
Nasal Corticosteroid Spray
  • Beclomethasone (Beconase)
  • Budesonide nasal (Rhinocort)
  • Fluticasone (Flonase)
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Flunisolide (Nasalide)
Nasal Mast Cell Stabilizer
  • Cromolyn sodium (Intal)
Leukotriene Inhibitor
  • Montelukast (Singulair)

Over-the-Counter Medications

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Loratadine, prescription strength (Claritin)
  • Cetirizine hydrochloride (Zyrtec)
  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • Brompheniramine (Dimetane)
  • Dexbrompheniramine and pseudoephedrine (Drixoral)
  • Clemastine (Tavist)
  • Chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine (Triaminic Cold and Allergy)
Oral Decongestants
  • Loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D)
  • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
  • Triprolidine and pseudoephedrine (Actifed Allergy Daytime)
  • Naphazoline (Allerest)
Nasal Decongestants
  • Oxymetazoline (Afrin)
  • Phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine)

Prescription Medications

Over-the-Counter Medications



Advice from your allergist: rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology website. Available at: . Accessed September 15, 2008.

Leukotriene inhibitors: montelukast (marketed as Singulair), zafirlukast (marketed as Accolate), and zileuton (marketed as Zyflo and Zyflo CR). US Food and Drug Administration website. Avialable at: . Updated August 2009. Accessed August 8, 2011.

Levocetirizine. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: . Updated December 2009. Accessed February 10, 2010.

Montelukast. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated August 2008. Accessed September 15, 2008.

United States Pharmacopeial Convention. USP DI . 21st ed. Englewood, CO: Micromedex; 2001.

5/6/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Segall N, Gawchik S, Georges G, Haeusler JM. Efficacy and safety of levocetirizine in improving symptoms and health-related quality of life in US adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010;104(3):259-267.


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