Did you know that allergies affect approximately 60 million people in the United States? Nearly 70% of allergy patients have nasal symptoms such as congestion and runny nose.
With spring pollen in full force, you may be wondering what the best allergy medication is for you. Ultimately, you want something effective, non-drowsy, and affordable.
In the United States, prescription and non-prescription medications can seem over-priced or not worth the cost, leading you to grim and bear your uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Luckily, we have put together a complete guide that will go over the best allergy medications on the market and how you can save money today, so keep reading for more information!
What Are Allergies?
Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system. It senses a substance that may seem "off" and destroys it, resulting in many of the allergy symptoms you are all too familiar with. The most common allergy symptoms are:
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy eyes
- Water eyes
- Shortness of breath
Most times, they remain fairly mild and are more of a nuisance than anything. In rarer instances, patients may need allergy shots or prescription medication treatment to go to work, school, or outside.
Allergy medication typically falls under three categories:
- Nasal steroids
Antihistamines are primarily used for occasional allergies. These may not be the best medications if you deal with allergies year-round. Many are offered over-the-counter, such as Benadryl, making it a quick and easy choice for your occasional run-in with allergies.
Nasal steroids are more of the gold standard for severe allergy symptoms. Nasonex is an example of a brand-name prescription, but you can also find over-the-counter medications such as Flonase. Lastly, decongestants can also be used as an allergy treatment.
Decongestants relieve many of the symptoms of nasal allergies but are not viable long-term options. Some examples of popular decongestants are Sudafed and Afrin.
Best Allergy Medication
The two main allergy medication categories that most experts recommend are antihistamines and nasal steroids. Your allergy symptoms and duration will play a significant factor in which option is your best bet.
Recent studies looked at allergic rhinitis symptoms and how antihistamines and nasal steroids compared. There were a few interesting findings from this study:
- New generation antihistamines fared better
- Antihistamines worked for mild to moderate allergies
- Nasal steroids worked for moderate to severe allergies
- Combination medications are viable options
What are these new generation antihistamines? They are non-sedating drugs. The downside of first-generation antihistamines like Benadryl was their sedative effect.
Examples of newer medications include:
Medical experts recommend that intranasal steroids can also be used for mild cases. Although, it is primarily used for moderate to severe allergies.
Studies that compared the two show nasal steroids show better results than antihistamines. Examples of nasal steroid prescriptions are:
- And more
How can you decide which one is right for you?
Mild Allergy Treatments
You're likely better off with a simple antihistamine for mild allergy care. Instead of reaching for the Benadryl, try a second-generation antihistamine. Zyrtec, Claritan, and Allegra are the three most popular.
Zyrtec and Allegra work more immediately and are long-lasting. All treat hay fever and hives, although Allegra is the only one that is non-sedative. Health experts recommend Allegra for mild cases and Zyrtec for allergies that interfere more with work or school.
How Much Do Antihistamines Cost?
Allegra comes in three dosages, including:
- 30 mg
- 120 mg
- 180 mg
You can purchase Allegra at 100 tablet supply for under $30 through PricePro Pharmacy. How does Zyrtec compare?
Zyrtec also has three strengths ranging from 5 mg to 20 mg. This medication is a bit more expensive, which may lead you to try Allegra first. PricePro Pharmacy still offers affordable pricing for Zyrtec at $40 for a 36 tablet supply.
Severe Allergy Treatments
If you deal with severe allergies, you will likely want nasal steroid treatments or even allergy shots. Allergy shots can help with long-term treatment, but they are time-consuming and costly. Flonase is one of the most popular nasal steroids on the market.
All nasal steroids use corticosteroids that help decrease inflammation. The benefit of corticosteroids is that they are also fast-acting and effectively treat allergies, asthma, hives, and more.
Flonase comes in a 50 mcg nasal spray. Health experts recommend using it once daily, and you should start noticing results almost immediately.
If you choose the generic version, you can find it cheaper. PricePro Pharmacy offers generic Flonase prices starting at $25. Other nasal steroids such as Nasonex will be around that range, if not a bit higher.
Do You Need a Prescription?
You don't always need a prescription for allergy relief, so check with your doctor beforehand. Typically, nasal sprays will need a prescription versus antihistamines.
You can save money on prescription and non-prescription drugs by shopping through PricePro Pharmacy. The government does not regulate high drug prices in America, and in return, there is little to be done about maximum price caps.
Our online pharmacy will notify you of which medications require a prescription so you can talk to a practitioner first.
Find the Best Allergy Care
The best allergy medication depends on how severe your symptoms are. If you can still function outside and go to work, you may need a simple antihistamine. These are cost-friendly medications that may not require a prescription.
But if you are one of the unfortunate people who deal with year-round symptoms, check out PricePro Pharmacy's nasal steroids and ask your doctor about which one will work best for you.
For help getting started, visit our site to see our full list of allergy medications and their prices!