The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that more than 50 million Americans experience some type of allergies each year.
If you’re one of these 50 million people, you know that allergies can be more than a nuisance. At their worst, allergy symptoms can be absolutely debilitating, affecting the quality of your day-to-day life.
Like many allergy sufferers, you likely turn to allergy medicine to help you manage your symptoms. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of all allergy meds, so you can find the best option to treat your unique case.
Allergy Medicine Price Comparison
For your convenience we have linked to all prescription drug prices (shown below) within our database so you can quickly compare and find the lowest prices on most allergy medicine.
Learn more about the top allergy treatments with our ultimate guide below!
This type of allergy medication is typically available over-the-counter. Antihistamines can be taken as pills, liquid, nasal spray, or eye drops.
These drugs work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is a product of your body’s immune system that in high levels can cause your allergy symptoms.
Top Rated Antihistamines Include:
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Tavist (Clemastine)
- Xyzal (Levocetirizine)
- Allegra (Fexofinadine)
- Carbinoxamine (Palgic)
- Desloratadine (Clarinex)
- Claritin, Alavert (Loratadine)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Azelastine eyedrops (Optivar)
- Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril)
- Brompheniramine (Dimetane)
- Emedastine eyedrops (Emadine)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
- Azelastine nasal sprays (Astelin nasal spray, Astepro)
- Levocabastine eyedrops (Livostin, Livostin eyedrops)
- Triprolidine (Zymine, Tripohist, Vanahist PD, Histex Syrup, M-Hist PD, Vanaclear PD, Histex PD Drops)
- Dexbrompheniramine (Ala-Hist IR)
Antihistamine side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nose or throat, as well as upset stomach or increased appetite and weight gain. Some patients also report feeling nervous, excited, or irritable. Alcohol can worsen these side effects and cause drowsiness.
If you have diabetes, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma or epilepsy, tell your doctor and get medical advice before taking an antihistamine.
You should also avoid driving and other activities that require alertness until you know how the antihistamine medication will affect you.
Decongestants are often found in medications that also contain antihistamines and can help relieve congestion symptoms. This allergy medication can be used in several forms, including nasal spray, eye drop, liquid, and a pill.
These allergy medications work by reducing swelling in your nasal tissues and blood vessels. This helps relieve congestion and redness and limits the secretion of mucus and can be an effective treatment for syptoms like a runny nose and watery eyes
Top Rated Decongestants Include:
- Afrin, Dristan, Vicks Sinex (oxymetazoline)
- Sudafed PE, Suphedrin PE (phenylephrine)
- Silfedrine, Sudafed, Suphedrin (pseudoephedrine)
Decongestants are often found combined with antihistamines in allergy medication classified as upper respiratory combinations.
While antihistamines taken on their own can make you feel drowsy, decongestants can help alleviate that side effect and keep you awake.
Combination decongestant/antihistamine medications are often used during the day, while antihistamines are usually used alone in nighttime medications.
Top Rated Decongestant/Antihistamines Include:
- Allegra-D, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus, Claritin-D, and Zyrtec-D.
- Dihydrocodeine/phenylephrine/pyrilamine systemic (Poly Hist DHC)
- Chlorpheniramine/ibuprofen/phenylephrine (Advil Allergy & Congestions)
- Phenylephrine/Pyrilamine (Aldex D, Pyril D, K-Tan, Pyril Mal Phenyl HCI, Ryna-12, Ryna 12-S)
It’s important to note that decongestants should only be used for a few days at a time. Long-term use of these drugs can make your symptoms worse. These drugs are not recommended for patients who are also taking medications for depression or Parkinson’s disease, or any other NSAID.
Decongestants can also raise blood pressure, so if you have heart disease or already suffer from high blood pressure, speak to your doctor first. Other side effects include a headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
Remember that many over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines contain acetaminophen. Check the label on your medication. If it does contain acetaminophen, be sure not to take other acetaminophen medication along with it, as this could cause liver damage.
Avoid decongestants like Advil Allergy & Congestion if you are pregnant. Children 12 years and younger should also not be given these medications. Be sure to avoid alcohol while you’re taking any decongestant.
Corticotropin, also known as adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH, is made and stored in the pituitary gland. In response to any form of stress, your body may release large amounts of corticotropin, which then stimulates the release of adrenal cortical hormones from the adrenal gland.
Allergy medications classified as corticotropin treat inflammation involving the eye.
Common corticotropin medications include:
- P. Acthar Gel
Common side effects of corticotropin medications are like those associated with corticosteroids. Patients have reported fluid retention, elevated blood pressure, mood changes, increased appetite, and weight gain.
Corticotropin medications should not be used if you’ve recently received the Rotavirus vaccine or if you take Buproprion. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid corticotropin
Miscellaneous Sedative and Antihistamine Allergy Medication
Depending on the severity of your allergies, you may be prescribed a medication that uses an antihistamine and a sedative. Anxiolytics and sedatives affect the central nervous system and are often used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Acting also as an antihistamine, these types of drugs can be especially helpful for treating allergic reactions of the skin like hives or contact dermatitis. Hives can appear as raised, itchy welts on the skin. Contact dermatitis can appear as a red rash, bumps and blisters, or dry, cracked skin. Keep in mind if you are having a sever allergic reaction you should seek immediate medical attention.
Some examples of the medications used to treat these symptoms include:
- Hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
- Doxylamine (Equate Sleep Aid, Care One Sleep Aid, Equaline Sleep Aid)
Common side effects associated with these drugs include dizziness and drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, and headache. Serious side effects can include tremors, confusion, and seizures.
You should not take these medications if you have long QT syndrome, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Most patients are also advised not to use these sedative/antihistamine combinations for longer than 4 months.
Alternative Allergy Medicine Options
Some people may forgo traditional medicines for allergies and try more natural remedies. The efficacy of these natural remedies has not been scientifically tested to the same level that the drugs listed above have been. Common natural allergy remedies include dong quai and nettle.
Talking to Your Doctor About Your Allergies
Before choosing an allergy medication, talk to your doctor. Only a medical professional can properly assess your symptoms and recommend a medication option that is likely to be safe and effective for you. And if the first allergy medication you try doesn’t work as well as expected, your doctor can work with you to try different options. Allergy relief is possible but it can time and testing to mimize your symptoms and other medical problems caused by allergies.