Medications for Allergies and Their Peculiarities
It is unlikely that in our time you can find a person who has not heard anything about allergies. Alas, in one form or another, this disease occurs very, very often. Unfortunately, even allergy sufferers have little idea of what exactly they suffer from and how their allergy medication functions.
The classic definition of allergy is that it is “hypersensitivity of the immune system,” but more precisely, “an erroneous reaction of the immune system.” That is the essence of allergies – a mistake. Absolutely harmless substances: dust, skin flakes, food, pollen – are perceived by the immune system as the worst enemies, which is accompanied by a violent allergic reaction that destroys these harmless substances, and at the same time damages the cells and tissues around, which can even lead to death.
It is possible to classify allergies by different types indefinitely. There are classifications according to the mechanism of the development of the reaction and speed, according to allergy symptoms, severity, and allergens.
What is the mechanism of action of allergy?
In a few simple words, we describe the mechanism of allergy and explain some terms. An antigen is any substance considered by the body as foreign, stimulating the production of specific antibodies. If an antigen causes an allergic reaction, then, it is called an allergen.
The appearance in the body of hypersensitivity to an antigen is called sensitization to it. When a predisposed person first interacts with an allergen, he does not have an allergy, it takes some time for sensitization. It ends with the production of specific antibodies – immunoglobulins E (IgE) that circulate in the blood.
In an allergic response, repeated exposure to an allergen provokes the release of a large number of bioactive substances by immune cells, mainly inflammatory mediators and histamine. This can lead to the development of both relatively mild local reactions and severe and life-threatening consequences.
Typical Allergy Symptoms
The most common symptoms of allergies are so varied that it is impossible to list them all, but the most common ones are:
- runny nose;
- wheezing in the lungs;
- swelling in the eye area;
- redness and itching of the skin;
- the appearance of acne;
- vomiting and nausea.
It is inevitable to keep in mind that when the first symptoms appear, you should immediately consult a doctor.
What negative effects of allergic drugs are the most frequent to have?
The most common allergy medications and their typical negative effects:
|Name||Typical side effects||Shouldn’t be combined with|
|Antihistamines (loratadine, etc.) block the histamine responsible for the main manifestations of the disease. They can soothe itching, relieve rashes and other allergy symptoms.||Dry mouth; Drowsiness.||Antidepressants; Muscle relaxants; Sleeping pills; Sedatives.|
|Corticosteroid hormones or corticosteroids.|
In the form of sprays are used for allergic rhinitis.
Oral corticosteroids can be prescribed for severe the allergic reaction.
In injections, this is an important remedy for severe allergic forms – anaphylactic shock and Quincke’s edema.
|Cough; Vomiting; Acne; Itching and skin redness; Nosebleed.||Antifungals; Drugs to treat HIV.|
| Mast cell stabilizers prevent the release of histamine from cells. They are taken orally, available as drops in the nose and eyes.|
Decongestants are not, in the strict sense, anti-allergic drugs, but are often used against nasal congestion in allergic rhinitis. They are presented in the form of nasal sprays.
| May cause stinging effects|
In case of overdose or long-term use, they may worsen the symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as the stuffy nose or running nose. Also, the means may produce unpleasant effects in the form of headaches, dizziness, appetite loss, etc.
|Cardiac arrhythmia drugs; High blood pressure drugs; Antidepressants; Other antiallergic remedies.|
|Leukotriene receptor antagonists (montelukast) are used for bronchial asthma.||Upset stomach; Headaches; Sore throat.||Liver metabolism stimulating medications|
|Immunotherapy or hyposensitization can be effective in case of hypersensitivity to environmental allergens, insect bites and bronchial asthma and other allergy symptoms.||Flu-like symptoms; Burning; Stinging; Skin allergies.||Definite types of antibiotics; Antifungals.|
During pregnancy, a woman should be very careful about medicines, including allergy medication usage. It is necessary to constantly consult an allergist. None of the antiallergic drugs guarantee complete safety for the unborn child. But, most often, pregnant women are prescribed:
- antihistamines (Claritin, Benadryl, etc);
- nasal sprays (Nasalcrom, Rhinocort, etc.).
How to find the best possible allergy medication?
Any allergic person will tell you that the best medicine for allergy, which is increasingly called the 21st century plague, is the drug that allows you to lead a normal life. That is, one that minimizes allergic symptoms, will not have side effects and, if possible, will be compatible with other medicines that all people have to take from time to time.
Allergy pills do not produce an effect. What can be done?
If the ordinary allergy medication does not produce the desired effect, one can try the immunotherapy. Its principle is to introduce increasing doses of the allergen into the body so that the immune system changes its response to it.
Its effect can last a relatively long time, even for several years after the end of treatment. Allergens can be administered under the tongue (sublingually), injectively or orally.
Allergy medication for children
Allergy symptoms in a variety of manifestations can be observed at any age. And if we are talking about toddlers and children, then the choice of allergy medications should be approached with greater responsibility and caution since they should not only be safe for the child but also have a convenient form for use.
The main group of drugs for the treatment of allergic diseases in pediatric practice are antihistamines. Doctors prescribe them quite widely and for different purposes. These drugs can be dispensed both as an allergy medication.
They are comparable in action to first-generation drugs but do not cause sedative and other undesirable effects. If the child has an allergic reaction of any nature, the child should be shown to the doctor.
All the materials presented on this site that contain information about any pharmaceutical products must not be considered as a substitute for consultation with a doctor or a call for self-medication. The site administration is not responsible for the health and well-being of any of its visitors.
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