I’ve been seeing patients with allergies here in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. Lots of people needlessly suffer from allergies when simple steps can go a long way toward helping them feel better.
One frequent question I’m asked is what can I take that’s available without a doctor’s prescription. This spring, in addition to the various antihistamines available over the counter (OTC), there are 2 anti-inflammatory nose sprays, previously available only by prescription (Rx) that you can now get OTC. These are Nasacort and Flonase and both are reasonably safe and effective for many who use them—IF you use them correctly. Both products work by reducing the swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages that occurs when you come in contact with things you are allergic to—such as pollen, dust mites, cat fur, etc. However, they don’t give quick relief, rather , they take a few days to slowly build up in your system and thus should be taken regularly for maximum benefit. For 19 out of 20 allergy sufferers, these sprays are free of side effects and the most common side effects we see are nose bleed and headache–both of which occur in only a few percent of people who take them. If you’d like a little more info on these and other OTC allergy meds, please see our April 2015 newsletter: http://www.theallergyclinic.com/webdocuments/April-newsletter-2015.pdf