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When your child suffers from allergies, you want to do everything you can to help them. To treat allergy symptoms, it is important to have an understanding of the available medications. When you walk into the pharmacy, you will likely see dozens of medication advertised to treat allergies in children. Before you fill your shopping cart, get some facts on the available options.
Over The Counter Medications: Choosing The Right One For Children
It is important to understand that not all allergy medications are alike. While they are all designed to reduce symptoms, each of them works in different ways. Below you will find information about common over-the-counter medications and how they work.
Sedating Antihistamines – Antihistamines are the most common type of allergy medications. Some antihistamines contain sedatives like diphenhydramine. These medications should be used at night or when your child is experiencing a strong allergic reaction. Follow dosage instructions to prevent excessive drowsiness or other side effects.
Non-Sedating Antihistamines – Non-sedating antihistamines are usually advertised as 'daytime allergy relief' or '24 hour allergy relief' medications. These may be safely used without causing your child to feel drowsy. Some common choices include loratadine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine.
Corticosteroids – Corticosteroids come in the form of topical ointments and nasal sprays. They reduce inflammation associated with allergies and allergic reactions. Hydrocortisone is one popular choice that can be purchased over-the-counter. Doctors may prescribe oral corticosteroids or inhalers for allergies.
If you have questions or concerns about your child taking over-the-counter allergy medications, consult his or her pediatrician. He or she may recommend dosing instructions based on your child's weight.
Alert The Allergist: Getting Medical Help For Your Child's Allergies
For persistent allergies, drugstore medications may only produce minimal relief. Many children benefit from visiting an allergist. Some of the beneficial services provided by allergists include:
Allergy Testing – Testing for allergies usually involves a skin test. During this test, various allergens are applied to your child's skin using a needle prick or puncture. The skin reacts to the allergens, and this helps pinpoint a specific allergy diagnosis.
Allergen Immunotherapy – These are more commonly known as allergy shots. They can give your child long-term relief from their allergies and symptoms.
Medication Recommendations – Your allergist may prescribe prescription allergy medication for your child. He or she may also give you in-depth information about over-the-counter options and recommend them.
Professional Advice – Allergists can provide plenty of advice on dealing with your child's allergies in non-medicinal ways, too. For example, you may get advice on using hypo-allergenic materials or identifying allergens in your home.
Next time your child's allergies flare up, keep this information in mind. Using a drugstore medication based on your child's needs and a doctor's recommendation can be beneficial. For long-term solutions from a specialist, book an appointment with an allergist at a clinic like Asthma and Allergy Clinic.Share