Best Allergy Medications Reviewed & Rated for Efficacy

Summer is here. Waves are crashing, the sun is beating down, and the sniffles are all around. “Wait, what?” you say, “The sniffles? Isn’t flu season over?” Ah, yes, a good point. Unfortunately, you’re both right… and wrong. While we’ve left the season for sickness long behind us, summer brings its own trials and tribulations. For many of us, this means one thing: allergies. Between the dust exposed from summer cleaning sessions, to the inescapable pollen party in the air, we all have felt the cruel hand of summertime sniffles. Have no fear, faithful reader! Hope is on the horizon, and we’re bringing it to you at full speed. While you may be soaking in your misery right now, praying for the end, know that we have the solution to all of your problems in this very article.

Featured Recommendations

Benadryl Itch Relief Spray
  • Benadryl Itch Relief Spray
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Protects Skin
  • Price: See Here
Kirkland Antihistamine Tablets
  • Kirkland Antihistamine Tablets
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Pet Friendly
  • Price: See Here
Kirkland Non-Drowsy Tablets
  • Kirkland Non-Drowsy Tablets
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-Drowsy
  • Price: See Here

So, you know what you need, right? Medicine aimed at allergic reactions, of course! But how do you know which products are best? With so many competitors flooding the market it can be hard to tell which medications stand out among the rest. The long, scientific names of generics are confusing, and you really can’t tell the difference between one brand and the next. Luckily, we can. We’ve broken down the best of the best into an easily digestible list so that you know where your favorite stands. Who knows? You might even find a new, improved favorite among the ranks.

 

10 Best Allergy Medications

 

1. Benedryl Itch Relief Spray

1. Benedryl Itch Relief Spray
We’re going to go ahead and assume that this comes as no surprise. Our number one product is, of course, a Benedryl product. You may have thought that we’d throw a curveball, but as it turns out some big names are actually living up to the hype. We love the spray-bottle application, and how quickly this anti-itch relief starts working. Some people have reported that it lasts for hours! There is nothing worse than waiting for your itch relief to kick in. With Benedryl’s Itch Relief Spray you don’t have to! It works on contact to combat any allergic reactions that might arise this season. Between the unique design, the instant relief, the duration of relief, and the trusted name, we really think that you’ll love this spray bits if you give it a go
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Unique Application
Other anti-itch medicines come in gel or cream forms. This can be messy to apply, and in some cases can even stain clothing. It’s the unique spray-bottle design featured in this product that really has us interested. This design also allows for easier storage on the go. You may be worried about a cream or gel product getting residue other carrying devices. With this spray bottle design, you can consider that concern cancelled!

A Name You Can Trust
Benedryl is a fan favorite in America. Like other brands (think Duck Tape or Band-Aid), it has become synonymous with relief from ailments of all kinds. Benedryl comes backed by physicians everywhere, and is often the first remedy suggested. Such a household name has obviously earned the trust of the masses. Almost every person out there has some product by this company in their cabinets! You know when you choose Benedryl you’re also choosing quality, so it’s easy to put your trust in their products.

Cost and Value
We’ve talked pretty extensively about the name attached to this anti-itch spray. But, here’s the thing: it works. Benadryl products are long-lasting, work almost immediately, and provide the relief you crave. On top of this, they aren’t expensive at all! If you look at how many bases this product covers versus the cost we think you’ll agree that the value is extraordinary. It’s also a multi-use medicine which means it’s pretty well rounded! Mosquito bites, for example, are a plague upon this earth. We all know the struggle associated with these blood-sucking pests. If you have this anti-itch spray on you, however, you have a quick fix. So, there you have it! It covers every issue across the board and has a laundry list of amazing features.
Pros

Easy to use

Quick drying

Multi-use

Works quickly

Cons

Burns like alcohol on open skin

2. Kirkland Antihistamine Tablets

2. Kirkland Antihistamine Tablets
This is another wellknown name in the industry. Kirkland has been supplying consumers with effective symptom relief for well over 50 years. They're a fan favorite with the families that have grown up using them! Kirkland has certainly made a name for themselves as they've fought for a foothold in this industry. It's because of this, and their commitment to both quality and efficacy, that earns them this spot on our list.
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People And Pet Friendly
There is no better medicine than one that can be used for the whole family… even the furry members. Kirkland’s formula is safe for pets! Many pet parents struggle with allergies their pets have. After all, the season of sniffles isn’t just for people. Animals are affected just as often, and sometimes with more serious complications. After all, they can’t just tell us when they’re having a severe reaction. It’s best to have a pet-friendly option on hand just in case, and Kirkland is providing you just that. Pet parents everywhere agree on the efficacy, and admire the safety, that this brand is providing them.

Start Sleeping Soundly
Allergic reactions are a nuisance all around. One of the biggest effects we’ve read about is the inability to sleep. Strangely enough, if you’re itching, tossing, turning, coughing, or otherwise it makes sound sleeping pretty difficult to achieve. Nothing is worse than laying in bed alone with your thoughts and entirely miserable. Kirkland’s recipe accounts for this, and they’ve formulated a product made to work as a sleep aid, as well. This product is not only good to keep around for pets, as it turns out. Keep it on hand not just for allergic reactions, but also for generally sleepless nights! It’s dual-action formula will let you dream more, and think less.

Cost and Value
If we haven’t already sold you on Kirkland maybe we can do that here. These perfect, pink pills are harbingers of reaction free bliss. If you’re struggling with allergens like pollen, hay, or otherwise, this is a must-have for your house. There are three sizing options to choose for which gives you absolute control over your spending budget. Between their competitive pricing, size options, and well-loved products, Kirkland packs value into every punch they throw. Their reaction relief formula is just as good as, if not better than, the rest of their product line-up.
Pros
  • Generic version
  • Scored tablets
  • Multi-symptom relief
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Dual-usage formula
Cons
  • Causes drowsiness

3. Kirkland Non-Drowsy Tablets

3. Kirkland Non-Drowsy Tablets
Kirkland: the brand good enough to show up back-to-back in our top three section! Yes, we did reach out to their marketing team to try and get them to use this as their new motto. No, we haven’t heard back. We remain hopeful, however, that they’ll give in someday. After all, we’re obviously huge fans! Kirkland shows true initiative in the industry, and constantly puts out products that keep their customers coming back faithfully for more. This non-drowsy relief stays true to what they’re known for, with the added bonus of not knocking a person out. But we’ll get to that in the rest of this section. Keep reading to find out why Kirkland may be right for you!
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The Generic Option
More and more Americans are choosing to go with generic version of medicine rather than the brand name. This is the way go to for smart shoppers! Why pay for a more expensive product when the ingredients in them are truly the same? That’s why it’s important to read the labels of a medicine before you buy it. If you compare two bottles and the formulas are the same, then why go with the expensive option just for the sake of it? Sure, that pretty label is nice, but how about saving a pretty penny instead?

A Fun-Friendly Favorite
Active lifestyles are often impacted by the sniffles. It’s understandably hard to get up the energy to go for a run when you’re hacking up a lung. Most relief products come with an unfortunate side-effect: sleepiness. So, you might be able to stop coughing, but at the cost of your energy levels. Basically, it puts you back at step one. Kirkland created this product with active people in mind. It’s a non-drowsy recipe for success, and it will keep you up and moving all day long. Kirkland knows that you not only want relief, but you want it so that you can get on with your day, and not sleep it away.

Cost and Value
You’ll find the most value on the list in these truly terrific tablets. The real value isn’t determined by the price tag, however. There’s so much more to think about when you’re deciding on Kirkland’s Non-Drowsy tablets! Honestly, there are more benefits to these tablets than we can really go over. For example: have fussy kids? No problem! These are small and easy to swallow for even the toughest, strong-willed tots. Almost any angle you look at this product from will have you spotting more and more pros on the list. At the end of the day you really just can’t beat a great price. It’s an added bonus when the best-priced product, however, also happens to be one with so much to offer.
Pros
  • 24hr relief
  • Affordable option
  • Non-drowsy
  • Easy-swallow tablets
Cons
  • Comparably weak formula

4. Nasacort 24hr Nasal Spray

4. Nasacort 24hr Nasal Spray
A long-time love of the allergen-plagued masses! Nasacort has cornered some sections of the market with their brilliant, aggressive formulas and innovative product ideas. They’ve climbed the ranks to sit pretty with other manufacturers like Claritin, and Flonase. Their 24hr nasal spray has earned itself a high-up place on our list because of, well, how great it is! We know you’ve heard about this brand from more than one source. It comes backed by physicians, specialists, and a whole hoard of other people, too. When you need relief, and you need it fast, you go with Nasacort. It’s a name you trust, and a company you believe in. What more could you want?
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Spend More, Save More
We know that this is a super expensive product. We totally get it. But bare with us! As it turns out, sometimes you have to spend a little more to save a little more. Many of the people who buy this claim that it pays for itself just with the money saved on buying tissues. Honestly, that’s probably true! There are certainly extra costs associated with constantly having to blow your nose..From high-quality, soothing tissues, to balms that soothe your raw skin, you pay way more in the long run when you’re constantly sniffling. Nasacort is a once-daily product, as well (more on that below). This means that it lasts longer than others. You save there, too!

A Once-Daily Remedy
The case with many medicines on the market is that they require usage throughout the day. This can be a huge hassle since it means bringing a small pharmacy with you wherever you go. Sure, it makes you super popular with the soccer moms, but it definitely weighs you down. Nasacort recommends using this product once a day since it’s such a strong formula. This is great since it means you only have to worry about using it in the morning before work, or at night before bed. No more extra essentials on your person! Just whatever you need to tackle your day now that Nasacort has given you the relief to do so..

Cost and Value
Unfortunately, this is probably one of the most expensive options out there. As with most proven remedies, this nasal spray has a high cost associated with it. You get what you pay for, however, and you get a great product, and then some, with Nasacort. They have effective, fast-acting formulas that you can rely on. There are few things to fear more than using a product made for allergen relief and realizing that it’s too weak to work. We recommend really considering the extra few dollars just to know that your relief product will work for you. Some of them have a lower concentration of chemicals, so keep that in mind when selecting your soother of choice!
Pros
  • Multi-pack
  • Non-drowsy formula
  • All day relief
  • 120 sprays
  • Physician recommended
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Nasal spray

5. Xyzal 24hr Tablets

5. Xyzal 24hr Tablets
This may not be a name you’ve heard very often. Quite frankly, we weren’t even sure how to pronounce it! Now that we’ve done ample research, however, we’re much more well-rounded on the subject… including pronunciation! Xyzal 24hr Tablets are an upper-end allergen relief formula. They were chosen because of the simple, but effective, relief that they provide their users. We know that big price tags can be intimidating, but we also know that there are some cases where you need a more concentrated product. While being a savvy shopper is indeed smart, it’s also important to remember that sometimes the extra dollar goes an extra mile.
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‘Round-The-Clock Relief
We’ve all been there. The clock strikes midnight, we’re fine. The clock strikes 3 am, and suddenly it’s like your entire body comes alive again… and so do your allergies. Waking up in the middle of the night to a raging headache, or having to deal with sniffling through an entire meeting, is more than an inconvenience. It can be career ruining! Alright, maybe we’re being dramatic. But, based on experience, nobody wants to be the person who keeps sucking back their snot when it’s almost silent in the boardroom. Skip the shenanigans and the sniffles!.

Works When Nothing Else Will
Have you run into a tolerance problem? Sometimes when you use a medicine for too long it loses efficacy. We see this often with a variety of relief products. If you’ve run into this issue then Xyzal may be the right change of pace. Don’t let yourself be miserable with medicines that just aren’t doing it anymore! Pick the product that has been shown to work for even the toughest cases out there. No matter the job, Xyzal has you covered all day.

Cost and Value
It can be hard to sell a product with such a large upfront cost. Xyzal doesn’t seem to be having a problem doing just that, however, so they must be doing something right! Any brand that can charge essentially whatever they want for their product probably has something great on their hands. So, why not make it something great on yours? Some upper-end relief products can cause some serious brain fog the next day. This is not the case with Xyzal’s tablets! You’ll wake up refreshed and ready, instead and yawning and yearning for more sleep. With all of the great things we’ve talked about in relation to this product, what are you waiting for? Experience it yourself!
Pros
  • All day relief
  • “Hangover” free
  • Prescription level strength
  • Easily portable
Cons
  • Expensive

6. Goodsense Relief

6. Goodsense Relief
It’s right in the same: Goodsense! If you have any good sense you’ll be reading closely during this section. We sense good things to come, after all. Alright, alright! We’re done. We promise. In all seriousness, this brand gave themselves a name very true to their culture. Goodsense offers lower strength, lower cost options to anybody who wants to try them. Although they may not be strong enough for some, the other side of that coin is that they’re less likely to make you drowsy. If you’ve found that other meds leave you at the mercy of your fatigue then these are a great option. We think that everybody can use their good sense to figure out that this is one helluva deal.
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Effective For Indoor/Outdoor Allergens
Some products don’t quite cover the full spectrum of symptom-causing allergens. Goodsense has crafted their medicine to cover all of the bases! How often have you been set off by dusting your house? If you’re anything like us you put that off for a while, so there’s always a fine layer of build up. Well, now you can tackle that task with all the ease of somebody who isn’t reactive to the dust! You’ll find relief from absolutely anything that could cause a reaction! From dust to hay, and everything in between, Goodsense has you covered all day.

It Isn’t Anti-Chlorogenic
There have been studies recently that suggest a link between chlorogenic products and Alzheimer’s. The jury is still out on the subject, and we’ll have to wait for more studies to be sure, but for now it might be best to pick products that aren’t under speculation. Goodsense had the good sense make their medicine anti-chlorogenic. Loratadine is the active ingredient in these tablets. Normally antihistamines are made with Diphenhydramine, but Loratadine is considered a perhaps safer alternative. It’s just as effective, and won’t leave you second guessing.

Cost and Value
Had enough of the terrible puns yet? Good, because we have, too. We promise not to keep making them. After all, this part of the guide is the most important to us. We want to make sure that the value of a product is laid out so you can easily understand it. Unfortunately, sometimes products don’t quite live up to the standards we wish they would. It is true that this product is not as effective as other brands. You’re trading that off with the low price! We think that it’s still worth a try, however. This is especially true if most meds make you overly tired.
Pros
  • Non-drowsy
  • Affordable
  • Small tablets
  • 24hr relief
  • Loratadine based
Cons
  • Weaker formula

7. Zyrtec Tablets

7. Zyrtec Tablets
This is another name we’re all at least somewhat familiar with. There is a certain amount of trust that comes with a well-known brand, and Zyrtec is the go-to form of relief for many. This brand has cornered the market on both quality and quantity. It’s standing in the public eye is mirrored by physicians and experts everywhere! With science-backed relief like that, you’ll be seeing results in the blink of an eye. Zyrtec comes in many forms, but this is probably the most effective and commonly used. So, tackle your toughest allergies with these tablets of choice!
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Reaction Tracking App
We found a very interesting perk to Zyrtec’s over-the-counter meds. They actually have an app made just for tracking your reactions! This can be immensely helpful when you’re first showing signs and need to narrow the cause down. We know of a few cases where people thought they were reactive to something for a long time. Then, they went and got formally tested only to realize that what they had suspected as the cause previously was not really at fault. This app puts them ahead in our book!

#1 Recommended Brand
We’ve all seen the commercials for Zyrtec. It seems like there’s a new one every other week, and that they play every other ad. While it might be annoying, the good news is that they’re obviously notorious. Almost any doctor, or allergen specialist, will recommend Zyrtec to you almost right off the bat. It’s a great go-to when you want to avoid getting shots or taking a different extreme route for sniffles that just won’t stop. Nobody wants to have an extra doctor’s appointment once a month, or more, for a possibly avoidable problem.

Cost and Value
Zyrtec is a tricky brand to rate cost and value for. Quite frankly, this might be more up to you than to us. We think that Zyrtec is well worth the price, and definitely a good option if not much else has worked. With such a hefty cost, however, some people steer pretty clear. There is something to be said about a med that might be the #1 choice used throughout the USA. So, if you’re willing to reach a little deeper in your pocket, you’ll probably find more success in solving your sniffle woes. Otherwise, look at some of the other, more affordable options on this guide! There are, after all, quite a few.
Pros
  • Physician backed
  • Informational brand
  • Full prescription strength
  • Cetirizine based
  • Indoor/Outdoor relief
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Tablet form

8. Benedryl Ultratabs Relief

8. Benedryl Ultratabs Relief
This may actually be the most iconic packaging on the entire guide. Everybody has seen, held, and used these little pink miracle cures at least once in their life. Benadryl, as we said earlier on, is a go-to med across the board. Zyrtec may be the #1 recommended product by pharmacists, but Benadryl is the first option for medical professionals on a broader spectrum. You never have to second guess whether or not a product is going to work for you if that product is made by Benadryl! They wrote the book on relief from common allergens.
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Diphenhydramine HCl Based
Chemical hysteria is at an all-time high right now. People are misusing the word on the daily, and scared of anything that contains “chemicals”. Chemophobia, if you will. The problem is that absolutely everything out there is a chemical! Literally everything. If you break down the ingredients of a strawberry into the simplest parts it looks terrifying. So, the point is, don’t let the long name fool you! Diphenhydramine is the chemical you have to thank for your seasonal relief. The fact that Benadryl is based on this chemical is what makes it so effective!

Readily Available
No matter where you go you can always find Benadryl being sold. Even in small gas stations out in the middle of nowhere, there is a high chance that they’ll have Benadryl on their medical shelf. This medicine has become so incredibly popular that it’s hard to get away from it. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you can’t get to your medicine of choice. This can be the case with more expensive products that aren’t sold in as many places. So, it’s a huge plus that Benadryl is ready to go when you are, and is easily buyable when you forget it at home.

Cost and Value
There are a few extra benefits to this medicine that should be noted when looking at its value. First and foremost, it has a dual-purpose formula that makes it just as good as a cold med. This provides it an extra boost of value since you can use it in more than one way. As always, Benadryl is a fan favorite brand that has cornered the market, so you can imagine that it's pretty worth the money spent on it. We think, overall, that this is a great way to go if you need quick relief but still want to be gentle on your budget.
Pros
  • Provides cold relief
  • Child friendly (6yr+)
  • Available everywhere
  • Multi-symptom relief
  • Physician recommended
Cons
  • Causes excessive drowsiness

9. Claritin Non-Drowsy Tablets

9. Claritin Non-Drowsy Tablets
Claritin is another brand that has been mentioned prior on this guide… and so, of course, here the brand is with their very own spot on the list! Do you hear the motto in your head? We know that’s the first thing that happens for us whenever we see that name! They’ve done an amazing job marketing their product to every audience out there. Their allergen relief meds are potent, and cut right through the nonsense. When you need to get your head in the game you can always count on Claritin to give you the clarity needed. Don’t take our word for it- try Claritin for yourself and see!
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Vanishes Vertigo
A lesser known symptom that people experience during pollen season. Dizziness can be a serious problem! Not only is it highly uncomfortable, but it can also prevent you from doing basic activities. Driving, for example, is absolutely out of the question when your head is spinning. It’s also difficult to concentrate on basically anything. On top of this it can sometimes cause nausea, as well, which is just another layer of terrible on an already bad situation. Claritin, luckily, has the answer. This relief product can also tackle the spins, and might be the answer to your prayers. Many doctors recommend it for this purpose!

Complete Relief From Everything
Worried about your med of choice not covering a weird, hardly found allergen you react to? Well, luckily Claritin is shown to be effective against almost all allergens across the board. Even those who suffer from weird, little-known reactions can rejoice in the idea that they’ve found their perfect pill. This is part of what makes Claritin such a reputable, well-known brand suggested by almost any medical professional you speak to. They know what their customers need, and they know that sometimes their customers need relief against, well, quite frankly some weird stuff.

Cost and Value
Well, it’s Claritin. Unfortunately by this we mean that it is fairly pricey. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, things that work the best are going to cost more. It’s a simple fact of life! We all wish that everything could just cost a dollar, but that isn’t the way the economy works. In the meantime once you understand that price sometimes does equate to quality, reach for Claritin next time you go to the store. The curative powers of this med will both astound you, and free you from the prison that allergens create. Free yourself with that well-known Claritin clarity!
Pros
  • Covers 200+ allergens
  • Loratadine based
  • 24hr relief
  • Helps with vertigo
  • 70 tablet bundle
Cons
  • Small button

10. Flonase 24hr Nasal Spray

10. Flonase 24hr Nasal Spray
Flonase is flying in to round off our top ten list. We may have mentioned the brand once or twice, but it bares mentioning again! This is because of their long history in this industry, and their success in crafting quick-acting formulas that last all day. On top of this Flonase is a non-habit forming medicine, which is a huge plus for those worried about possible addiction-related problems. There is a product for everybody, and if you need a non-habit forming, fast acting product to spray away your reaction, this is it! Continue reading to find out why this product made the list, and what makes it so special.
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Non-Habit Forming
The sad truth is that some of these medicines can actually be habit forming. Now, this doesn’t mean full blown addiction! Essentially habit forming simply means that the medicine might stop working at a therapeutic dosage. That means you have to take more in order to get the same effect. Which is, obviously, a problem. There are people, as well, who end up struggling with an addiction to over-the-counter allergen relief products. Flonase takes this out of the equation altogether. This makes it a great choice for people who may be susceptible to addiction, or those who might be highly tolerant of meds in general.

Covers Kids, Too!
Some of the medicines on our list cannot be used in small children. This makes a lot of sense because of the active ingredients used in most over-the-counter drugs. However, Flonase tackles this issue with ease. No more keeping two bottles on you at all times for your little! If your kiddo is four years or older, then Flonase will cover them, too! As always, make sure to check with your doctor before using an over-the-counter medicine of any type on your child. While the manufacturer says it’s safe you always want to be sure with a medical professional!

Cost and Value
As with all the big name brands Flonase does come at a premium. Most of the products you see in the health and wellness section will, however. This is because they’re a huge necessity, and people are generally willing to pay whatever price they have to. This doesn’t mean there aren’t cheaper alternatives, but those meds might not get the job done. Flonase might be on the expensive side, but it really is worth it if you need a product that is proven to work across the board for a variety of allergic reactions.
Pros

Effective control of symptoms when taken regularly

Does not produce a gross taste

No rebound effect

Can help reduce incidences of snoring

Cons

Needs time to build up in the system 

 

The season of the sniffles is upon us, and it’s time to find your miracle cure. Hopefully, we’ve found a fantastic product for you above that keeps you active, clear, and focused. If not, please continue reading for the criteria used in determining the best products. It’ll help you on your quest to find the most effective med for you. Allergies can be miserable at best, and life-changing at worst. You never know when you might develop new ones, too! Yes, that does happen. Yes, it is probably the worst thing, like, ever. So, why take the risk? Even if you don’t suffer from anything severe you may find this season, in particular, to be difficult. As it turns out there is more and more reaction causing allergens in the air this season than ever! Don’t let yourself get caught in a situation where you don’t have the relief you need. Stock up now so you don’t have to suck it up later.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Allergy Medications

best-allergy-medication-rated-and-reviewed4

Efficacy
The very first part of this to pay attention to is the efficacy. Efficacy, by the way, is a fancy word that just means how effective something is. You learn something every day, and we always do when we’re researching products! Efficacy is so important to deciding whether or not you’re willing to spend money on reaction relief. After all, having a medicine that doesn’t work is… Well, it’s pretty useless, to be honest. Make sure you’re picking a product that is shown to work in clinical studies and is backed by reviewers who’ve experienced it first hand.

  • Duration Of Use
    Figuring out how long symptom relief will last is probably the biggest part of figuring out how effective the product is. Many of these relief-providing medicines will give you twenty-four hours of symptom-free living. If you can get that long out of a product, why would you settle for anything that loses effect after only twelve hours? You wouldn’t!

 

  • Amount of usage
    How often will you have to use a product? You may forget this little detail, which is why we’re making sure to bring it up. Some medicines are made for once-daily usage, which takes a lot of guesswork out of your day. Nasal sprays might be easy to use on the go, but what about tablets? You need a way to take it, and sometimes you just don’t have a drink on hand.

    The best choices have twenty-four hours of efficacy. This covers you entirely no matter what life throws at you and won’t leave any gaps in your symptom relief. It also means having to carry around less on your person which is always a plus in our books.

 

  • Allergies it prevents
    What do you need protection against? Is it a common allergen, like dust or hay? Or is it a little more far-fetched like grass? Yes, that is totally a thing. People really are allergic to regular, ol’ grass! Some of your more out there allergies may end up needing a more serious treatment plan. However, there are a few products on the market for allergen relief which cover a few more bases than their competitors.

    Look to see if you can find out which allergies it covers. Some bottles will boast their numbers loud and proud. These are the products to go with generally speaking!

 

  • Doctor recommended
    Perhaps the most important piece of criteria for this entire line-up is the recommendation of medical professionals. Knowing that experts in the field trust a drug is probably the most peace of mind you can possibly have. While all drugs are cleared by the FDA and are therefore safe for consumption, some of them are certainly better than others when it comes to efficacy.


Safety
With any medicine you buy over the counter, this is an important consideration. It ties into efficacy but is certainly its own category altogether. All medicines on the market are cleared by the FDA. This means they are generally pretty safe across the board. However, some of them have weird side effects that might be a problem for you. There are warning labels for a reason! These are the pieces of criteria we used to evaluate whether or not a product was safe enough to make the list.

  • Doctor recommendation
    Again, that doctor recommendation! Yes, we mentioned it before. Yes, it’s still really important. A physician’s go-to product is not just a sign of a great product; it’s also the hallmark of a safe one. After all, your doctor is going to recommend the most effective medicine that also happens to have the least amount of side-effects, or interactions, as possible.

    Make sure you ask about current meds before you begin taking anything new over the counter long term. If you are on any medicines at the moment there might be interactions between current prescriptions and new products.

 

  • Non-habit forming
    More and more people in America struggle with addiction in one form or another. We, just like everybody else, would love to see a stop to this growing epidemic. That’s why we paid attention to whether or not a product is habit-forming. This isn’t just important for a person with a history of addiction, however. Sometimes you have to up the dosage if a product stops working at the current one. If a medicine is habit forming this could spell disaster. This makes it addictive, but not in the traditional sense.

    For example, think of people who take a sleep aid. If you use a sleep-aid for an extended period of time your body will become addicted. You’ll stop producing your own “sleepy time chemicals”, and your brain will rely on the sleep aid to shut off at night. This means that you have a really, really hard time sleeping without one, and it can take months to go back to normal. Symptom relief for seasonal sniffles can do the same thing.

 

  • Overdose protection
    Make sure you always check to see how much of a product can cause overdose symptoms. Most of these would take an extraordinary amount to do any real damage, but overdose covers a large swath of symptoms. For example, taking three Benadryl instead of one can cause excessive sleepiness, and a definite brain-fog the next day. This is actually indicative of overdose on a smaller scale.

    It’s kind of like how vomiting when you’ve had one too many isn’t normal. It’s actually alcohol poisoning in the beginning stages. We don’t think of it that way because it’s pretty common (oh, those college years!), but it really is an overdose of sorts.


Type:
It’s crucial to figure out which style of application fits you best. This means finding out whether you’re okay with sticking a tube up your nose and spraying…  to put it bluntly. A lot of people have issues with certain styles, such as pills (swallowing), or the mental block associated with spraying liquid up your nostril. We’ll go over the two main types and explain their pros and cons.

  • Nasal Spray
    This is a great option if you can get past the act itself. Nasal spray tends to work pretty quickly and is tough on build up in your nasal cavities. If you’re sick of sniffling and sucking back snot, then you need a nasal spray. It’ll also relieve pressure associated with reactions, which is a godsend when your entire face feels chock full.

 

  • Tablet form
    On the other side of the spectrum, we have tablets. Traditionally most antihistamines come in pill form since that’s the easiest way to get quick relief. It’s also generally perfect for anybody to use. There are some disabilities that make swallowing pills hard, however, and some children are pretty resistant to it. In that case, a less popular and effective option might be a liquid relief.


Quick Tip: If you, or a child, have difficulty swallowing try putting the pill in applesauce. It’ll slide down your throat easily, and you won’t even notice.


Amount of Product Provided
Who doesn’t want more bang for their buck? Nobody, that’s who! That’s why cost and value is a huge part of our selection process. The amount of product provided by the manufacturer for the price it costs is a huge deal. You never want to run out of your reaction relief! The more pills in a bottle, or the higher the spray count, the less you have to worry about restocking.

And, of course, it’s always nice to pay less for more.

  • Size of package
    Of course, the first part of the criteria for this section is the size of the package. Obviously the larger it is, the more product there is. However, there is a small section under the price that tells you the price of each “unit”. They’re referring to the number of pills in the bottle. Even if a medicine looks more expensive, look at that unit price and you may be surprised. It’s a savvy shopping tip in general!

 

  • Multi-pack option
    Is there an option for a multi-pack? These tend to be to a great deal since they normally have a cheaper per unit cost. Most companies will offer this cost incentive to make more money overall. It works positively on both ends! The consumer is more likely to choose the multi-pack to save on two and have a bottle on standby, rather than buying one by itself. You save more money in the long run by choosing this option, and the company benefits because more people are buying multi-packs who may have only bought the single bottle previously.

FAQ

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Q: How do I know a product is safe?

A: Luckily, that’s pretty easy. Aside from product warnings (always read labels!), you can pretty much guarantee that it’s safe for human consumption. This is because they belong in a class of drug that is protected by the FDA. That means they’re the real deal! All pharmaceuticals must go through a lengthy process which includes trials, thousands of hours of study, and some seriously compelling evidence. We have this system in place to protect us!

Q: Are human-designed meds safe for pets?

A: Never, ever give a symptom reliever to an animal without checking with your vet first. Some ingredients can cause horrible effects in pets. Their biochemistry is vastly different from ours, so chemicals generally have different effects on them. Y’know, like how chocolate is poisonous to them. Some meds are actually safe, but it’s always best to check first.

Q: What are liquid gels?

A: We did not include any in this article, but it’s good to know what they are. You’ll end up seeing them if you need a different med than any of the ones we’ve outlined! Liquid gel pills simply a human-safe, easily digestible casing with a liquid center. They are rumored to work faster, so some people prefer this method of ingestion.

Q: What is an antihistamine?

A: A great question! You hear this term all the time when looking at symptom relief products, but what does it mean? As it turns out, it’s a pretty easy concept. Let’s break it down a little more!

Antihistamines are compounds which block the release of histamines, effectively disengaging a cell’s natural defense system. This defense system is what causes physiological reactions such as itching, sneezing, coughing, and more.

This is important since you can’t escape the exposure to allergens, and we don’t have the technology to attack the allergies themselves. Right now antihistamines are the cutting edge in symptom relief, and they do a fine job at it!

Q: Is there any real difference between these products?

A: Absolutely! There are different active ingredients, which have different side effects as well as uses. These are the two that are most common:

Diphenhydramine HCl: Diphenhydramine is the go-to choice for crazy symptoms of all sorts. Doctors recommend this as a first line defense against hives in an emergency, and it proves quite effective in this regard. Obviously, Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine.

Loratadine: This is an alternative should diphenhydramine prove a bad match. There are also some studies suggesting this as a safer chemical, but research is still in the works. Loratadine works the same way that the ingredient above does. It’s a histamine blocker, just with a slightly different way of attacking the problem.

Q: Which active ingredients should I look for?

A: Your best shot at finding the best med means looking for the ingredients we listed above. Both of them are the best-known symptom fighting agents around. While some people may choose more holistic routes, the simple truth is that only these products are proven to work. Between their fast-acting formulas, the length of relief they provide, and their positive reviews, antihistamines are really the way to go.

Sources

  1. Best Health, The best allergy medications and how to take them
  2. Business Insider, Here’s The Real Difference Between All Those Allergy Medications
  3. Iodine, You’re Probably Taking The Wrong Allergy Medication

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