Nasal & Sinus Center

What other Medications are Effective in treating Rhinitis?

Decongestants help relieve the stuffiness and pressure caused by allergic, swollen nasal tissue. Because they do not contain antihistamines, they do not cause common antihistamine side effects. However, they do not relieve the other symptoms of allergic rhinitis, such as a runny nose, post-nasal drip and sneezing. Decongestants are available as prescription and non-prescription medications and are often seen in combination with antihistamines or other medications. It is not uncommon for patients using decongestants to experience insomnia if taking the medication in the afternoon or evening. If this occurs, reducing the dose n may be needed. At times, men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on decongestants. Patients using medications for the management of emotional or behavioral problems should discuss this with their physicians before using decongestants. Pregnant women should also check with their physicians before taking decongestants.

Nonprescription Decongestant Nasal Sprays work within minutes and last for hours, but should not be used for more than a few days at a time without a physician's order.

Oral Decongestants are found in may over-the-counter and prescription medications, and these may be the treatment of choice for nasal congestion. They don't cause rhinitis medicamentosa, but need to be avoided by some patients, especially those with high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you should check with your physician before taking them.

Nonprescription Saline Nasal Spray will counteract symptoms of dry nasal passages or thick nasal mucus. Unlike decongestant nose sprays, a saline nose spray can be used as often as needed. Sometimes, your physician may recommend washing (douching) of the nasal passage.

Corticosteroids counteract the inflammation caused by the body's release of allergy-causing substances, as well as that caused by other non-allergic factors. Thus, they generally work for many causes of rhinitis symptoms and are sometimes useful for chronic sinusitis. Corticosteroids are sometimes injected or taken orally, but usually on a short-term basis for extremely severe symptoms. Physicians warn that injected or oral steroids may produce severe side effects when used for long periods or used repeatedly and, for this reason, they should be used with extreme caution. In rhinitis, a corticosteroid is much safer when used by spraying it into the nose. Side effects are less common, but may include nasal ulceration, nasal fungal infection, or bleeding.

Antibiotics are for the treatment of bacterial infections. They do not affect the course of uncomplicated common colds, and are of no benefit for noninfectious rhinitis, including allergic rhinitis. In chronic sinusitis, antibiotics may help only temporarily, and surgery may be needed.

Eye Allergy Preparations are used when the eyes are affected by the same allergens that trigger rhinitis, causing redness, watery eyes and itching. Eye preparations are available as prescription and nonprescription medications. Check with your physician or pharmacist about these medications.

Nasal Surgery will usually cure or improve symptoms caused by mechanical blockage or chronic sinusitis not responsive to prolonged antibiotics and nasal steroid sprays. Stopping the use of offending medications will cure rhinitis medicamentosa, providing that there is no underlying disorder.

Check with your physician or pharmacist if you are unsure about a specific drug or formula.