When experiencing a bad bout of allergies or an intense allergy attack, it’s common and entirely understandable to think of little more than immediate relief. As a matter of pure convenience, over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines and corticosteroids (such as Benadryl, Allegra, Zyrtec) are often the default choice of many of the near 50 million Americans afflicted annually by allergies and asthmas. That gives the OTC allergy pharmaceutical industry a nearly $18 billion annual revenue. While using retail prescriptions might procure speedy relief from unpleasant symptoms, you might want to think twice before purchasing another bottle.
Here are four major reasons OTC allergy medicines are neither the best nor the most effective methods of treating allergies and should be avoided as much as possible.
They are Costly (Both in Money and Time)
Sure, a 16 dollar price tag on OTC medicine at your local pharmacy might not seem like much, but if you regularly experience allergy-related symptoms, maintaining control of them with those OTC medications will require multiple visits. Compound the costs of time, travel, and purchase of medication for several years, and you have a hefty expenditure.
A simple visit to an expert physician can help prevent costs due to recurring trips by providing accurate testing that can better find the cause of allergies and educate you on better long-term treatment plans.
They are Ineffective
While OTC medications might quell a cough or control intense itching, they do next to nothing to address what’s actually causing the symptoms in the first place. Using over the counter allergy treatment can mask symptoms, but do not expect them to prevent those same symptoms from returning, potentially worse than before.
They Produce Dependency and Tolerance
One-time use of an OTC treatment is likely to alleviate immediate symptoms, but given their inability to combat long-term allergy issues, a patient is likely to have to rely on them daily to prevent further attacks. The more a patient uses, the more that patient relies on the medication to treat them. Over time, a patient will likely build up a tolerance to these medications, putting their usefulness in question. Rather than searching for another OTC to replace it, effectively starting the whole cycle over again, consider a consultation with Dr. Mandel. After a full diagnosis of your specific condition, he can provide long-term relief via a minimally invasive procedure and regular immunotherapy, saving you time, money, and peace of mind.
They Produce Many Side Effects
What good is a treatment if it simply replaces one ailment for another? OTC allergy medicines have several documented side effects to their usage. These include
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Restlessness or moodiness
- Difficulty with urination
- Blurred vision
Patients dealing with other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, heart disease, and glaucoma are advised to reconsider their use of OTC allergy medicines.
South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center Will Keep Your Allergies at Bay
If you’re currently keeping your allergy symptoms at bay using retail, over-the-counter treatments, then you are likely at the mercy of your allergies themselves. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center can help you pursue a quality of life not offered by OTC medicines. Contact us today at 954-983-1211 to request a consultation with Dr. Mandel.