Trying Combination Drugs and Immunotherapy for Allergies

Combination Medicines
Several allergy medicines are available that combine an antihistamine with a decongestant, including:
 
 
Claritin-D and Zyrtec-D are available without a prescription. The others require a prescription.
 

Relief from Allergies Through Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy, or a series of allergy shots, is the only treatment available that has a chance of providing long-term allergy relief. With this type of allergy treatment, you receive subcutaneous (under the skin) injections of the allergen(s) to which you are sensitive. As the treatment continues, the concentration of the allergen is progressively increased.
 
These injections reduce the level of IgE antibodies in the blood and cause the body to make a protective antibody called IgG.
 
About 85 percent of people with allergic rhinitis will see their hay fever symptoms and need for medicines drop significantly within 12 months of starting immunotherapy. Those who benefit from this treatment may continue with immunotherapy for three years and then consider stopping. While many are able to stop the injections, with good results lasting for several years, others do get worse after the shots are stopped.
 
One research study showed that children with allergic rhinitis who were treated with immunotherapy were less likely to develop asthma. Researchers need to study this further, however.
 
As researchers produce better allergens for immunotherapy, this technique will likely become an even more effective approach to relieving allergies.
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Allergy Information

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