Astelin is a type of nasal spray that is used for treating seasonal nasal allergy symptoms and non-allergic nasal symptoms. The drug works by preventing the release of histamine from mast cells and preventing histamine from binding to histamine receptors. Astelin is available by prescription and is generally taken twice a day. Possible side effects include drowsiness, bitter taste, nasal burning, and headaches.
What Is Astelin?
Astelin® (azelastine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and nasal itching (known medically as rhinitis). The medication is approved to treat these symptoms when they are due to either seasonal allergens (known as seasonal allergic rhinitis) or to other irritants (known as non-allergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis).
Allergies occur when the body's immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance -- one that does not bother most people. This reaction is partly caused by the release of histamine from certain cells, known as mast cells. Astelin is an antihistamine nasal spray that acts in at least two different ways. It helps prevent the release of histamine from mast cells, and if any histamine is released, Astelin prevents it from binding to histamine receptors. Since histamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of allergies, blocking it can be helpful.
It is not known exactly how or why Astelin works for vasomotor rhinitis. Traditionally, it was thought that antihistamines were generally ineffective for this condition, since vasomotor rhinitis does not involve an allergic reaction or immune system response. However, studies have shown that Astelin nasal spray helps with vasomotor rhinitis.
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