Hay fever - the drug therapy

The nose drips, although one does not have cold, the eyes tear and the skin itches. This is probably how many people suffer from allergies. But as different as the allergies themselves are the drugs that doctors can use to treat them. For all those who have not studied medicine or pharmacy, here are some tips on which drugs make sense in which allergy and with what side effects the user must expect. In principle, doctors and pharmacists distinguish the following groups of so-called antiallergic drugs:


H1 antihistamines displace the messenger histamine from its site of action. Histamine triggers itching, reddened skin and, for example, constricted bronchi and is therefore responsible for the typical allergy symptoms. These drugs can be used on individual body parts as well as for the whole body in tablet form. The tablets are used by many people allergic to hay fever and hives.

However, many medicines containing H1 antihistamines can also tire patients. Especially for motorists and machine operators, for example, the active ingredients cetirizine and loratadine are recommended. Both work fast and reliably, but they do not tire very much. H1 antihistamines are used as tablets, nasal spray or eye drops. There are also ointments or gels that can be used in sunburn, insect bites and allergic skin reactions.

Mast cell stabilizers

Mast cell stabilizers act preventatively and prevent the body from releasing the allergy triggers histamine stored in the mast cells. The active ingredients in the mast cell stabilizers, nedocromil and cromoglycic acid, help especially in allergic bronchial asthma, hay fever and food allergies and are very well tolerated. For patients who have allergy symptoms to the eyes, there is the active ingredient lodoxamide .


Glucocorticoids are known in everyday life under the term 'cortisone'. Cortisone suppress the body's defense reaction. For allergy sufferers, this may have a soothing effect, but it also blocks other important body defenses. Often doctors use cortisone as a preventative measure in allergic asthma. Properly used, dosing sprays with low side effects often produce good results.

In severe asthma, however, medics often give additional tablets. They should choose the lowest possible dose. As a cream or ointment, Cortisone is very effective against allergy symptoms on the skin. Especially the newer drugs have been used for a longer period of time without negative side effects for the patients.


In certain forms of allergy, especially hay fever and allergies to insect venoms, physicians may try to reduce the sensitivity of the allergic to the allergy-causing substance ( allergen ). To do this, they initially administer low levels of the allergen and slowly increase the doses. At intervals of a few weeks, the doctor always injects the same dose. Eighty percent of allergy sufferers successfully complete this therapy.

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