For Seasonal Allergies, Taking 1 Drug is Better Than 2

When it comes to treating seasonal allergies, taking only 1 medication is preferable to taking 2, according to allergists.

A new clinical guideline issued by a task force of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says that initial treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis should be an intranasal corticosteroid (INCS). Taking an intranasal corticosteroid in combination with an oral antihistamine is not recommended.

Common INCSs include Flonase (fluticasone), Nasonex (mometasone), Rhinocort (budesonide) and Nasacort (triamcinolone). Oral antihistamines include Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine) and Claritin (loratadine).

The task force also recommends using an INCS for initial treatment over a leukotriene receptor antagonist like Singulair (montelukast) or Accolate (zafirlukast).

Combining medications for seasonal allergies also increases the risk of experiencing adverse events, the allergists say.

However, the task force says that for cases of moderate to severe seasonal allergies, doctors can consider a combination of an INCS and an intranasal antihistamine.

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is a freelance writer and former MedShadow content editor. He has been an editor and writer for multiple pharmaceutical, health and medical publications, including BioCentury, The Pink Sheet, Modern Healthcare, Health Plan Week and Psychiatry Advisor. He holds a BA from Tufts University and is earning an MPH with a focus on health policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.

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