Over The Counter Decongestant

Understanding Over The Counter Decongestant Medications



With the number of over the counter decongestant medications that are available it can be very difficult to choose the right one. It is good to know the difference between antihistamines and decongestants. They each have properties that dictate how fast and how long they work and their effectiveness. There are some important tips for choosing the right remedy for you.



A Look At Decongestants versus Antihistamines

over the counter decongestant



A decongestant restricts blood tissues and decreases blood flow to the nose. This medication is available in tablet or spray form. A spray will begin working as soon as it is administered. Tablets intended to clear nasal congestion can take as long as thirty minutes to begin working. There are side effects top using this type of medication including the feeling of nervousness and an increase in heart rate.



An antihistamine is a drug that counters the histamine effects in your body. Sneezing, runny nose, and a scratchy throat are caused by histamines. There are some common antihistamines that can be purchased over the counter. Common side effects of the popular medications include irritation and drowsiness. Newer antihistamines provide relief without drowsiness.



There are some OTC medications that contain ingredients for multiple symptoms. Typically these medications contain both an antihistamine and decongestant in addition to a cough suppressant. Pay attention to all ingredients since some will have a sedative that causes drowsiness. These remedies should not be used while driving, working, or operating machinery.



Understanding how OTC medications work and their side effects is important when choosing the one that will meet your needs. With the variety of OTCs that are on the market for the various symptoms you may be having, it is important to choose the one that will be effective. If you take the wrong remedy you may prolong your symptoms.



Many doctors recommend avoiding multi symptom medications. It is often suggested that you take one or the other. If you take one of these multiple symptoms over the counter drugs you may be using a medication that you really do not need.



It is always best to check with your primary doctor before purchasing any OTC medication to help with nasal congestion. Your doctor will likely be able to recommend a medication that will be right for you. You may think you need a remedy for nasal congestion and your doctor may recommend an antihistamine. It is also a good idea to know what ingredients in the OTC might react with prescription medications you are taking.



Before you buy an over the counter decongestant consider your specific need. Make certain to read about all the side effects and drug interactions. Consult with your primary care physician to make sure you are not taking something that can cause more harm than good. You should be aware that some medications contain an antihistamine as well as a something for nasal congestion. These remedies can cause severe drowsiness and should not be taken if you are going to drive or use machinery. Using a medication that is intended for multiple symptoms may not be the right remedy for you.