Jun 14, 2022 Relief for Seasonal Sneezing

A pharmacist gives the scoop on the medications that can help.

For springtime allergy sufferers, the season of blooming is also the season of sneezing. While there’s no cure for allergies, the good news is that many over-the-counter and prescription medications can help to ease or control symptoms.

“Remember that any medication, whether over-the-counter or prescription, should be taken exactly as directed,” says Shawn Lynch, RPh, Manager of the Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Bayonne.

Some of the most common allergy relief medications include:

Decongestants. These cause swollen blood vessels and tissue to narrow, thus allowing air to move more freely through the nose. The most commonly used forms are liquids and tablets. However, nose sprays or drops may be prescribed.

Don’t take decongestants if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, and talk to your doctor before taking them if you have diabetes, glaucoma, a heart condition or prostate or thyroid problems.

Antihistamines. These relieve or prevent allergic rhinitis (hay fever), hives, itching from bug bites and more. The drugs block the effects of histamine, a substance produced by the body during an allergic reaction. Antihistamines come in tablets, capsules, liquids, nasal sprays or drops, eye drops or injections and are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Speak with your doctor before taking them if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, prostate issues or thyroid or heart disease.

Immunotherapy (allergy shots). These injections contain a tiny amount of the substance—such as pollen, mold spores, animal dander or dust mites— that’s triggering an allergic reaction. As increasing doses of the allergy extract are administered, the person’s natural immune system is enhanced and learns to fight off the allergens. Allergy shots, which don’t contain medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, are often used to treat hay fever, conjunctivitis, asthma or stinging insect allergies.

Bronchodilators. These medications, available by prescription, are used to relax and open the airways to relieve coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. They’re usually inhaled but may also come in the form of a tablet, liquid or injectable.

Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy, at Your Service

A brand-new retail pharmacy is now serving the Bayonne community. Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Bayonne offers fast, convenient prescription services and is conveniently located at the same site as Jersey City Medical Center’s Satellite Emergency Department and RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group practices.

“Our pharmacy staff understands the complex needs of patients and offers expertise, personalized care, service and compassion,” says Joe Voelkel, RPh, Assistant Vice President, Retail Pharmacy Network, RWJBarnabas Health. “From the most routine prescriptions to the most complex acute care medications and pain management regimens, we deliver exceptional service. And we’re always available to answer any questions patients might have so that they can achieve the best results from their treatment plan.”

Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Bayonne, Suite 2400, 519 Broadway, is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 551-214-3586.