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What medications might relieve my child's allergy symptoms?

Dr. Lawrence T. Chiaramonte, MD
Allergist & Immunologist

The following drugs can help treat allergic rhinitis symptoms:

  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl): OTC, 6 months plus; itching, watery nose, occasionally itching eyes
  • chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton): OTC, 12 years plus; itching, watery nose, occasionally itching eyes
  • loratadine (Claritin): OTC, 2 months plus; depending on form of allergy rhinitis, itching, watery nose, occasionally itching eyes
  • desloratadine (Clarinex): prescription, 12 years plus; itching, watery nose, occasionally itching eyes & hives
  • fexofenadine (Allegra): prescription, 6 years plus; nasal congestion, watery nose, itching due to eczema
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec): OTC, 1 year plus; nasal congestion, watery nose, itching due to eczema
  • levocetirizine (Xyzal): prescription, 6 months plus; nasal congestion, watery nose, itching due to eczema
  • cromolyn sodium (NasalCrom): OTC, 2 years plus; nasal congestion, watery nose
  • azelastine (Astepro 0.1% and 0.15%): prescription, 5 years plus; nasal congestion, watery nose
  • montelukast (Singulair): prescription, 2 years plus for allergic rhinitis/1 year plus for asthma; nasal congestion, watery nose

Intranasal steroids (INS) were formerly only recommended for those above the age of 12. Like all local steroids, such as inhaled or topical ones, targeted application avoids the general effects that make systemic corticosteroids so problematic for the immune system as a whole. The most prominent of the intranasal steroids is made with a drug called ciclesonide, which is promoted as Omnaris.

For acute allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, epinephrine is recommended.

Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

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Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

Asthma and allergies are at epidemic proportions. It doesn't have to be that way. Two experienced pediatric allergists tell everything a conscientious parent needs to know about these conditions,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.