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Can decongestants relieve allergy symptoms?

If a stuffy, blocked-up nose is your primary allergy symptom, a decongestant may offer relief. These medicines work by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose, which reduces swelling. Decongestants do not relieve sneezing, itching or a runny nose. Decongestants can be sprayed directly into the nose or taken orally as a pill.

Over-the-counter decongestants may be helpful in treating the stuffy noses that often go along with allergies. Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are common oral over-the-counter decongestants. Some asthma medications can also be used to treat allergies, but they are generally not as effective as nasal steroids or antihistamines.

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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.