Runny Nose and Sneezing

29 Jan

Antihistamines, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) chlorpheniramine (Aller-Chlor), diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)

How effective are they?  Very, when symptoms stem from allergies, but a 2015 review of 18 trials concluded that the drugs have little benefit when symptoms are from a cold.

What are the risks?  Drowsiness, nausea, blurred vision, and difficulty urinating, and, with diphenhydramine, impaired coordination.

What they can interact with:  Taking chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine with narcotics, sleeping pills, or alcohol makes sedation more likely. Taking cetirizine, fexofenadine, or loratadine with certain antifungals or antibiotics increases the risk of side effects. Antacids with aluminum or magnesium, and grapefruit and certain other juices can make fexofenadine less effective.

Home remedies:  Honestly, there’s not much you can do besides stocking up on tissues. But note that a runny nose and sneezing help rid your body of germs. If you find yourself without a tissue in hand, sneeze into your elbow so that the germs don’t end up across the room infecting an innocent bystander.

Source: CR Consumer Reports on Health January 2018

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