HealthMart Pharmacies: Allergy Season

Mike Johnson from Healthmart Pharmacies stops by Studio 5 to talk about allergy relief. It can be within your reach or as close as your local HealthMart Pharmacy shelf.

Here’s some practical information you need to know and understand about the differences between decongestants vs. antihistamines. The following information comes from the University of Iowa Health Care website .

Decongestant and anti-histamine medications are often confused and thought to have the same effects on the body. While there are similarities, these medications are not the same and don’t act the same way on the body.

Decongestants relieve nasal congestion, by causing blood vessels in nasal membranes to narrow, reducing swelling, inflammation and amount of mucous in nasal linings. They are used most commonly to treat colds and other respiratory infections. Many decongestants are available without a prescription with the most commonly used being pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.

Antihistamines have a broader use than decongestants. They are used to calm a person, aid sleeping, suppress vomiting and treat allergy symptoms. While used in cough and cold remedies with a decongestant, they are more often used to treat symptoms of allergic reactions, such as sneezing and runny noise of hay fever and itching, swelling and redness of hives and other allergic rashes.

Antihistamines work by blocking the effect of a chemical called histamine produced by the body in response to an allergic reaction. Histamine makes small blood vessels widen in the skin, eyes and nose. This causes redness and swelling. The most common nonprescription antihistamine is diphenhydramine. There are also many antihistamines that can be prescribed only by a physician. They commonly cause less drowsiness than do those available without a prescription.

Both decongestants and antihistamines have some negative side effects. If decongestants are used for too long, they cause nasal congestion to worsen. Because decongestants constrict blood vessels, they are not recommended for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, glacucoma, thyroid disease, urinary retention problems or certain people with asthma or diabetes.

Antihistamines can make a person drowsy and dizzy. They also may cause loss of appetite, blurred vision and dry mouth. Antihistamines are not recommended for people with glaucoma, enlarged prostate or high blood pressure.

HealthMart Pharmacies also have suggestions for non-medicated relief for allergies:

1. Think practically and avoid triggers

2. Close windows in your home and car

3. Limit your outdoor activity during peak times between 10 AM and 4 PM

4. Take a show before bed so pollens, etc., that are left on your hair and clothing will not follow you to bed and your pillow.

5. For your particular symptoms, always be sure to see your doctor or allergist for a diagnosis especially for you

Be sure to visit your nearest HealthMart Pharmacy, such as Art City Pharmacy at 405 South Main in Springville, Utah. Call (801) 489-5618

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