If you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant can be helpful. If you have drainage — either a runny nose or postnasal drip or itchy, watery eyes — then an antihistamine may be helpful. Over-the-counter antihistamines often make people drowsy; decongestants can make people hyper or keep them awake.
Does antihistamine help with congestion?
Antihistamines target histamine, which your body makes during an allergic reaction. You can take them as pills, nasal spray, or eye drops. The pills target itching, sneezing, and runny nose. The nasal sprays work on congestion, an itchy or runny nose, and postnasal drip.
Which antihistamine is best for congestion?
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
- Clemastine (Tavist)
- Desloratadine (Clarinex)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
Is Benadryl a decongestant or antihistamine?
Benadryl is an antihistamine and Sudafed is a decongestant. Benadryl and Sudafed are available in generic form and over-the-counter (OTC).
Should you use decongestants?
Decongestants are a type of medicine that can provide short-term relief for a blocked or stuffy nose (nasal congestion). They can help ease the symptoms of conditions such as colds and flu, hay fever and other allergic reactions, catarrh and sinusitis.
Do Antihistamines dry up mucus?
Antihistamines and decongestants may dry out the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses and slow the movement of the cilia (the tiny hairs that line the nose, sinuses, and the air passages inside the lungs and that remove irritants). This can make mucus thicker, adding to drainage problems.
Can I take an antihistamine and a decongestant together?
If your nose and sinuses are stuffed up, a decongestant may help. You can use it alone or combine it with an antihistamine. Remember, though, it can increase your heart rate and may cause anxiety or make it hard to fall asleep. If you have a runny nose or sneezing, try an antihistamine.
Can antihistamines make congestion worse?
Forceful blowing can irritate the nasal passages and propel bacteria-laden mucus back up into your sinuses. Avoid antihistamines unless prescribed. Antihistamines make mucus thick and hard to drain. Be careful with decongestants.
What is the best allergy medicine for drainage?
When they dry out mucus, they can actually thicken it. Newer antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), fexofenadine (Allegra), cetirizine (Zyrtec), levocetirizine (Xyzal), and desloratadine (Clarinex), may be better options and are less likely to cause drowsiness.
Does Zyrtec help with nasal congestion?
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What is a natural decongestant?
9 Ways to Naturally Clear Up Your Congestion
- Saline spray.
- Neti pot.
- Herbs and spices.
- Elevated head.
- Essential oils.
What is the best decongestant for sinuses?
Decongestants . These medicines help reduce the swelling in your nasal passages and ease the stuffiness and sinus pressure. They come as nasal sprays, like naphazoline (Privine), oxymetazoline (Afrin, Dristan, Nostrilla, Vicks Sinus Nasal Spray), or phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine, Sinex, Rhinall).
What is the best decongestant medicine?
- Best Overall: GoodSense Nasal Decongestant. …
- Best Natural: Vicks Cool Mist Humidifier. …
- Best Spray: Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray. …
- Best for Colds: Mucinex Sinus-Max Liquid. …
- Best for Sinus Infections: Sudafed PE Pressure + Pain + Relief. …
- Best Neti Pot: ComfyPot Ergonomic Ceramic Neti Pot.
Is it bad to take a decongestant everyday?
Is it safe to take for a long time? Decongestants should only be used for a short time, usually less than 10 days. If you take them for longer, you’re more likely to get side effects. Only take pseudoephedrine for longer than 10 days if a doctor has said it’s OK.
How long can you use decongestants?
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that you don’t use spray decongestants for longer than three days at a time. Your body may grow dependent on them, and then the products will no longer be effective in alleviating congestion.
Why can’t you use decongestants for more than 3 days?
Decongestant nasal sprays (DNSs) provide immediate relief by shrinking swollen blood vessels in your nasal passages. This reduces the inflammation and helps you breathe easier. DNSs are supposed to be used for a maximum of three days. If you use them longer than that, they can cause rebound congestion.