Corticosteroids reduce inflammation associated with seasonal allergy. Steroids are highly effective but they have to be taken daily to get the full benefit.Steroids for seasonal allergy relief are usually in the form of nasal spray.
This is because researchers found that nasal steroids are better than oral antihistamines as far as seasonal allergy is concerned. Inhaled corticosteroids and antihistamines are not effective in blocking allergic response once it has started.
Examples of intranasal corticosteroids:
Fluticasone propionate (
Flonase) and budesonide Rhinocort.The Anti-IgE Therapy:
This is a form of immunotherapy for seasonal allergies in which the patient is vaccinated with large doses of the allergen in order to induce immunologic tolerance
. This therapy helps reduce severity of the associated asthma and prevents re-occurrence of allergic symptoms for a long period of time. IgE therapy has been found to be most effective for seasonal allergies such as pollen allergy as well as from dust and animal dander allergy.Intranasal Mast Cell Stabilizers:
These medicines are used to prevent mild to moderate inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Mast cell stabilizers prevent the release of histamine from mast cells. Normally, they are used as nasal spray to treat allergic rhinitis and in a nebulizer solution for aerosol administration to treat asthma.
Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom spray) is an example of nasal spray that has been found safe for all ages. It has to be taken 4 times a day during the allergy season for best effect. Since the effect of mast cell stabilizers comes on gradually, give it a month’s trial to find out if it is working for you.
Another drug omalizumab (marketed as Xolair), approved by FDA for intravenous administration, is used to treat adults and adolescents with moderate to severe persistent asthma due to allergy. Anaphylaxis is the common side effect of this drug. However, FDA also cautions that the use of Xolair may increase the risk of heart disease in some patients.Leukotriene Modifiers:
These drugs prevent the synthesis or block the effects of leukotrienes that are produced in response to an allergy. These prescription medications are available in the form of pills, chewable tablets and oral granules.
Examples of leukotriene modifiers include zafirlucast (Accolate), montelucast (singulair) and zileuton (Zyflo).