Charlottesville Allergy & Respiratory Enterprises
434-295-ASAP (2727) 1524 Insurance Lane, Suite B, Charlottesville, Virginia 22911

Asthma and Allergy Medications in Charlottesville

There are a variety of medications that can help patients with allergies and asthma feel better. Your allergist is the best physician to choose the appropriate treatment plan for controlling your allergies and asthma. It is important to carefully understand the medications for management of allergies and asthma. These medications should NOT be taken without your physician's advice and the following information is just a very basic primer on the subject. Please check with your allergist regarding what may be the most suitable medications for your condition.

Antihistamines: If you have allergies, your allergist may prescribe an antihistamine. This medication may help decrease symptoms of allergic rhinitis ("hay fever") and conditions such as hives. Antihistamines help prevent the effects of histamine, which is a chemical released by your body during an allergic reaction. Antihistamines may belong to a) first generation, potentially sedating (which may cause drowsiness) or b) second generation, low- or non-sedating. Some of the potential adverse effects (more often noticed with the "first generation" antihistamines) include dryness of mouth, constipation, drowsiness, problems with urinating (especially in case of prostate trouble) and others. In some cases, children may develop transient irritability, jumpiness and nightmares.

Decongestants: These medications may help decrease symptoms of stuffy nose. They work by narrowing your blood vessels, which decreases the amount of fluid that leaks out into the lining of your nose. Some of the potential adverse effects include feeling nervous, sleeplessness, increased blood pressure or heart rate and rebound increase in symptoms.

Medications that help decrease the inflammation and swelling in your nose and airways: Inflammation causes swelling and mucous production in the lining of your nose and airways, causing allergy and asthma symptoms. The following classes of medications may help prevent or reduce this inflammation.

  • Mast cell stabilizers are non-steroid medications that help control inflammation by preventing the release of chemicals.
  • Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications that are available in topical creams or ointments, nasal sprays, inhalers, pills and by injection. Use of this medication must be supervised by your allergist.
  • Many of the cells involved in causing airway inflammation are known to produce chemicals within the body called leukotrienes. Anti-leukotrienes are medications that may be used in patients with asthma.

Bronchodilators: These medications relax this muscle, improving air flow and helping you breathe. Some of these are used for long term control of asthma, while others are used for short term quick relief.

Anti-IgE Antibody: IgE, an antibody that we all produce, is responsible for causing symptoms of allergic diseases. One class of mediations works with an anti-IgE like action and is used for moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma.

(Information only; not intended to replace medical advice; adapted from AAAAI)