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Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2014 Sep;4 Suppl 2:S35-40. doi: 10.1002/alr.21381.

Pharmacotherapy for allergic rhinitis.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.



Pharmacotherapy for allergic rhinitis is a mainstay of treatment for patients with mild to severe nasal allergy symptoms. A wide array of medical treatment options is available for both episodic relief and prevention of symptoms. Treatment regimens can be tailored to individual patients based on nasal symptoms, severity, and associated atopic disorders. The purposes of this review are to identify available pharmacotherapies for allergic rhinitis, to discuss the benefits and limitations of each treatment option, and to help guide practitioners in providing optimal medical treatment for patients with allergic rhinitis.


A comprehensive review of pharmacotherapies for allergic rhinitis was performed using a PubMed search. Secondary sources within indexed studies were also compiled to review current medication options for patients with allergic rhinitis. The benefits and limitations of each class of allergy medication were reviewed to provide information on selecting the optimal treatment regimen for patients with allergic rhinitis.


Pharmacotherapies for allergic rhinitis that are currently used in clinical practice include antihistamines, corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, mast cell stabilizers, expectorants, and decongestants. Symptoms of nasal congestion, itching, sneezing, and rhinorrhea can be targeted with specific therapies that modulate the acute-phase or late-phase allergic reactions. Associated atopic disorders, including conjunctivitis and asthma, can help guide medication selection.


Pharmacotherapies for allergic rhinitis offer numerous options that are safe, effective, and readily available to target specific nasal symptoms. Symptom-based selection of allergy medications can result in optimal treatment for patients with allergic rhinitis.


allergy medication; allergy rhinitis; atopy; nasal allergies; pharmacotherapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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