Chewables, liquids, and nasal sprays, oh my! When it comes to choosing the right allergy medicine for kids, the allergy aisle can make your head spin. We know, we’ve been there. Luckily, relief doesn’t have to come in the form of a riddle. We’ve decoded and demystified the allergy aisle for you, arming you with the information you need to make a confident decision in choosing the best allergy relief for your kids.
Believe it or not, the overwhelming amount of allergy medications found in the drugstore can be narrowed down to just 3 categories: antihistamines, decongestants, and steroid nasal sprays. Below are the medicine categories broken down to explain how they each work to relieve allergy symptoms.
Children’s antihistamines do exactly as they say. They literally block histamine—a chemical released by your immune system during an allergic reaction.1 While popular children’s antihistamines like Children’s Zyrtec® and Children’s Claritin® block histamine—it’s important to remember that histamine is only one of many allergic substances. And some children’s antihistamines such as Benadryl® can cause drowsiness.
A quick fix, decongestants only offer relief of nasal and sinus congestion.1 If your child is also suffering from other symptoms such as itchy or watery eyes, a decongestant won’t offer one-stop complete relief. When you’re in a pinch, over-the-counter options like Sudafed® are available, but keep in mind that side effects include insomnia and irritability,2 two things that don’t mix well with kids.
Children’s FLONASE® SENSIMIST™ Allergy Relief is a steroid nasal spray known as a glucocorticoid—a hormone your child produces naturally in order to suppress inflammation.2 Not to be confused with muscle-building steroids, or systemic steroids like prednisone, steroid nasal sprays work right at the source of your child’s allergies (at the nose), without having to travel through the body like antihistamine tablets and syrups. Children’s FLONASE® SENSIMIST™ is a kid-friendly, gentle mist that helps block 6 key allergic substances, including histamine.* In fact, Children’s FLONASE® SENSIMIST™ delivers relief for itchy, watery eyes† sneezing, and unlike antihistamines, it also relieves your child's stuffy nose. Plus it’s scent-free, virtually drip free and has the shortest nozzle—providing 24-hour non-drowsy relief for children ages 2 and up—all in a mist your kid will barely feel.
Now that the mystery surrounding allergy medicine has been solved, take charge of the allergy aisle and pick up the right relief for your kids. They’ll thank you for it!
*Mechanism vs most OTC allergy pills. FLONASE® nasal sprays act on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines, and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.
**vs. single-ingredient antihistamines that do not treat nasal congestion.
†Indicated to relieve itchy, watery eyes in children 12 years of age and older.
Children's Zyrtec® , Children's Sudafed®, Children's Claritin® and Children's Benadryl® are trademarks of their respective companies.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, July 12). Allergy medications: Know your options. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy-medications/art-20047403
- Johns Hopkins. (n.d.). Adrenal Glands 101. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/endocrinology/adrenal_glands_85,p00399/