When Over-the-Counter isn\’t Cutting It | Allergies

Runny nose, chronic headaches, stuffy nose, post nasal drip, throat clearing, coughing, and wheezing – all of these symptoms could be ALLERGIES. Especially if they are seasonal and recur this time of year; You may also be allergic to new things you have never been allergic to before. They are either new to the environment you live in or they are things you have been exposed to before but all of a sudden you have developed an allergy to.

Antibiotics work quickly if there is a bacteria infection. Viruses and allergies do not respond to antibiotics.

As Dr. Andy Fine explains, the first thing to do if you have these symptoms, if they are not controlled with over-the-counter meds, is to go see somebody. A Primary Care Physician can assess if you have a chronic stuffy nose from allergies or whether it\’s sinus problems or infection. A lot of people think they have a sinus infection, but most of the time it\’s either allergies or something viral, which do not require antibiotics. Of course, people would love to have antibiotics every time they get congested. Understandably so, they work quickly IF there is a bacteria infection. Unfortunately, viruses and allergies DO NOT respond to antibiotics.

There are a lot of side effects from antibiotics, ranging from anaphylactic shock and death (which happens to about 1,000 people in the United States every year) to rashes, nausea, diarrhea and other drug reactions. Just because you have had success in the past with one antibiotic does not mean the same antibiotic is going work the next time, or you won\’t have a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic.

\"\"Something a Primary Care Physician can do to help allergies would be to start with something localized as opposed to something over-the-counter that might give you side effects, fatigue and/or drowsiness. They could start with nose sprays, steroid or antihistamine. They can also combine the two along with other things to block the allergy response, while also adding some over-the-counter antihistamine medications to control your allergies.


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