What medicine for runny nose and sneezing?

Ah, the joys of allergy season… sneezes. Sorry about that. If you’re anything like me, you’ll do just about anything to get rid of a runny nose and sneezing.

But what medicine should you take? And why are we even sneezing in the first place? Fear not my fellow sufferers, I have answers (and jokes).

The science behind it

Before we dive into medication options, let’s quickly discuss why your body is betraying you. When your immune system encounters an allergen (a substance that causes allergies), it releases histamines in response. Those histamines cause inflammation and irritation in various areas throughout your body; one common spot being the nasal passages.

The result? You guessed it – a runny nose and sneezing. Histamine can also cause itchiness if it affects other parts of your skin or eyes (all hail the holy tissues).

Over-the-counter options

Now that we’ve got some background knowledge on this never-ending cycle of sniffles, let’s explore over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms.


One class of drug often used for treating allergic rhinitis or hay fever is antihistamines. They block histamine receptors from binding with histamine so poof no more sniffling!

Some examples include:

  • Diphenhydramine
  • Loratidine
  • Cetirizine hydrochloride

If taking pills isn’t really your thing they also come in handy-dandy spray form! Similar approach to make them ineffective by blocking receptors.


Decongestants work differently than antihistamines as they don’t stop symptoms at their source but rather shrink blood vessels within the nasal passage which reduce swelling so breathing becomes easier again!

Some examples:
– Phenylephrine
– Pseudoephedrine
In addition to pills, they also come in nasal sprays and drops.

Quick caveat: be careful with this one – prolonged use of decongestants can lead to rebound congestion. Also if you got high blood pressure or heart trouble double and triple check with your pharmacist what’s best for you.


Others used a lot of the times are steroids due its long term effect on inflammation. The catch is that it does have side-effects such as dryness, which we’ll talk about later.


  • Fluticasone propionate
  • Mometasone furoate

Another plus-side? reduced inflammation reduces other symptoms than just our lovely sneeze so dont put all your eggs in medicine basket.

Natural alternatives (Don’t quote us)

If over-the-counter medication doesn’t sound like your cup of tea or you’re looking for natural remedies that complement them well, there are some things worth giving a try:

1) Neti pots or saline irrigation How romantic! Use warmed up salt water down yer nose to help clear out debris irritating the inside canal (very reasonable).

2) Probiotics – improves skin health but not really directed towards allergies though who knows maybe youre curing allergies AND acne (probably not tho)?

3) Onion Tea – by chance if drinking onion tea could get rid of runny noses world hunger would cease to exist since nobody in their right mind would ever ask how I’m doing making me avoid telling them im better off licking doorknobs (since science has yet provided an explanation behind onion teas effectiveness).

Potential Side effects (best part)

Every pill comes with side effects galore amirite? Research every little detail before taking these suckers– please!– Most common booboos ? Get ready for the dry mouth syndrome, its coming! Along with drowsiness in some cases. You warned!

A quick table summary of each class of drugs and any possible side effects:

Drug Class Example Drugs Possible Side Effects
Antihistamine Diphenhydramine Drowsiness, dry mouth
Decongestant Phenylephrine Rebound congestion
Steroids Fluticasone propionate Mild cough or irritation


An apple a day keeps the doctor away- wait no that’s not right…but following tips to avoid allergy attack sure helps your cause.
Whilst keeping allergies at bay isn’t always obtainable due to external stimuli you cant quite control outside air. Here are couple things one can do:

1) Wash bedding weekly
2) Wear sunglasses outdoors
3) Vacuum floors daily.


So there you have it folks- an expansive overview on medicines helping clear out our sneeze fit-inducing runny noses. Take your pick from those over-the-counter medications mentioned up above but be wary of their side-effects – after all who wants a drymouth? Unless if sounds fun anyways.

And hey — keep these prevention methods in mind too, you might just save yourself another packet or two down the road or finally get rid of every single excuse not going out ever again.


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