Drug Guide Overview
The AAAAI has created a reference guide of medications that are commonly used to treat allergies and asthma. All are prescription medications, unless otherwise noted. This guide includes:
The FDA approved use for the medication
The FDA approved dosing for the medication
Generic and brand names
Links to product websites for further information about the medication
- Antihistamines: These medications are commonly used to treat allergies such as allergic rhinitis or sometimes urticaria (hives).
- Immunomodulator Medications: These medications act by directly changing the behavior of the immune system. These are also known as biological medications.
- Leukotriene Modifiers: These medications are used for relief of allergic rhinitis symptoms.
- Nasal Sprays and Sinus Medications: This table includes the various nasal sprays approved to treat allergic rhinitis and/or non-allergic rhinitis.
- Eye Drops: This table lists the medications available to treat allergic conjunctivitis (allergic eye).
- Allergic Emergency Medications: These are the medications used to treat anaphylaxis.
- Topical Ointments & Creams: Here are the topical medications used to treat conditions such as atopic dermatitis and eczema.
- Treatment of Hereditary Angioedema: Replacement therapy or immune modulating medicines pertaining to hereditary angioedema.
- Oral Corticosteroids: These medications are sometimes used to treat severe allergies and can also be used as a rescue medication for asthma.
- Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) Allergy Tablets: Allergy tablets are another form of allergy immunotherapy therapy and involves administering the allergens under the tongue generally on a daily basis.
The AAAAI follows the National Institutes of Health publication "Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3)" to list the medications.
Long-term control medications: Prevent symptoms and are taken daily
- Inhaled Corticosteroids (Including Combination Inhalers): The most consistently effective long-term control medication.
- Long-Acting Beta-Agonists (LABAs): These are used in combination with inhaled corticosteroids.
- Anticholinergics: Used as alternative controller medications.
- Cromolyn, Theophylline and Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors: Used as alternative controller medications (not preferred).
- Leukotriene Modifiers: Used as alternative controller medications.
- Immunomodulators: Monoclonal antibodies modify the allergic immune response.
Quick-relief medications: Take only as needed for symptom relief
If your allergist has prescribed medications for you, it is important to continue to take them so your symptoms are controlled. There are prescription assistance programs that offer reduced cost or free medications to individuals who qualify based on financial need. Pharmaceutical companies offer many of these programs and information is available by either looking on the web or by directly calling these companies.
There are also programs such as Partnership for Prescription Assistance, a program offered by pharmaceutical research companies or NeedyMeds, a non profit organization that assist patients explore programs for which they may be eligible in terms of receiving free or reduced cost medications.
Click here for a database of the official provider of FDA label information.
Natural Medicines Database