Selecting the Ideal Allergy Medication for Your Seasonal Symptoms

For allergy sufferers, the season of congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, scratchy throats, and runny noses has arrived earlier than usual this year. But there’s still time to alleviate those symptoms and get back to enjoying spring.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications have long been the preferred choice for relief by many of the over 80 million Americans suffering from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as seasonal allergies or “hay fever.” Decongestants like Sudafed, antihistamines like Zyrtec and Benadryl, and pain relievers like Advil are among the most popular treatments. However, national brands aren’t the sole option for clearing your head. Walgreens brand allergy products offer an equivalent alternative, boasting the same FDA approval and active ingredients as national brands. Unlike their counterparts, they come without the premium price tag, with most costing an average of 25% less. Additionally, they carry the Walgreens Pharmacist Recommended label and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

A longer spring means more pollen—and more pollen allergies

For those afflicted by seasonal allergies, recent conditions might seem worse. And they’re not mistaken. Research published in 2021 reveals that the changing climate has extended pollen season by about three weeks compared to three decades ago, with a 20% increase in pollen concentration. This prolonged and intensified allergy season is impacting health, particularly among young people and adults, with an increasing number of adults experiencing seasonal allergies for the first time.

To assist customers in understanding how Walgreens branded products can transform allergy season from miserable to enjoyable, Nancy Salman, a pharmacist at a Chicago Walgreens, and Kim Webb, director of owned brands commercialization OTC division, share their insights on seasonal allergies and available remedies.

There are common allergy symptoms, but every treatment plan is different

The OTC gold standard for treating seasonal allergy symptoms may involve a steroid nasal spray along with some combination of antihistamines and possibly decongestants. However, according to Salman, each patient’s treatment plan is unique, and customized combinations of products are common because everyone experiences their own set of symptoms, discomfort levels, age, and other health conditions.

“When browsing the products on the shelf, consider what symptoms you’re trying to alleviate,” Salman advises. “If congestion isn’t an issue, you don’t need medication for it. If you’re uncertain, consult your Walgreens pharmacist, who can assist you in finding the right product tailored to your specific needs.

Salman adds, “After reviewing the information on the box to understand what symptoms the medicine is designed to treat, the next step is to determine the quantity you’ll actually need so you’re not over- or under-buying. If your allergy symptoms are more chronic and you anticipate discomfort lasting for several months, consider purchasing a box of 90. Alternatively, if you only need enough to last you through a week, opt for a box with a lower quantity.”

To address the most common seasonal allergy symptoms, Salman recommends Walgreens Allergy Relief Tablets as an antihistamine alternative to Zyrtec, Walgreens Wal-Phed D as a decongestant alternative to Sudafed, Walgreens Dye-Free Allergy Relief Liquid Caps as an antihistamine alternative to Benadryl, and Walgreens Ibuprofen as an alternative to Advil.

For those seeking additional relief from congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes, Salman suggests Walgreens Allergy Nasal Spray as an alternative to Flonase, and Walgreens Non-Drowsy Allergy Nasal Spray as an alternative to Nasonex. Additionally, for children, Wal-itin Dye-Free Chewable Tablets provide 24-hour relief from allergy symptoms.

What is ‘National Brand Equivalent’ and why does that matter?

Salman explains, “Before any OTC allergy medication can appear on store shelves—regardless of whether it’s a private label or national brand—it undergoes a rigorous review process by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the product’s safety.

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