We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Choose the Best OTC Antihistamine?

By K. Gierok
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

With so many medications currently on the market, making an informed decision about which medication is best can, at times, seem impossible. By keeping a few basic guidelines in mind, however, patients suffering from allergic reactions can make an informed choice about over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines. For best results when choosing an antihistamine, patients should first consider what has caused the allergic reaction and identify the major symptoms of the allergic reaction. After choosing a possible OTC antihistamine, patients should consult with their physicians in order to make sure possible medication interactions are negligible.

One of the most important first steps when choosing an OTC antihistamine is to evaluate what actually has caused the allergic reaction. Typically, the most common cause of allergic reactions and the reason that most people seek out an OTC antihistamine is due to seasonal or pet allergies. Basic OTC antihistamines for people suffering from seasonal allergies include loratadine or certirizine, both of which can typically be easily found in most drugstores. In contrast, individuals who link their allergic reactions not to seasonal or pet causes, but instead to more serious causes such as bee stings, hives, or food allergies, must typically use diphenhydramine. While this medication is quite effective, some more serious allergic reactions may require medical assistance.

Individuals who suffer from allergic reactions should also consider their symptoms. Though a one-size-fits-all antihistamine may be effective for some, others may require medications that target their specific symptoms. For those who have excessive amounts of eye itching, an antihistamine OTC eye drop, such as ketotifin may be a good choice. In contrast, individuals who suffer from sinus pressure due to seasonal or pet allergies should look for a decongestant, such as pseudoephedrine.

When choosing an OTC antihistamine, individuals should work with their doctor in order to make sure that the medication will not have any negative interactions with their previously prescribed medications. For best results, patients should actually bring in the box containing the OTC antihistamine that they are interested in. The patient's physician will be able to review the medication, and make a determination on whether or not it is appropriate for the patient suffering from allergies.

Patients may also want to seek out opinions on the OTC antihistamine that they are interested in purchasing. While most antihistamines are required to undergo extensive government testing, some items may be able to sneak onto shelves under the radar. Individuals should do as much research on the medication that they are considering as possible in order to be sure that it is not only highly effective, but also free from risk.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.