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Hay Fever Treatment - Tablets & Nasal Sprays

Dymista Nasal Spray
Pack Size: 120 Sprays
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Dymista is most effective when used regularly on a twice daily basis for as long as needed. The usual dose is one puff in each nostril twice daily. If used irregularly or on an occasional basis, Dymista will be less effective.



Always use Dymista Nasal Spray exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist, if you are not sure.

It is important to use Dymista Nasal Spray regularly to gain full benefit from this treatment.

Contact with the eyes should be avoided.

Adults and adolescents (12 years and above)

• The recommended dose is one spray in to  each nostril in the morning and evening. 

Adults and adolescents (12 years and above)

• The recommended dose is one spray in to each nostril in the morning and evening. 

1. Shake the bottle gently for 5 seconds by tilting it upwards and downwards and then remove the protective cap (see figure 1).

2. The first time the nasal spray is used, you must prime the pump by squirting it into the air.

3. Prime the pump by putting two fingers on either side of the spray pump and place your thumb on the bottom of the bottle.

4. Press down and release the pump 6 times until a fine mist appears (see figure 2).

5. Now your pump is primed and ready to use.

6. If the nasal spray has not been used for more than 7 days, you will need to re-prime the pump once by pressing down and releasing the pump. 

Using the spray

1. Blow your nose to clear your nostrils.

2. Keep your head tilted downwards towards your toes. Do not tilt head backwards.

3. Hold the bottle upright and carefully insert the spray tip into one nostril.

4. Close other nostril with your finger, rapidly press down once and sniff gently at the same time (see figure 3).

5. Breathe out through your mouth.

6. Repeat in your other nostril.

7. Breathe in gently, and do not tilt your head back after dosing. This will stop the medicine going into your throat and causing an unpleas- ant taste (see figure 4).

8. After each use wipe the spray tip with a clean tissue or cloth and then replace the protective cap. 

 

 

f you forget to use Dymista Nasal Spray

Use your nasal spray as soon as you remember, then take the next dose at the usual time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. 

Dymista combines two medicines in one treatment. It has a dual action. It contains a fast acting antihistamine called azelastine and a steroid called fluticasone.

Azelastine usually starts to work within 30 to 60 minutes. It takes a few days of regular use for the steroid part of the spray to reduce inflammation. Symptoms control is likely to be fast and to improve over a few days providing Dymista is used regularly.

The antihistamine effect of Dymista wears off over 12 to 24 hours and the steroid effects usually wear off over a few days after use of the spray is stopped.

  • Dymista should NOT to be used with other nasal sprays for allergic rhinitis. These may contain the same or similar ingredients and you may get a double dose.
  • Consult a doctor if allergic rhinitis symptoms are not controlled after using Dymista for 7 days.

POMDymista Nasal Spray is prescription only medicine from Meda Pharmaceuticals.

For further details about each spray see the links below to manufacturer's patient information leaflet.

here are alternative nasal sprays to Dymista for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, some of which contain antihistamines and others steroids, in separate sprays. Dymista combines the long acting antihistamine azelastine present in Rhinolast nasal sprays with the glucocorticoid fluticasone present in Pirinase and Flixonase nasal sprays.

These alternative nasal sprays should NOT be used at the same time (concomitantly) with Dymista.

Studies show Dymista usually works more quickly than steroid nasal sprays and improved symptom relief continues with sustained use of Dymista.

You should discuss treatment options with your doctor or pharmacists. Alternative nasal sprays to Dymista may control allergic rhinitis symptoms adequately and may be preferred, particularly by patients who have mild or occasional symptoms or patients have responded well to these sprays before.

People who are using both an antihistamine nasal spray and a steroid nasal spray may find it more convenient and cost effective to use Dymista. Dymista is a single combined treatment.

Dymista nasal spray acts directly on the nasal membranes, reducing inflammation and sensitivity. Studies show eye symptoms, such as inflammation, watering and itching, also improve when Dymista is used.

Dymista does not replace antihistamine tablets and is not primarily a treatment for dry itchy or inflamed eyes.  However, if allergic rhinitis symptoms are well controlled by Dymista, it is possible other allergic rhinitis treatment, such as antihistamine tablets and eye drops, may no longer be needed.

You must NOT use other hay fever nasal sprays whilst you are using Dymista.

Dymista Nasal Spray contains two active substances: azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate.

Azelastine hydrochloride belongs to a group of

    • medicines called antihistamines. Antihistamines work by preventing the effects of substances that the body produces as part of an allergic reaction – thus reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

    • Fluticasone propionate belongs to a group of medicines called corticosteroids which reduces inflammation.

      Dymista Nasal Spray is used to relieve the symptoms of moderate to severe seasonal and perennial allergic

rhinitis, for example: runny nose, post nasal drip, sneezing and itchy or blocked nose, if the use of either intranasal antihistamine or corticosteroid alone is not considered sufficient.

Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis are allergic reactions to substances such as pollen (hayfever), house mites, moulds, dust or pets. 

Driving and using machines

Very rarely, you may experience fatigue or dizziness due to the disease itself or when using Dymista Nasal Spray. If this happens to you do not drive or operate machinery. Please be aware that drinking alcohol may enhance these effects. 

 

What Dymista Nasal Spray contains

The active substances are: azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate.

Each g of suspension contains 1000 micrograms azelastine hydrochloride and 365 micrograms fluti- casone proprionate.

Each actuation (0.14 g) delivers 137 micrograms azelastine hydrochloride (= 125 micrograms azelas- tine) and 50 micrograms fluticasone propionate.

The other ingredients are: Disodium edetate, glycerol, microcrystalline cellulose, carmellose sodium, poly- sorbate 80, benzalkonium chloride solution, phenyl- ethyl alcohol and purified water.

What Dymista Nasal Spray looks like and contents of the pack
Dymista Nasal Spray is a white, homogenous suspension.

Dymista Nasal Spray comes in an amber coloured glass bottle fitted with a spray pump, applicator and a protective cap.

The 10 ml bottle contains 6.4 g nasal spray, suspension (at least 28 actuations). The 25 ml bottle contains 23 g nasal spray, suspension (at least 120 actuations).

Dymista Nasal Spray is presented in:
Packs containing 1 bottle with 6.4 g nasal spray, suspension

Packs containing 1 bottle with 23 g nasal spray, suspension

Multipacks comprising 10 bottles, each containing 6.4 g nasal spray, suspension

Multipacks comprising 3 bottles, each containing 23 g nasal spray, suspension.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed. 

  • Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

    Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the bottle label and the outer carton after ”EXP”. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

    Do not refrigerate or freeze.

    Shelf life after first opening: Dispose of any unused medicine 6 months after you first open the nasal spray.

    Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Dymista Nasal Spray contains

The active substances are: azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate.

Each g of suspension contains 1000 micrograms azelastine hydrochloride and 365 micrograms fluti- casone proprionate.

Each actuation (0.14 g) delivers 137 micrograms azelastine hydrochloride (= 125 micrograms azelas- tine) and 50 micrograms fluticasone propionate.

The other ingredients are: Disodium edetate, glycerol, microcrystalline cellulose, carmellose sodium, poly- sorbate 80, benzalkonium chloride solution, phenyl- ethyl alcohol and purified water.

What Dymista Nasal Spray looks like and contents of the pack
Dymista Nasal Spray is a white, homogenous suspension.

Dymista Nasal Spray comes in an amber coloured glass bottle fitted with a spray pump, applicator and a protective cap.

The 10 ml bottle contains 6.4 g nasal spray, suspension (at least 28 actuations). The 25 ml bottle contains 23 g nasal spray, suspension (at least 120 actuations).

Dymista Nasal Spray is presented in:
Packs containing 1 bottle with 6.4 g nasal spray, suspension

Packs containing 1 bottle with 23 g nasal spray, suspension

Multipacks comprising 10 bottles, each containing 6.4 g nasal spray, suspension

Multipacks comprising 3 bottles, each containing 23 g nasal spray, suspension.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed. 

 

Dymista is a nasal spray used to control the symptoms of hay fever andallergic rhinitis (allergic nasal inflammation). The spray treats a runny and blocked nose, sneezing and itching. Relief of symptoms usually starts within 30 minutes of using Dymista. Dymista is most effective when the spray is used regularly for at least a few days.

Ingredients and action

Dymista combines two medicines in one treatment. It is has a dual action. It contains a fast acting antihistamine called azelastine and a steroid called fluticasone.

Azelastine usually starts to work within 30 to 60 minutes. It takes a few days of regular use for the steroid part of the spray to reduce inflammation. Symptom control is likely to be fast and to improve over a few days, providing Dymista is used regularly.

The antihistamine effect of Dymista wears off over 12 to 24 hours and the steroid effects usually wear off over a few days after use of the spray is stopped.


Serious side effects are unlikely. The commonest side effects are; nosebleed, headache, a bitter taste in the mouth, and an unpleasant smell. For more detail, see the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet supplied with Dymista sprays. All patients must read this leaflet before using Dymista.

  • Dymista should NOT to be used with other nasal sprays for allergic rhinitis. These may contain the same of similar ingredients and you may get a double dose.
  • Consult a doctor if allergic rhinitis symptoms are not controlled after using Dymista for 7 days.
  • Consult a doctor if symptoms are worsening or if bleeding or ulceration of the nose occurs.
  • Dymista should NOT be used continuously from more than 3 months without the approval of a doctor.

Dymista could impair your ability to drive or operate machinery, particularly if used in combination with sedating medications, such as some antihistamine tablets.




Like all medicines Dymista Nasal Spray can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Stop taking Dymista and seek immediate medical help if you have any of the following symptoms:
• Swelling of face,lips,tongue or throat which may

cause difficulty in swallowing/breathing and a sudden onset of skin rash. This could be signs of a severe allergic reaction. Please note: This is very rare.

• Cataract, glaucoma or increased pressure in your eye where you may have a loss of vision and/or red and painful eyes. These side effects are very rare.

Very common side effects
(These may affect more than 1 in 10 people):
• Nosebleed

Common side effects
(These may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
• Headache
• A bitter taste in your mouth, especially if you tilt

your head backwards when you are using the nasal spray. This should go away if you have a soft drink a few minutes after using this medicine.

• Unpleasant smell

Uncommon side effects
(These may affect up to 1 in 100 people):
• Slight irritation of the inside of the nose.This can

cause mild stinging, itching or sneezing.
• Nasal dryness,cough,dry throat or throat irritation 

Do not use Dymista Nasal Spray:

• If you are allergic to azelastine hydrochloride or fluticasone propionate or any of the other ingredi- ents of this medicine (listed in section 6).

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Dymista Nasal Spray if:
• You had a recent operation on your nose.
• You have an infection in your nose. Infections of

the nasal airways should be treated with anti- bacterial or antifungal medication. If you are given medication for an infection in your nose you can continue to use Dymista Nasal Spray to treat your allergies.

• You have tuberculosis or an untreated infection. • You have a change in vision or a history of

increased ocular pressure, glaucoma and/or cataracts. If this applies to you, you will be closely monitored whilst using Dymista Nasal Spray.

• You have problems with your adrenal glands. Care must be taken when transferring from systemic steroid treatment to Dymista Nasal Spray.

• You suffer from a severe liver disease. Your risk of suffering from systemic side effects is increased.

In these cases your doctor will decide whether you can use Dymista Nasal Spray.

Taking fluticasone may, when taken for a long time, cause children and adolescents to grow more slowly. The doctor will check your child’s height regularly, and make sure he or she is taking the lowest possible effective dose.

If you are unsure whether the above applies to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Dymista Nasal Spray. 

Flixonase Nasal Spray
Pack Size: 150 sprays
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  • You should preferably start using this nasal spray a few days before you expect to come into contact with the allergen and continue using it regularly all the time you are still exposed to the thing you are allergic to. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
  • Follow the instructions provided with the nasal spray. You should shake the bottle gently before use.
  • Before you use the nasal spray for the first time it needs to be primed by pumping it into the air a few times until a fine mist is produced. Hold the bottle upright and away from you while you are doing this. If the nasal spray hasn'’t been used for a few days you should reprime it in this way before using it again.
  • Follow this link for general instructions on how to use a nasal spray.
  •  Use two sprays into each nostril once a day. Once your symptoms are under control you should reduce your dose to one spray in each nostril once a day. The spray should preferably be used in the morning, though it can be used any time of day if necessary. If your symptoms are very bad your doctor may ask you to use two sprays in each nostril twice a day to begin with, and then reduce to once a day once the symptoms have improved. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your symptoms. Do not use more than your doctor has prescribed.
  • If you forget to use your nasal spray just leave out the forgotten dose. Don'’t use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.




Flixonase aqueous nasal spray contains the active ingredient fluticasone propionate, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands that have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses.

Fluticasone is a synthetic corticosteroid and is adminstered by nasal spray to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages.

People who suffer from nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis), such as hay fever, tend to experience a variety of symptoms as a result of their allergy, including a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and sinus discomfort. These symptoms are a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.

The inflammation occurs when the nasal passages are exposed to foreign particles (allergens), for example, pollen, dust mites or pet fur. The allergens cause the cells in the nose to release chemicals that help to produce immune and allergic responses. These result in inflammation in the nasal passages and the symptoms of the allergy.

When administered into the nose, fluticasone is absorbed into the cells of the nasal passages. It works by preventing these cells from releasing the chemicals that trigger the allergic response. This stops the allergic reaction from happening, so the nasal inflammation is reduced and the symptoms relieved.

The nasal spray will not relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies immediately, and it can take three to four days to have its full effect. It is therefore most effective to start using the nasal spray a few days before you expect to get symptoms, for example before the start of the pollen season, or if you know you are going to be in contact with pets that give you the allergy. For maximum benefit, the spray should be used regularly while you are still being exposed to the allergen to keep the nasal inflammation under control.

What is it used for?

  • Preventing and treating symptoms of seasonal nasal allergies (seasonal allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever.
  • Preventing and treating symptoms of nasal allergies that occur throughout the year (perennial allergic rhinitis), for example due to pet allergies or dust mite allergies.



Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Very common (affect more than 1 in 10 people)

  • Nosebleeds.

Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

  • Dryness and irritation of the nose and throat.
  • Unpleasant taste and smell.
  • Headache.

Very rare (affect fewer than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • Perforation of the nasal septum.
  • Raised pressure in the eye or glaucoma.
  • Cataract.
  • Allergic reactions such as narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm), swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema), itchy blistering rash or anaphylactic shock.

Side effects similar to those associated with corticosteroids taken by mouth may occur if this medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream. The risk of this when using a steroid nasal spray is very low, but may be more likely if the medicine is used at high doses for prolonged periods of time. See the warning section above or talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.



  • This medicine is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
  • Take care to avoid getting the spray in the eyes.
  • When taken in high doses for long periods of time, corticosteroids have the potential to cause glaucoma, cataracts, slowed growth in children and adolescents, and to decrease the functioning of the adrenal glands (glands that produce natural steroid hormones). These side effects on other areas of the body are called systemic side effects and are extremely unlikely to occur with this nasal spray, because the amount of fluticasone absorbed into the bloodstream from the nose is very low. However, as a precaution, your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose needed to control your symptoms. You should not exceed this prescribed dose. If your child is using this nasal spray for long periods of time your doctor may want to monitor their height to make sure their growth is not being affected. For further information discuss this with your doctor.




Nasonex Nasal Spray
Pack Size: 140 sprays
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Use Nasonex exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Nasonex comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

The usual dose of Nasonex is 1 to 2 sprays into each nostril once per day. Your doctor may recommend you start using Nasonex 2 to 4 weeks before the start of allergy season.

Before using the spray for the first time, you must prime the spray pump. Shake the medicine well and spray into the air and away from your face, until a fine mist appears. Prime the spray pump any time you have not used your nasal spray for longer than 7 days.

Shake the medicine bottle well just before each use. It may take up to 2 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after a week of treatment.

To be sure Nasonex is not causing harmful effects on your nose or sinuses, your doctor may want to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store Nasonex in an upright position at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

Throw the medication away after you have used 120 sprays, even if there is still medicine left in the bottle.

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose. 

Nasonex is used to treat and prevent nasal symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, and runny nose caused by seasonal or year-round allergies. Nasonex is also used to treat growths in the nose (nasal polyps) in adults.

Mometasone is a steroid. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Nasonex may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

 

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe or ongoing nose bleed;

  • sores in the nose that won't heal;

  • wheezing, trouble breathing;

  • vision problems; or

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • stuffy nose, sore throat, cough;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • nausea; or

  • sores or white patches inside or around your nose.

Before using mometasone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye problems (such as glaucoma, cataracts), infections (including tuberculosis, herpes eye infection), recent nose problems (such as injury, ulcers, surgery).

Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Opticrom Aqueous Eye Drops 2%
Pack Size: 13.5ml
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  • Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
  • Follow this link for instructions on how to put in the eye drops.
  • When using the eye drops you should take care to not touch the tip of the dropper to any surface, or to your eye, in order to avoid contaminating the medicine.
  • One or two drops should be put into each eye four times a day, or as directed by your doctor.
  • It may take a few days for your symptoms to be fully relieved by these eye drops, so if possible it is best to start using them before you are exposed to the allergen. You can continue to use this medicine daily to control your symptoms for as long as you are exposed to the allergen, for example throughout the pollen season. However, if you need to use the drops continuously for longer than three months you should get advice from your doctor or pharmacist.



Opticrom aqueous eye drops contain the active ingredient sodium cromoglicate, which is a type of medicine used to relieve the symptoms of allergies. Sodium cromoglicate eye drops are used to relieve the symptoms of eye allergies such as hay fever.

Sodium cromoglicate works by reducing allergic responses. It is not fully understood how it does this, but it is thought to work by 'stabilising' immune cells called mast cells.

Mast cells are an important part of the immune system. They become sensitised when they are exposed to foreign particles or allergens, for example pollen, pet fur or dust mites. When this happens, the mast cells release substances that include histamine, and these cause inflammation as part of the body’s immune response to fight the foreign substance. Inflammation of the eye causes the typical symptoms of an eye allergy - redness, itching and a watery discharge.

By stabilising the mast cells, sodium cromoglicate is thought to prevent the substances that cause the inflammation, eg histamine, from being released when the cells encounter an allergen. This helps prevent the allergic response and reduce the symptoms of the allergy.

Opticrom aqueous eye drops provide relief from red, itchy, watery and puffy eyes caused by allergies like hay fever. They work best when you start using them a few days before you are exposed to the allergen.



  • Relieving symptoms of eye allergies (allergic conjunctivitis), eg caused by hay fever, pet allergies or dust mite allergies.
  • A more severe form of allergic conjunctivitis called ‘vernal kerato conjunctivitis.

These eye drops are suitable for all age groups.



Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Temporary burning or stinging after putting the drops into the eyes.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.



  • Opticrom aqueous eye drops contain the preservative benzalkonium chloride, which can be absorbed by soft contact lenses and cause eye irritation. You should not wear contact lenses while you are using these eye drops.
  • This medicine is for use in the eyes only and must not be taken by mouth.
  • Eye drops may cause your vision to blur temporarily after you have put the drops in your eyes. Do not drive or operate machinery until this has worn off.
  • These eye drops should be discarded four weeks after the bottle is first opened. This is because after this time they could be contaminated with dirt or germs that could cause eye infections. Write the date of opening on the bottle so you know when to throw them away. Dispose of them carefully, preferably by returning them to your pharmacy.




Optilast Eye Drops
Pack Size: 8ml
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How do I use it?

  • Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
  • One drop should be put into each eye twice a day when needed to relieve symptoms. If necessary, this can be increased to one drop in each eye up to four times a day. Follow this link for instructions on how to use your eye drops.
  • For hay fever, you can also use these eye drops (as above) to help prevent your symptoms if you know you are going to be exposed to the type of pollen that causes your allergy.
  • For other eye allergies, you can use these eye drops to relieve your symptoms for up to six weeks at a time. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.



What is it used for?

  • Preventing and relieving eye inflammation due to hay fever (seasonalallergicconjunctivitis) in adults and children aged four years and older.
  • Relieving eye inflammation due to allergies such as pet allergies that occur thoughout the year (perennial allergic conjunctivitis) in adults and children aged 12 years and older.


Side effects

Very little of the active agents are absorbed into the body. Systemic side effects are unlikely. There may be short lived blurring of vision when drops are applied. Sensitivity reactions can lead to soreness and irritation in and around the eye. This is unusual.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Mild, temporary eye irritation after putting in the drops.
  • Bitter taste.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.



Very little of the active agents are absorbed into the body. Systemic side effects are unlikely. There may be short lived blurring of vision when drops are applied. Sensitivity reactions can lead to soreness and irritation in and around the eye. This is unusual.

  • Optilast eye drops are for use in the eyes only and must not be taken by mouth.
  • You should not wear soft contact lenses while you are using these eye drops. This is because they contain a preservative that can be absorbed by soft contact lenses and cause eye irritation.
  • These eye drops may cause your vision to blur temporarily after you have applied them into your eye. Do not drive or operate machinery until this has worn off.
  • When using the eye drops you should take care to not touch the dropper tip to any surface, or to your eye, in order to avoid contaminating the eye drops.
  • Your eye drops should be discarded four weeks after the bottle is first opened. This is because they could be contaminated with dirt or germs that could cause eye infections. Write the date of opening on the bottle so you know when to throw them away. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning to your pharmacy.

Not to be used in

  • People who are allergic to any ingredient.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.




Rapitil Eye Drops
Pack Size: 5ml
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Always use Rapitil Eye Drops exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

Using this medicine

  • If you wear hard or gas-permeable contact lenses, you should take them out while you use the eye drops. You should wait 15 minutes before you put the contact lenses back in
  • If you need to use more than one type of eye medicine, the medicines must be used at least 5 minutes apart. Eye ointments should be used last.
  • If you feel the effect of your medicine is too weak or too strong, do not change the dose yourself, but ask your doctor or pharmacist

How to use this medicine

  • Wash your hands
  • Remove the cap from the bottle
  • Tilt your head back
  • Squeeze one or two drops inside the lower lid without touching your eye
  • Close your eye
  • Wipe away any excess liquid from the eyes with a clean tissue
  • Always put the cap back on the bottle as soon as you have used it
  • Repeat in the other eye as needed

How much to use

Adults, Elderly and Children aged 6 years and over

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis:

  • One drop into each eye twice each day
  • This can be increased to four times each day if needed
  • Do not use for more than 12 weeks

Vernal kerato-conjunctivitis

  • One drop into each eye four times each day

Adults and the Elderly only

Perennial allergic conjunctivitis:

  • One drop into each eye twice each day
  • This can be increased to four times each day if needed

f you use more Rapitil than you should, talk to your doctor or go to a hospital straight away. Remember to take any medicine that is left with you so the doctor knows what you have taken.

If you forget to use Rapitil Eye Drops

If you forget a dose, use your drops as soon as you remember. However, if it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not use a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you stop using Rapitil Eye Drops

Keep using the eye drops for as long as your doctor or pharmacist advises you. If you stop using Rapitil Eye drops too early, your allergy symptoms may come back.

If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Rapitil 2% Eye Drops (called Rapitil Eye Drops in this leaflet) contain a medicine called nedocromil sodium. This belongs to a group of medicines called anti-allergics.

How Rapitil Eye Drops work

It works by stopping the release of the natural substances in your eyes that can lead to an allergic reaction.

What Rapitil Eye Drops can be used for

Stopping, treating and relieving the symptoms of ‘allergic conjunctivitis’ (inflammation of parts of the eye). Rapitil Eye Drops can be used for three types of allergic conjunctivitis:

  • ‘Perennial allergic conjunctivitis’ in adults only: This type of allergy can happen at any time of the year and is often caused by animal fur or house dust mites. Signs include itchy, watery, red or inflamed eyes and puffy eyelids.
  • ‘Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis’ in adults and children:This type of allergy, such as hay fever, can be caused by different pollens in different seasons of the year. Signs include itchy, watery, red or inflamed eyes and puffy eyelids.
  • ‘Vernal kerato conjunctivitis’ in adults and children: This is a more severe type of allergy. Signs include bumps inside the upper eyelid, sensitivity to light and severe itching

Keep this medicine in a safe place where children cannot see or reach it.

Do not use Rapitil Eye Drops after the expiry date which is stated on the label and carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Store below 25°C. Keep the bottle in the outer carton in order to protect from light.

Rapitil Eye Drops are sterile when you buy them, so you must not keep them for more than four weeks after opening the bottle.

Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste.

Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.

Like all medicines, Rapitil Eye Drops can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Stop using Rapitil Eye Drops and see a doctor as soon as possible if:

  • The itching, redness or swelling gets worse. You may be allergic to these drops

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if any of the side effects gets serious or lasts longer than a few days, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet:

Common (affects 1 to 10 people in a 100)

  • Stinging or burning in your eyes or blurring of eyesight. This should only last for a short time and occurs immediately after using the eye drops
  • Change in the way things taste

Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 people in a 1,000)

  • Mild eye irritation

Do not use this medicine and tell your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • You are allergic (hypersensitive) to nedocromil sodium, or any of the other ingredients of Rapitil Eye Drops (listed in Section 6 below)
    Signs of an allergic reaction include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue or around the eyes

Do not use this medicine if the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Rapitil Eye Drops.

Take special care with Rapitil Eye Drops if:

  • You wear soft contact lenses. You should not wear soft contact lenses while using these drops

If you are not sure if this applies to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Rapitil Eye Drops.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Talk to your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant, might become pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

If you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking or using any medicine.

Driving and using machines

Your eyesight may be affected after using this medicine. If this happens, do not drive or use any tools or machines until you can see clearly.

Important information about some of the ingredients of Rapitil Eye Drops

Rapitil Eye Drops contain benzalkonium chloride. This may cause your eyes to become irritated. It may also change the colour of your contact lenses.

Rhinocort Nasal Spray
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  • Follow the instructions provided with the nasal spray. You should shake the bottle gently before use.
  • Before you use the nasal spray for the first time it needs to be primed by pumping it into the air 5 to 10 times until a fine mist is produced. Hold the bottle upright and away from you while you are doing this. If the nasal spray hasn'’t been used for 24 hours you should reprime it in this way before using it again.
  • Follow this link for general instructions on how to use a nasal spray.
  • To treat allergies such as hay fever, adults and adolescents should use either two sprays in each nostril every morning, or one spray in each nostril twice a day, morning and evening. Follow the instructions given by your doctor. Once your symptoms are under control you should reduce your dose to one spray in each nostril once a day. The spray should preferably be used in the morning, though it can be used any time of day if necessary. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your symptoms. Do not use more than your doctor has prescribed.
  • For allergies, you should preferably start using this nasal spray a few days before you expect to come into contact with the allergen and continue using it regularly all the time you are still exposed to the thing you are allergic to. However you shouldn't use it continuously for more than three months. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
  • For the treatment of nasal polyps, adults and adolescents should use one spray in each nostril twice a day, morning and evening, for up to three months. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
  • If you forget to use your nasal spray use it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the forgotten dose and take the next dose as normal. Don'’t use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.




Rhinocort aqua nasal spray contains the active ingredient budesonide, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands that have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses. Budesonide nasal spray is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.

Budesonide is a synthetic corticosteroid and is adminstered by nasal spray to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages.

People who suffer from nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever tend to experience a variety of symptoms as a result of their allergy. These include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and sinus discomfort. These symptoms are a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.

The nasal inflammation occurs when the nasal passages are exposed to foreign particles (allergens), for example, pollen, dust mites or pet fur. The allergens cause the cells in the nose to release chemicals that produce immune and allergic responses. These result in inflammation in the nasal passages and the symptoms of the allergy.

When administered into the nose, budesonide is absorbed into the cells of the nasal passages. It works by preventing these cells from releasing the chemicals that trigger the allergic response. This stops the allergic reaction from happening, so the nasal inflammation is reduced and the symptoms relieved.

Nasal inflammation giving hay fever-type symptoms can also sometimes occur without allergy or infection. This is called vasomotor rhinitis and can also be treated with budesonide nasal spray.

The nasal spray will not relieve the symptoms of nasal inflammation immediately, and it can take a few days to have its full effect. For allergies it is therefore most effective to start using the nasal spray a few days before you expect to get symptoms, for example before the start of the pollen season, or if you know you are going to be in contact with pets that give you the allergy. For maximum benefit, the spray should then be used regularly while you are still being exposed to the allergen to keep the nasal inflammation under control.

This nasal spray can also be used to treat nasal polyps, which are growths in the nose that occur when the linings of the sinuses become inflamed and swollen, usually as a result of allergy or infection. The inflamed linings push out into the nasal passages, forming the polyps, which can block the nose, making it difficult to breathe through the nose. When budesonide is administered into the nose it reduces the inflammation and so helps to shrink the polyps.

What is it used for?

  • Preventing and treating symptoms of seasonal nasal allergies (seasonal allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever.
  • Preventing and treating symptoms of nasal allergies that occur throughout the year (perennial allergic rhinitis), for example due to pet allergies or dust mite allergies.
  • Inflammation of the nasal lining not due to infection or allergy (vasomotor rhinitis).
  • Nasal polyps.

This nasal spray is suitable for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

  • Nosebleeds.
  • Dryness and irritation of the nose.

Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)

  • Allergic reactions such as rash, itching or swelling of lips, face or tongue (angioedema).

Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)

  • Side effects similar to those associated with corticosteroids taken by mouth may occur if this medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is unlikely unless the medicine is used at high doses for prolonged periods of time. See the warning section above or talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Very rare (affect fewer than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • Perforation of the nasal septum.
  • Ulceration in the nose.

Frequency unknown

  • Raised pressure in the eye or glaucoma.
  • Cataract.



  • This medicine is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
  • Take care to avoid getting the spray in your eyes.
  • The plastic nozzle of your nasal spray should be cleaned at least once a week, or more frequently if the spray doesn't work because it has become blocked. Follow the printed instructions supplied with the spray. Never try to unblock the nozzle or enlarge the tiny spray hole with a pin or other sharp object, because this will destroy the spray mechanism.
  • Any remaining spray must be discarded two months after you first open the bottle, because it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. Do not transfer any remaining suspension to another bottle. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle so you know when to throw it away. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning it to a pharmacy.
  • When taken in high doses for long periods of time, corticosteroids have the potential to cause glaucoma, cataracts, slowed growth in children and adolescents, and to decrease the functioning of the adrenal glands (glands that produce natural steroid hormones). These side effects on other areas of the body are called systemic side effects and are extremely unlikely to occur with this nasal spray, because the amount of budesonide absorbed into the bloodstream from the nose is very low. However, as a precaution, your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose needed to control your symptoms. You should not exceed this prescribed dose. If your child is using this nasal spray for long periods of time your doctor may want to monitor their height to make sure their growth is not being affected. For further information discuss this with your doctor.




Rhinolast Nasal Spray
Pack Size: 22ml
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  • Keep your spray in a safe place where children cannot reach it. Used wrongly your spray could harm them.

  • Do not use your spray after the expiry date on the box. Once you have opened the bottle do not use for longer than six months, even if there is some medicine still left in the bottle after this time. If necessary, ask your doctor to replace it with a new prescription.

• Do not put Rhinolast in the fridge.

. Remove
the protective cap.

2. Before first using, press the pump several times until an even spray emerges.

3. Spray once into each nostril keeping head upright. DO NOT TILT HEAD BACKWARDS.

4. Wipe and replace the protective cap. 

Rhinolast nasal spray contains a solution of 0.1% w/v azelastine hydrochloride. Each squirt

contains 140 micrograms azelastine hydrochloride.

Rhinolast nasal spray also contains hypromellose, disodium edetate, anhydrous citric acid, sodium chloride, disodium phosphate dodecahydrate and water.

Rhinolast nasal spray is a clear solution and comes in a glass bottle with a plastic cap and spray attachment. The bottle contains 22 ml of nasal spray solution. 

Rhinolast is an antihistamine. It prevents the effects of histamine and other substances in the nose that cause allergic reactions to pollens (ie. hayfever) or to other allergens such as cat and dog hair or house dust. 

Rhinolast is used to treat allergic rhinitis. This is an allergy which may affect you only at certain times of the year (for example, allergy to pollen, called hayfever), or all year round (for example, allergy to the house dust mite or dog and cat hairs). Usually it affects you by causing a runny nose, sneezing, itching or blocked nose. Rhinolast should help with these symptoms. 

Rhinolast contains the antihistamine Azelastine. Rhinolast controls hay fever by stopping histamine from being released into the membranes inside the nose. For further details about each spray see the links below to manufacturer's patient information leaflet. NOT to be used at the same time (concomitantly) as Dymista nasal spray.

Dymista is a nasal spray with combines both steroid and antihistamine.

Rhinolast works within a few minutes of the spray being used. Symptom relief lasts about 12 hours. If hay fever is severe or has been present for many days Rhinolast will not settle down immediately inflammation that has built up. Used regularly morning and night Rhinolast will provide continuous antihistamine action.

 

For a few people the inside of their nose is irritated by Rhinolast occasionally causing a mild stinging, itching or sneezing. These symptoms do not last long. Very occasionally nose bleeding can occur.

You may have a bitter taste in your mouth, especially if you tilt your head backwards when you are using the nasal spray. This should go away if you have a soft drink a few minutes after using Rhinolast. Very occasionally the bitter taste might cause you to feel nauseous (sick). 

Very little of the active ingredients of nasal sprays are absorbed into the body and as a result systemic side effects are minimal. There may be localised soreness and dry skin inside the nose and possibly taste disturbance.

Manufacturers recommended avoiding use of these sprays in pregnancy and whilst breast-feeding and where there is known allergy or sensitivity to the ingredients.

 

Telfast 120mg tablets
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  • You should take one tablet daily at the same time each day, normally in the morning.
  • If you miss a dose of Telfast, skip the missed dose and continue as normal from the next day. Never take more than one tablet a day to make up for a missed dose.
  • You should never take more than one Telfast tablet a day.
  • You can take Telfast with or without food.

It is important to take Telfast regularly; once-daily antihistamines like Telfast are more effective at preventing hay fever than treating symptoms that have already occurred.

You can combine Telfast with a steroid nasal spray and eye drops if required. You should always take measures to try to prevent your exposure to pollen and therefore reduce your chances of suffering with any symptoms, even if you are taking regular treatment.

Telfast tablets contain the active ingredient fexofenadine, an antihistamine to treat allergies such as hay fever. Telfast blocks the histamine receptors that cause an allergic reaction when they come into contact with pollen and other allergens.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: You should take one Telfast 120mg tablet every morning. Telfast should be taken regularly to help prevent your hay fever from occuring; it is much mor effective when taken regularly to prevent hay fever than when it is taken in response to hay fever symptoms. Telfast can cause drowsiness in some people and therefore may impair your ability to drive.

Telfast does not commonly cause side effects and if they are experienced they are usually mild. They can include headache, dizziness, drowsiness and nausea. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.

If you feel drowsy after Taking Telfast you should not drive or perform any other tasks that could be dangerous if you are not fully alert.

If you experience any adverse effects from taking your prescribed medicine it is important to let us know immediately. Please log in to your online account and message one of our healthcare professionals or alternatively call us on 0117 971 1603. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.

Telfast does not normally affect any other medicines, however you should not take it if you are already taking erythromycin or ketoconazole due to a possible interaction. If you take indigestion remedies try to ensure you do not take them 2 hours either side of taking Telfast as they can prevent it from being fully absorbed.

Xyzal Tablets 5mg
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Take Xyzal exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

It is very important not to give a child more than the prescribed dose of this medication. A child's body absorbs twice as much of the same dose size of Xyzal as an adult's body.

Taking more of Xyzal will not make it more effective, and may cause severe drowsiness.

You may take this medication with or without food.

Measure liquid Xyzal with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they get worse, or if you also have a fever.

Store this medicine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Xyzal (levocetirizine) is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Xyzal is used to treat symptoms of year-round (perennial) allergies in adults and children who are at least 6 months old. Xyzal is also used to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

Xyzal is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by chronic urticaria (hives) in adults and children who are at least 6 months old.

Xyzal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

et emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Xyzal: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Xyzal and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • nosebleed (especially in a child);

  • pain or fullness in your ear, hearing problems;

  • depression, agitation, aggression, hallucinations;

  • numbness or tingling around your lips or mouth;

  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • dark-colored urine, foul-smelling stools; or

  • fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite.

Less serious Xyzal side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, weakness;

  • tired feeling;

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat, cough;

  • vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • dry mouth; or

  • weight gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

ou should not use Xyzal if you are allergic to levocetirizine or cetirizine (Zyrtec). You should not take Xyzal if you have end-stage kidney disease or if you are on dialysis. Any child younger than 12 years old with kidney disease should not take Xyzal.

To make sure you can safely take Xyzal, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • enlarged prostate or urination problems; or

  • gallbladder problems.

FDA pregnancy category B. Xyzal is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Levocetirizine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking Xyzal. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Xyzal.

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Xyzal, especially:

  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra); or

  • theophylline (Aquaphyllin, Asmalix, Elixophyllin, Theolair, Theosol).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Xyzal, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

About Hay Fever

Hay Fever Background

THE Medical Online Doctor service allows those suffering with hay fever and seasonal allergies to have a private consultation with a doctor and have access to the treatment they need in a safe and convenient manner.

Every summer, up to 1 in 5 people in Britain are affected by hay fever. Also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen and fungal spores. The allergy typically occurs in the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and eyes, explaining the occurrence of the symptoms described below such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a blocked or runny nose.

Pollen affects a hay fever sufferer because their body’s immune system over-reacts to it, as if it were a toxic substance. The symptoms of hay fever usually start to occur when the pollen count, the number of pollen grains per cubic metre of air, exceeds 50. As a result, the weather can affect how severely a sufferer experiences symptoms – sun can raise the pollen count, wind can spread pollen and rain can lower the count.

Hay Fever Symptoms

For many, the symptoms of hay fever are irritating in every sense. Different people react in different ways, but the most common symptoms are watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, coughing, an itchy feeling in the throat and wheezing.

As hay fever is a chronic condition, there is no ‘cure’. In most people the symptoms of hay fever will ease, to some extent, as they get older. In up to 20% of people they can disappear completely.

Hay Fever Diagnosis

As mild to moderate hay fever can usually be effectively controlled with over-the-counter medicines and advice from the pharmacy, no formal diagnosis is usually necessary. However, if symptoms are severe, they occur indoors or during winter or cause other complications, a formal diagnosis and further investigations by a doctor are necessary. Allergy testing by either a skin prick test or a blood test can help to reveal the cause of the allergy and help to form a management plan.

Hay fever is more common in people with eczema and other skin conditions, those who suffer with asthma, have a family history of hay fever and in those subjected to tobacco smoke at a young age.

If you would like any help diagnosing hay fever please Contact Us.  

Hay Fever Treatment

Hay fever treatment can be very individual and depends very much on the type and severity of symptoms you experience. For mild to moderate hay fever symptoms over-the-counter hay fever tablets, eye drops and nasal sprays. Patients who experience more severe hay fever symptoms that have a significant impact on their daily life may wish to seek prescription hay fever treatment form THE Medical Online Doctor.

Hay Fever Tablets

Hay fever symptoms are caused by histamine. Histamine is released in response to allergens such as pollen from grass and trees. Hay fever tablets contain drugs such as fexofenadine and levocetirizine, which are antihistamines that block the release of histamine. By regularly taking antihistamine hay fever tablets you can block your body’s reaction to pollen and prevent symptoms from occurring and ease current symptoms.

Hay fever tablets are the most popular hay fever treatment, as they are usually taken once daily with few side effects. Tablets usually help with a broad range of hay fever symptoms and can be enough to keep you symptom free without additional treatment.

The prescription hay fever tablets that are available from THE Medical Online Doctor service are Telfast, containing fexofenadine, and Xyzal, which contains levocetirizine. Our Pharmacy section is also available to offer over the counter hay fever tablets containing the well-known antihistamines including cetirizine, loratidine, chlorphenamine and acrivastine. Common over the counter brands of hat fever tablets include Benadryl, Clarityn, Piriton and Zirtek as well as the generic treatments.

Hay Fever Nasal Sprays

Nasal symptoms of hay fever such as sneezing, and a blocked or runny nose occur very frequently in hay fever sufferers. In some people, hay fever tablets will be enough to treat these symptoms, however if symptoms are more severe the addition of a hay fever nasal spray may be necessary. These nasal symptoms occur due to the swelling and inflammation of the lining of the nasal passages in response to histamine release.

Hay fever nasal sprays usually contain a corticosteroid (steroid), which helps to reduce inflammation and calm the irritation in the area of application. As hay fever steroid nasal sprays are applied to the area of action, they can be administered in very low doses and still be extremely effective. This means that they are unlikely to cause any side effects and still provide relief from the nasal symptoms of hay fever.

Steroid hay fever nasal sprays include one of the steroids budesonide, fluticasone, mometasone or belcometasone. The prescription steroid hay fever nasal sprays available from THE Medical Online Doctor include Dymista, Flixonase, Nasonex, and Rhinocort. Dymista nasal spray contains a combination of a steroid and an antihistamine for dual relief of symptoms. Our Pharmacy section is also available to offer over the counter hay fever nasal sprays containing the steroids beclometasone or fluticasone. Common over the counter brands of hay fever nasal sprays include Beconase and Pirinase as well as the generic treatments.

Antihistamine hay fever nasal sprays, such as Rhinolast, contain the antihistamine azelastine. Azelastine works in a similar way to antihistamine tablets to prevent histamine release and the subsequent allergy caused by it. However, it is applied directly to the nasal passages from the nasal spray so can be administered in much lower doses and works in the area where it is needed.

Hay Fever Eye Drops

For people who experience the symptoms of hay fever mainly in their eyes, as running and/or itching, hay fever eye drops may be the most appropriate treatment. Hay fever eye drops such as Opticrom, Optilast and Rapitil all prevent the release of histamine in response to pollen and other allergies and thus help to both relieve and prevent symptoms.

The hay fever eye drops contain the drugs sodium cromoglycate (Opticrom), azelastine (Optilast) and nedocromil sodium (Rapitil). They are each used up to four times daily in each eye depending on response and severity of symptoms. Opticrom, Optilast or Rapital can be used in combination with hay fever tablets and nasal sprays to help fully control symptoms.

Hay Fever Prevention

Identify the allergen

Hay fever is typically caused by airborne allergens that enter the body through the air we breathe and trigger a severe response from the immune system. If it is highly seasonal, pollen grains and mould spores are the likeliest culprits. By careful observation, or by taking patch tests with the help of a doctor, it is possible to pinpoint the allergen. It will help you take precautions to prevent future attacks.

Reduce exposure

If you know the specific allergen, it is easier to reduce exposure. Otherwise, noticing whether you are getting it when certain flowers are in bloom or when grass has been freshly cut, if it is getting worse at a particular time of the day or during a specific activity, can help you avoid those situations.

Stay indoors when pollen counts are high

There is daily as well as seasonal fluctuation in pollen and mould counts in the air. Most weather shows broadcast the counts. Make it a point to listen to these reports, and avoid outings on particularly bad days. As a rule, pollen counts are high during the mornings and subside by afternoon. Plan your day accordingly. If you need to go outside when there is a high pollen count, ensure you take medication to help your allergies and wear sunglasses to prevent pollen getting in your eyes. Remember, a pollen count of over 50 may worsen hay fever symptoms.

Change and shower when you come inside

Avoid bringing outside allergens into the house as much as possible. Our clothes and hair are good carriers of these particles. Change outdoor clothes immediately on reaching the home, and take shower to wash off any pollen grains sticking to the body.

Change bed covers frequently

Since we spend a lot of time sleeping, pillow covers and bed covers should be kept as free of allergens as possible. Doctors advise those with severe allergies to cover the bedding with a hypoallergenic, non-permeable barrier and change the bedcovers every day.

Avoid other irritants

Common airway irritants like dust and smoke, especially tobacco smoke, may put your body in high alert towards allergens and make a hay fever attack more likely. Avoid exposure to these where possible.

Get efficient air purifiers

Install a high-efficiency particulate arresting filter (HEPA) into your air-purifier for better protection. The filter device itself can become a breeding ground for mould spores that can undermine the very purpose. Keep it in prime condition with regular servicing.

Delegate cleaning jobs to others

Indoor and outdoor cleaning jobs that typically throw allergens into the air should not be attempted by a person prone to hay fever. Cleaning the carpets, dusting the furniture, raking leaves, turning compost etc. should be delegated to other members of family or to outside help.

Dry clothes inside with the windows closed

As previously stated, pollen sticks to clothes so do not hang your laundry up to dry outside. Instead, keep it indoors at all times and ensure the windows are closed to prevent pollen coming into the house.

Keep allergy medication handy

Anyone with a history of hay fever should carry either over-the-counter anti-allergy medications or those prescribed by the doctor at all times. Regular once daily antihistamines, such as cetirizine or loratidine, should be taken daily throughout the pollen season to prevent hay fever symptoms – they are less effective if used as-and-when.

Depending on your symptoms, antihistamine tablets can be supplemented safely with a nasal spray and/or eye drops to keep your condition under control and allow you to enjoy the warmer weather.

Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses help to prevent pollen getting in the eyes and causing symptoms such as itching, swelling, red and runny eyes.

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