Antihistamines

For mild symptoms such as a rash, hives, and itching, over-the-counter, or first-generation antihistamines, can be effective. However, these drugs may cause drowsiness. First generation antihistamines include:

  • brompheniramine (Dimetapp)
  • dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Sominex)
  • doxylamine (Vicks NyQuil)

Second-generation antihistamines, which have fewer or no such effects, are now recommended by many doctors. These include:

  • cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • desloratadine (clarinex)
  • fexofenadine (allegra)
  • loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)

Bronchodilator

A bronchodilator can help when main symptoms include wheezing or cough ing . Examples of bronchodilators include:

  • albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA)
  • formoterol  (Foradil Aerolizer)
  • salmeterol (Serevent Diskus)
  • theophylline (Uniphyl, Theo-24, Theo-Dur)

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids can be taken by mouth, by intravenous injection, or applied directly to the skin. They act more slowly than antihistamines, but last longer and can provide relief from some of the more serious symptoms of a drug allergy. These include:

  • beclomethasone (Becona)
  • fluticasone furoate (Veramyst)
  • fluticasone propionate (Flonase)
  • mometasone (Nasonex)

Epinephrine

In acute anaphylaxis cases, epinephrine should be taken by injection as soon as possible. An emergency medical response team will be able to administer an emergency dose of epinephrine.