FAQ: Allergy Medications

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Oct 31, 2000, 5:48:51 PM10/31/00
Archive-name: medicine/allergy/medications
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 17 November 2000
Original-Author: Patricia Wrean <>
Version: 1.3 FAQ: Allergy Medications

This FAQ attempts to list the most common allergy medications available
both in the U.S. and overseas. It was compiled by Patricia Wrean
<> and is currently maintained by Marie Goldenberg

Because of the plethora of over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines
available, no efort has been made to make this an exhaustive list
of all brand names. Also, other ingredients in antihistamine
formulations, such as the decongestant pseudoephedrine hydrochloride,
have not been included. Sections on decongestants and topical
remedies for rashes and hives will be added in later versions.

The information about inhaled corticosteroids and ketotifen fumarate
(Zaditen) has been taken from the FAQ: Asthma
Medications. The remaining entries come from either the 1995
Physicians' Desk Reference and the 1995 PDR for Non-prescription
Drugs (full citations in References section at end of post), or
from the contributors listed at the end of the post. Chemical
class information came mostly from the pamphlet "Advice from your
Allergist", published by the American College of Allergy &

** Although the maintainer does her best to keep this FAQ updated,
it is by no means an authoritative work. Asthma is a serious
illness requiring supervision by a physician. Please do not
attempt to change your medication regime without consulting your

Corrections, additions, and comments are requested; please include
the name of the country in which the medication is available, as
it isn't always obvious from the user-id. If the drug is available
as an inhaler, please specify it as a MDI or one of the other types
mentioned in the glossary, or add a description of the inhaler if
it is not present already. If you do not wish your name to be
included in the contributors list, please state that explicitly when

Abbreviations are explained in the glossary at the end of the table.
If the medication is followed by a country name in brackets, then
to the best of my knowledge it is only available in that country,
and not in the U.S.

+ = added since last version
& = updated/corrected since last version



class chemical name brand name comments
----- ------------- ---------- --------

brompheniramine Bromfed, Rx & OTC
maleate Dimetane,
Dimetapp, etc.

chlorpheniramine Atrohist, Rx & OTC
maleate Chlor-Trimeton,
Kronofed, etc.

pheniramine Triaminic Rx

triprolidine Actifed Rx

carbinoxamine Rondec Rx

clemastine Tavist Rx & OTC

dimenhydrinate Dramamine OTC, usually
for nausea

diphenhydramine Benadryl Rx & OTC

pyrilamine Triaminic Rx

tripelennamine PBZ Rx

promethazine Phenergan Rx

trimeprazine Temeril Rx

cetirizine Zyrtec Rx
Reactine (Can)

chlorcyclizine Mantadil Cream Rx, for eczema
& dermatitis

hydroxyzine Atarax Rx

hydroxyzine Vistaril Rx

meclizine Antivert, Rx & OTC,
hydrochloride Bonine Bonine
usually for

astemizole Hismanal Rx, non-sedating

azatadine Trinalin Rx

cyproheptadine Periactin Rx

ketotifen Zaditen Rx (Can), for
fumarate treatment of

loratidine Claritin Rx, non-sedating

phenindamine Nolahist OTC

terfenadine Seldane Rx, non-sedating
& (discontinued in 1997)

Anti-inflammatory, steroidal (inhaled)

chemical name brand name comments
------------- ---------- --------

beclomethasone Beconase Rx, nasal MDI
dipropionate Beconase AQ Rx, nasal spray
Vancenase Rx, Pockethaler
(nasal MDI)
Vancenase AQ Rx, nasal spray

budesonide Rhinocort Rx, nasal MDI
(US, elsewhere),
nasal turbuhaler,
(Can, Sw),
nasal spray (Can)

flunisolide Nasalide Rx, nasal spray
Nasarel Rx, nasal spray
Rhinalar Rx, nasal spray (Can)

fluticasone Flonase Rx, nasal spray

+ mometasone Nasonex Rx, nasal spray

triamcinolone Nasacort Rx, nasal MDI

Mast cell stabilizers*

cromolyn sodium Nasalcrom Rx, nasal spray
(sodium cromoglycate
is WHO recommended Rynacrom Rx, nasal spray,
name generally in cartridges for nasal
use outside the US) insufflator (Can)
(Nasalcrom now OTC in US)

* a mast cell stabilizer blocks the production of histamine. For
a more complete description of what a mast cell stabilizer does,
please see the FAQ: Asthma -- General
Information, section 2.0.



aerosol inhalers:

MDI - metered-dose inhaler, consisting of an aerosol unit and
plastic mouthpiece. This is currently the most common
type of inhaler, and is widely available.

syncroner - MDI with elongated mouthpiece, used as training device
to see if medication is being inhaled properly.
Available in Canada for Intal.

dry powder inhalers:

insufflator - dry powder nasal inhaler used with Rynacrom cartridges.
Each cartridge contains one dose; the inhaler opens the
cartridge, allowing the powder to be blown into the
nose by squeezing the bulb. Available in Canada.

spinhaler - dry powder inhaler used with Intal capsules for
spinhaler. Each capsule contains one dose; the
inhaler opens the capsule such that the powder
may be inhaled through the mouthpiece. Available
in Canada, UK, and the U.S.

turbuhaler - dry powder inhaler. The drug is in form of a pellet;
when body of inhaler is rotated, prescribed amount of
drug is ground off this pellet. The powder is then
inhaled through a fluted aperture on top. Available
in Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Switzerland.

country abbreviations:

Can - Canada
Sw - Switzerland
US - United States


OTC - over-the-counter, no prescription required for purchase
Rx - prescription by physician required for purchase



The Physicians' Desk Reference is published annually by:
Medical Economics Data Production Company
Montvale, NJ 07645-1742

ISBN 1-56363-087-7 for the 1995 edition

It is a compendium of official, FDA-approved prescription
drug labeling. The FDA is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Physician's Desk Reference for Nonprescription Drugs is also
published annually by the Medical Economics Data Production

ISBN 1-56363-089-3 for the 1995 edition

It is a compendium of manufacturers' information on over-the-
counter medications available in the U.S.

The American College of Allergy & Immunology, (ACAI), publishes a
pamphlet titled "Advice from your Allergist." It may be
ordered from:

85 West Algonquin Road, Suite 550
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(708) 427-1200



Steve Dyer
Patrick White


Disclaimer: I am not a physician; I am only a reasonably
well-informed asthmatic. This information is for
educational purposes only, and should be used only as
a supplement to, not a substitute for, professional
medical advice.

Copyright 1996 by Patricia Wrean, 1997 by Marie Goldenberg. Permission is
given to freely copy or distribute this FAQ provided that it is
distributed in full without modification, and that such distribution is
not intended for profit.

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