Allergies and infections are two common health problems that require different types of medications to be resolved. If you’re currently experiencing a bout of allergies while being on antibiotics, you might be wondering if it’s safe to take allergy medicine alongside your antibiotics. The short answer is that it depends on the type of medication and the reason why you’re taking antibiotics in the first place. In this article, we’ll dive into this topic and provide some helpful tips on how to navigate this situation.
Why are you taking antibiotics?
Before we answer the question of whether you can take allergy medicine while on antibiotics, let’s first understand why you are taking antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as strep throat, sinus infections, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections, among others. These medications work by killing the bacteria that are causing the infection. However, they won’t do anything to relieve the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Can you take allergy medicine while on antibiotics?
In general, there are a few things to consider when taking allergy medicine while on antibiotics. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications.
Firstly, it’s important to know whether your allergy medicine and antibiotics are safe to take together. Most allergy medications are safe to take with antibiotics, but some can cause common side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, or blurred vision. Examples of these medications include antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin), desloratadine (Clarinex), and cetirizine (Zyrtec).
Secondly, you should consider the reason why you’re taking antibiotics. If you’re taking antibiotics for a respiratory infection such as sinusitis or bronchitis, you may experience symptoms that are similar to allergies, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and cough. In this case, taking allergy medication can help relieve your allergy symptoms while your antibiotics are working to clear up the infection.
On the other hand, if you’re taking antibiotics for a skin infection, such as cellulitis or impetigo, taking allergy medication may not be necessary or helpful. In this case, your infection may not be causing allergy-like symptoms, and taking allergy medication may only add unnecessary side effects.
Lastly, you should consider the type of allergy medication you’re taking. Some allergy medications, such as decongestants, can interact with certain antibiotics and cause side effects such as increased blood pressure, anxiety, or insomnia. Examples of decongestants include phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). If you’re unsure which allergy medication is safe to take with your antibiotics, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Alternatives to medication
If you’re taking antibiotics for an infection and experiencing allergy symptoms, there are a few non-medication alternatives you can try to relieve your symptoms.
1. Use a saline nasal rinse – Nasal irrigation with saline solution can help relieve nasal congestion and reduce the symptoms of allergies and respiratory infections.
2. Use a humidifier – Adding moisture to the air can help relieve dry nasal passages and reduce symptoms like coughing and congestion.
3. Avoid triggers – If you know what triggers your allergies, avoid them as much as possible. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, avoid going outside during peak allergy season.
4. Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of fluids can help thin out mucus and reduce congestion.
5. Get plenty of rest – Resting can help your body recover from an infection and reduce the symptoms of allergies.
In summary, the question of whether you can take allergy medicine while on antibiotics depends on the type of medication and the reason why you’re taking antibiotics. In general, it’s safe to take most allergy medications with antibiotics, but you should consult your doctor or pharmacist to be sure. Additionally, if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms while on antibiotics, you can try non-medication alternatives such as nasal irrigation, humidification, and avoiding triggers. By taking these steps, you can help relieve your allergy symptoms and recover from your infection safely and comfortably.