Corticosteroids relieve symptoms by suppressing allergy-related inflammation, it can been seen in spray, inhaler, drop, pills, liquids and even skin cream.
Corticosteroid sprays prevent and relieve stuffiness, sneezing and runny nose. Side effects can include an unpleasant smell or taste, nasal irritation, and nosebleeds. Examples include:
- Budesonide (Rhinocort)
- Fluticasone furoate (Flonase Sensimist, Veramyst)
- Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Relief)
- Mometasone (Nasonex)
- Triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour)
For people who are bothered by the feeling of liquid running down their throats or the taste of the above, there are two aerosol formulas:
- Beclomethasone (Qnasl)
- Ciclesonide (Zetonna)
Inhaled corticosteroids are often used daily as part of treatment for asthma caused or complicated by reactions to airborne allergy triggers (allergens). Side effects are generally minor and can include mouth and throat irritation and oral yeast infections.
Some inhalers combine corticosteroids with other asthma medications. Prescription inhalers include:
- Beclomethasone (Qvar)
- Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
- Ciclesonide (Alvesco, Zetonna)
- Fluticasone (Advair Diskus, Flovent Diskus, others)
- Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)
Corticosteroid eyedrops are used to relieve persistent itchy, red or watery eyes when other interventions aren’t effective. A physician specializing in eye disorders (ophthalmologist) usually monitors the use of these drops because of the risk of vision impairment, cataracts, glaucoma and infection. Examples include:
- Fluorometholone (Flarex, FML)
- Loteprednol (Alrex, Lotemax)
- Prednisolone (Omnipred, Pred Forte, others)
Pills and liquids
Oral corticosteroids are used to treat severe symptoms caused by all types of allergic reactions. Long-term use can cause cataracts, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, stomach ulcers, increased blood sugar (glucose) and delayed growth in children. Oral corticosteroids can also worsen hypertension.
Prescription oral corticosteroids include:
- Prednisolone (Prelone)
- Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)
- Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
Corticosteroid creams relieve allergic skin reactions such as itching, redness, scaling or other irritations. Some low-potency corticosteroid creams are available without a prescription, but talk to your doctor before using these drugs for more than a few weeks.
Side effects can include skin discoloration and irritation. Long-term use, especially of stronger prescription corticosteroids, can cause thinning of the skin and disruption of normal hormone levels. Examples include:
- Betamethasone (Dermabet, Diprolene, others)
- Desonide (Desonate, DesOwen)
- Hydrocortisone (Cortaid, Micort-HC, others)
- Mometasone (Elocon)