Sneezing, coughing, and sniffling can be a nuisance, and if you're someone who suffers from allergies, you might be tempted to take some medication every time a symptom arises. Although some allergy medications are safe to take whenever you need them, there are some side effects of allergy medicine to be aware of if you take it long-term. To make sure you're not harming your body while trying to get rid of that nasty cough or runny nose, you want to make sure you're being safe about your medication consumption.
Certain allergy medications work differently depending on the type. "Inhaled steroids and nasal sprays work locally to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages in the lungs, respectively," allergist and internist Dr. Tania Elliott tells Bustle. "Anti-histamines block the release of histamine from allergy cells. Histamine is one of the main chemicals responsible for causing itch, redness, congestion, and swelling."
Medications like antihistamines — such as Benadryl or Zyrtec — can be used for long-term treatment. Others such as decongestants or Corticosteriods should not be used for prolonged or too-frequent use. If you are ever in doubt, ask your doctor how long an allergy medication can be used.
"If you don't want to be on medications longterm, allergy shots or oral allergen immunotherapy may be right for you," says Elliott. "These treatments can cure your allergies."
Here are seven unexpected and potentially dangerous side effects of taking allergy medicine long-term, depending on the type of medication, according to experts.