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Control your symptoms

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Take an allergy

Understand your allergy triggers

Go to allergy tests

Consider immunotherapy

Get rid of your hayfever

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Order hayfever medication

Control your symptoms

Go to medication

Take an allergy

Understand your allergy triggers

Go to allergy tests

Consider immunotherapy

Get rid of your hayfever

Learn more

Order hayfever medication

Control your symptoms

Go to medication

Take an allergy

Understand your allergy triggers

Go to allergy tests

Consider immunotherapy

Get rid of your hayfever

Learn more
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Control symptoms with anti-allergy medication
Control symptoms with anti-allergy medication

What you need to know about anti-allergy medication
What types of anti-allergy medication exist and how do they work?

The choice of medication depends on the severity of symptoms and individual response to treatment. Mild symptoms may be managed with antihistamines alone, while more severe symptoms may require a combination of medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, or leukotriene modifiers. It's important to consult with a physician to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and medical history.

Antihistamines work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical released by the body during allergic reactions. By blocking histamine receptors, they prevent histamine from causing allergy symptoms.

These medications are often used for mild to moderate allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itching, and a runny nose. They can provide relief for symptoms related to hay fever, allergic rhinitis, and minor allergic reactions. Antihistamines are typically the first-line treatment for mild allergy symptoms.

Decongestants are commonly used for moderate to severe nasal congestion associated with allergies or upper respiratory infections.

They provide relief by shrinking swollen blood vessels in the nasal passages. They're often used when nasal congestion is a significant symptom, making it difficult to breathe comfortably through the nose.

Nasal sprays are usually recommended for individuals experiencing moderate to severe nasal congestion due to allergies or upper respiratory infections.

They work by shrinking swollen blood vessels in the nasal passages, providing relief from symptoms such as nasal congestion, itching, sneezing, and nasal inflammation. Corticosteroid nasal sprays are particularly effective for those with persistent or seasonal allergies who require long-term symptom management.

Leukotriene modifiers function by reducing inflammation in the airways, particularly beneficial for individuals with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis symptoms.

They are commonly prescribed when symptoms remain uncontrolled with other medications or when asthma coexists. These modifiers can effectively alleviate symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose by targeting the underlying inflammation in the airways.

What does a typical allergy medication package look like?

The selection of medications and their dosages should be determined by a healthcare professional based on individual symptoms, medical history, and any existing health conditions.

Additionally, it's crucial to read and follow the instructions provided with each medication and consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

  • Antihistamine Tablets: Such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or loratadine (Clarityn) tablets for relieving sneezing, itching, and a runny nose.
  • Nasal Spray: A mild corticosteroid nasal spray like beclometasone (Beconase) for occasional use to relieve nasal congestion and inflammation.
  • Eye Drops: Antihistamine eye drops like levocabastine (Livocab) for relief from itchy, red, and watery eyes.
  • Antihistamine Tablets: A combination of cetirizine (Zyrtec) or loratadine (Clarityn) tablets for daytime relief and a sedating antihistamine like diphenhydramine (Benalet) for nighttime relief.
  • Corticosteroid Nasal Spray: A moderate-strength corticosteroid nasal spray like mometasone furoate (Nasonex) for daily use to reduce nasal congestion and inflammation.
  • Decongestant Tablets: Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) tablets for occasional use to provide rapid relief from nasal congestion.
  • Antihistamine Tablets: A combination of cetirizine (Zyrtec) or loratadine (Clarityn) tablets for daytime relief and a stronger antihistamine like desloratadine (Aerius) for nighttime relief.
  • High-Strength Corticosteroid Nasal Spray: A high-strength corticosteroid nasal spray like fluticasone propionate (Flixonase) for daily use to effectively control severe nasal congestion and inflammation.
  • Decongestant Nasal Spray: Oxymetazoline (Otrivin) nasal spray for short-term use to rapidly relieve severe nasal congestion.
Are there any side effects?

Before starting any allergy medication, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Your healthcare provider can evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and potential drug interactions to recommend the most suitable allergy treatment for you. They can also provide guidance on managing side effects and adjusting medication dosages as needed.

Some antihistamines, particularly first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can cause drowsiness as a side effect.

To avoid drowsiness, it's essential to choose non-sedating or second-generation antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin), or fexofenadine (Allegra). These medications are less likely to cause drowsiness and are suitable for daytime use.

However, even non-sedating antihistamines may cause drowsiness in some individuals, so it's important to monitor your response to the medication, especially when driving or operating machinery.

In addition to drowsiness, common side effects of allergy medications may include dry mouth, dizziness, and headaches. These side effects can vary depending on the specific medication and individual response.

For example, decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) may cause increased heart rate or insomnia in some individuals. Corticosteroid nasal sprays may cause nasal irritation or nosebleeds if not used correctly.

It's essential to be aware of potential side effects and discuss them with your healthcare provider.

When should I start taking them?

Consulting with a physician is advisable before starting any allergy medication. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your medical history, allergy triggers, and the severity of your symptoms. Your healthcare provider can also advise you on the most appropriate timing for starting medication and adjusting dosages as needed.

The timing for starting allergy medication can vary depending on the specific medication and your individual allergy triggers and symptoms. Some medications, such as antihistamines, can be started a few days before expected allergen exposure or at the onset of symptoms. Others, like corticosteroid nasal sprays, may require regular use for several days to weeks before reaching maximum effectiveness

Starting allergy medication before symptoms begin or at the first sign of symptoms is known as a preventive or proactive approach.

This approach aims to block the allergic response before it fully develops, providing optimal effectiveness in managing symptoms.

By taking allergy medication before symptoms fully manifest, you can potentially prevent or minimize the severity of allergic reactions.

For example, starting antihistamines a few days before the anticipated onset of allergy season can help prevent symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and a runny nose.

For individuals with seasonal allergies or year-round allergic rhinitis, starting allergy medication preemptively can be part of a long-term management plan.

This approach may involve taking medication regularly during allergy seasons or throughout the year to maintain symptom control and improve quality of life.

Should I take them every day throughout hay fever season or only when I have symptoms?

Your physician will determine the best approach based on your specific allergies, symptoms, and treatment preferences.

Regular communication ensures effective management of your allergies, allowing for adjustments as needed to optimize treatment.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays and some antihistamines are often taken daily for long-term symptom prevention, especially during peak allergy seasons or for chronic allergies.

They provide continuous relief and reduce the body's allergic response over time, maintaining consistent symptom control.

Fast-acting antihistamines, decongestant nasal sprays, and rescue inhalers for asthma are often taken on-demand to relieve acute symptoms as they arise.

They offer flexibility for occasional or intermittent symptoms, providing rapid relief when symptoms flare up due to allergen exposure or environmental triggers.

Recommended for you

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How to set up your subscription


Chose medication & answer some health questions

To set up your subscription, answer a few questions about your health to make sure you can take the medication in question without any risk.


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Confirm your identity with a selfie video and upload a photo of an old medication box or book a short phone call back from our partner doctors if you do not have an old prescription.


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Your request will be reviewed by a Swiss doctor. Once it is approved, your medication will be delivered within 2-3 working days.


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Take an allergy test to understand your symptom triggers Go to tests
Take an allergy test to understand your symptom triggers Go to tests

Allergy tests

Why you should test

Know which symptom triggers to avoid

Understand which allergy triggers to look out for and to avoid to as much as possible to minimise your symptoms.

Know if you are eligible for immunotherapy

Based on test results of comprehensive allergy tests like our 360° Allergy Check, allergy specialists will be able to tell you if you are eligible for immunotherapy.

Allergy Tests

Take an allergy test from the comfort of your own home

360° Allergy Check CHF 499
Most comprehensive allergy test available on the market, also suitable to assess eligibility for immunotherapy
Tests for over 250 allergens from pollen, pets and food to insects and contact allergens
Learn more
Basic Hayfever & Allergy Check CHF 219
Checks presence and severity of allergic reaction to 50+ common allergens from pollen to animals and foods
Focus on pollen & alternative triggers for hayfever symptoms such as dust mites & pets
Learn more
Get rid of symptoms for good with immunotherapy
Get rid of symptoms for good with immunotherapy

What you should know about immunotherapy

How immunotherapy works

Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots or allergy immunotherapy, works by desensitizing the immune system to specific allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or animal dander, that trigger allergic reactions.

By gradually exposing the immune system to small amounts of the allergen, immunotherapy helps the body build up tolerance over time, reducing the severity of allergic reactions.

Treatment options

Immunotherapy for hay fever typically involves two main treatment options:

  1. Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT): This involves injecting small amounts of allergens under the skin, usually in the arm, once or twice a week initially, and then gradually increasing the dose over several months. Maintenance injections are then given every 4-8 weeks for 3-5 years.
  2. Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT): This involves placing drops or tablets containing allergen extracts under the tongue and holding them there for a specific amount of time before swallowing. SLIT is usually administered daily at home, making it a more convenient option for some patients. Treatment duration is typically 3-5 years.

When to start

Immunotherapy is often recommended when hay fever symptoms are severe, persistent, or not well-controlled with other medications.

It can also be considered for individuals who want a long-term solution to their allergies or wish to reduce their reliance on allergy medications. It's essential to consult with an allergy specialist to determine if immunotherapy is appropriate for you and when to start treatment.

Duration of treatment

The duration of immunotherapy varies depending on individual response and treatment protocols but typically lasts 3-5 years.

Many patients start to experience symptom improvement within the first few months of treatment, but the full benefits may take up to a year or longer to achieve.

Expected treatment results

Immunotherapy has been shown to provide long-lasting relief from hay fever symptoms in a significant number of patients, with some experiencing complete resolution of symptoms even after treatment is discontinued.

The success of immunotherapy for hay fever can vary from person to person. However, studies have shown that immunotherapy can significantly reduce hay fever symptoms, decrease the need for allergy medications, and improve overall quality of life for many patients. Success rates may also depend on factors such as the specific allergens being treated, treatment adherence, and individual immune response.