Hayfever or hay fever as it is commonly spelt is a condition that affects over half the UK population. There are several ways of treating hayfever including antihistamine tablets, steroid nasal sprays and antihistamine eye drops.

Hayfever is caused by an allergy to pollen. During the end of the spring months, plants produce and release more pollen as they grow and cross pollinate. This causes the symptoms of running noses, streaming, red eyes and sneezing in people who are allergic to pollen.

Antihistamines are a group of medicines that treat allergies. Allergies can be wide ranging, such as hayfever, contact dermatitis, skin reactions, systemic allergies (for example nut allergies) and allergic reactions to bites and stings. There are some very effective antihistamines available over the counter. These include cetirizine, loratadine, acrivastine, chlorpheneramne and promethazine. Our pharmacist tends to recommend loratadine for the majority of otherwise healthy adults wanting to relieve hay fever symptoms. This is because loratadine tends to not cause drowsiness in the majority of patients whereas most of the other antihistamine tablets cause drowsiness in a significant number of people. Obviously if you are affected by any medicine, do not drive or operate machinery.

Some antihistamines are specifically selected because they cause drowsiness. For example, promethazine in Phenergan can be used to treat skin allergies, travel sickness and even as a sleep aid in otherwise healthy adults.

Pharmacies sell a great range of hayfever tablets at discount prices. You can buy:

•Generic Cetirizine
•Generic Loratadine
•Generic Chlorphenaramine
We also stock the best nasal sprays for hayfever including:

•Generic beclometasone nasal spray
and the following eye drops:

•Sodium Cromoglycate Eye Drops
Common side effects caused by hay fever tablets can include:...