The Ultimate Allergy Medication Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Allergy Medication Quiz
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About This Quiz

There is relief for that nagging runny nose and annoying nasal congestion due to allergies. There are several allergy medication options, including antihistamines, decongestants, intranasal anticholinergics, intranasal corticosteriods and cromolyn sodium, to name a few. Take this quiz and learn about all of your medication options for treating allergy symptoms.
When should you take antihistamine medication?
before exposure to allergens
Antihistamine medication works best if it is taken prior to exposure to allergens. Antihistamines work well for treating runny nose, sneezing and itchiness.
during exposure to allergens
either of the above

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Traditionally, what was a common side effect of antihistamine medication?
nausea
drowsiness
Tradition, or first-generation, antihistamine medication caused drowsiness. More recently, however, over-the-counter antihistamine medication has become available, such as Claritin, which does not cause drowsiness.
dry and irritated throat

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What is an advantage of second-generation antihistamine medication?
It is less likely to cause eye pressure problems.
Second-generation antihistamine medication, also known as nonsedating antihistamines, are less likely to cause problems with eye pressure. Eye pressure problems can become serious, leading to vision problems related to glaucoma.
It is less likely to cause blood clots.
It is less likely to cause headaches.

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How often do you need to take second-generation antihistamine medication?
every four to six hours
every eight hours
every 12 to 24 hours
Second-generation antihistamine medications have time-released capsules. Therefore, this medication only needs to be taken once or twice a day. First-generation antihistamines need to be taken every four to six hours.

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What are intranasal anticholinergics?
prescription nasal spray
This medication, used to treat runny nose typically due to allergies, is a prescription nasal spray. Intranasal anticholinergics prevent mucus secretions.
over-the-counter nasal saline wash
medication to prevent nasal congestion

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How do eye drops help relieve irritated eyes due to allergies?
It flushes out irritants from the eyes.
It helps protect the eye from irritants.
Eye drops coat the mucous membranes of the eyes, which helps the eyes retain moisture and protects them from irritants due to allergies.
both of the above

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What is cromolyn sodium?
a new form of antihistamine medication
a nonsteroidal nasal solution
Cromolyn sodium is a nonsteroidal nasal solution that prevents nasal allergy symptoms. Its an anti-inflammatory drug that prevents histamine release from nasal cells and helps with preventing sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion due to allergies.
a monthly shot that reduces allergy related symptoms

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When should you take cromolyn sodium?
prior to exposure to allergens
during exposure to allergens
prior to and during exposure to allergens
You need to take cromolyn sodium prior to and during exposure to allergens. Try not to miss a dose, as its effectiveness will decrease. You can also only take cromolyn sodium up to six times per day.

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What are the possible side effects of cromolyn sodium?
headaches, sneezing and nasal irritation
coughing, wheezing and dizziness
both of the above
Cromolyn sodium is generally safe for daily use. Some possible side effects of cromolyn sodium, however, include: headaches, sneezing, nasal irritation, coughing, wheezing, dizziness, nausea, body aches and drowsiness.

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What causes nasal congestion due to allergies?
more blood in the lining of the nose
increase in mucous
both of the above
Your body attempts to trap allergens by increasing the blood in the lining of the nose, this causes nasal inflammation and swelling, which leads to nasal congestion. An increase in nasal mucous also further increases nasal congestion.

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When should you take decongestant medication to treat congestion due to allergies?
before exposure to allergens
during exposure to allergens
either of the above
Unlike antihistamines, you can take decongestants before or during exposure to allergens to relieve your stuffed nose.

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What is a disadvantage of nasal decongestants?
You cannot use them over the long-term.
You cannot take nasal decongestants for more than a few days. Nasal decongestants are habit forming and can cause an irritated, stuffy nose if taken long-term.
They are not as effective as oral decongestants.
They cause several side effects

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Who should not take oral decongestants?
People with heart problems, diabetes or high blood pressure.
Women who are nursing and people taking beta-blockers.
both of the above
If you have heart problems, diabetes or high blood pressure, you should not take oral decongestants, as this medication can make your previous health condition(s) worse. Women who are nursing and people who are taking beta-blockers should also avoid using oral decongestants.

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How does decongestant medication work?
It narrows blood vessels.
It reduces blood flow to mucous membranes.
both of the above
Decongestants do several things to help with sinus congestion, including: narrowing of blood vessels, reducing blood flow to mucous membranes and helping open the nasal cavity and sinuses.

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What are the side effects of decongestant medication?
sleep problems and nervousness
high blood pressure and heart problems
both of the above
Due to overstimulation of the brain, decongestant medication can cause sleep problems and nervousness, which tends to resolve over time. Decongestants can also increase blood pressure and contribute to heart problems.

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What are the symptoms of nasal rebound effect?
bloody nose
stuffed nose
If you take nasal decongestants for too long you may suffer from nasal rebound effect, also known as chemical rhinitis or rhinitis medicamentosa. Overuse of nasal decongestants can cause the blood vessels in your nose to swell, which leads to a stuffy nose.
both of the above

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Which medication can interact with oral decongestants?
antibiotics
antidepressants
both of the above
Consult your doctor before you start taking oral decongestants if you are already taking antibiotics, antidepressants, blood pressure or heart medication, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications can make the side effects of decongestants worse.

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What should you avoid drinking while taking oral decongestants?
coffee
soft drinks
both of the above
You should avoid all drinks and food that contain caffeine. Oral decongestants stimulate the brain, therefore, you should avoid other substances that are also stimulants, including “pep” pills.

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What are intranasal corticosteroids?
prescription nasal spray or drops
Intranasal corticosteriods are a powerful and potent medication for nasal related allergies, available by prescription only in the form of nasal spray or drops. It prevents nasal allergies by blocking inflammation.
over-the-counter nasal saline wash
over-the-counter nasal spray

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Intranasal corticosteriods:
relieve nasal allergy symptoms instantly
relieve nasal allergy symptoms within a few hours
take several days to reach optimal effectiveness
You must take intranasal corticosteroids for several days before you start to see any relief from nasal allergy symptoms. Intranasal corticosteroids are very effective in treating nasal allergy symptoms.

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