The Best Medications to Take if You Have a Mold Allergy

People can have mold allergies to seasonal outdoor fungi or to indoor-growing molds that can plague them anytime—or both. Outdoor molds live on decaying leaves, and indoor molds thrive in damp places, releasing allergenic fungal spores when they reproduce. The symptoms of both types of mold allergies are the same: an alternately runny and stuffy nose, and bouts of itching and sneezing. The best allergy medications tackle them all, but may carry side effects and usage restrictions.

Mold can be a serious problem. (Image: beti gorse/iStock/Getty Images)

Decongestant Drugs

Decongestant nasal sprays such as oxymetazoline only work effectively for three days. After that, they may cause congestion. Oral decongestants, including pseudoephedrine, may be limited to seven-day courses. These over-the-counter drugs, however, may be the best choices for people with seasonal mold allergies that flare only occasionally, or for those whose allergy symptoms tend more toward stuffy rather than runny noses.

The Mayo Clinic warns that heart patients should not take oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine, because these allergy medications raise blood pressure. While these drugs alone won't cause drowsiness, manufacturers often add compounds that will, especially in nighttime combination medicines.

Antihistamines and Combinations

The majority of stand-alone and combination antihistamine drugs may be best for treating seasonal rather than perennial mold allergies because they do cause sedation. They also provide effective treatment for itching, watering eyes and respiratory allergy symptoms. Common over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, cetirizine and clemastine may be sold alone, or combined with a decongestant ingredient that addresses stuffy-nose problems. Adult consumers who prefer to reduce dosing can select extended-relief formulas. The Mayo Clinic notes that children shouldn't take drugs that cause drowsiness.

Patients who want to avoid the sedating effects of those antihistamine formulas can try nonprescription loratadine or prescription-strength desloratadine. Both of these allergy medications come in decongestant combination products as well, which may represent the best choice of comprehensive symptom relief for those with year-round allergies.

Nasal Corticosteroids

Prescription-only nasal corticosteroids safely and effectively treat most populations, including heart patients and young children. Low-dose steroid nasal sprays address all allergy symptoms without sedation, and they can be taken every day. These mold allergy medications may be best for treating people who show perennial allergy symptoms on most days.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, children as young as two and heart patients can tolerate certain nasal corticosteroids. Physicians will prescribe the ideal compound among medications such as fluticasone furoate, flunosolide, budesonide and mometasone furoate.

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