Hay Fever
Hay fever is a condition that causes symptoms which are similar to a cold, including a runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure and itchy eyes. Unlike a cold, it is not the result of a virus; instead, it is caused by an allergic reaction to outdoor or indoor allergens like pollen, dust mites or animal fur. There are various tablets and treatments available to lessen the symptoms of hay fever.

Hay Fever

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  1. Rhinolast Nasal Spray (22ml)
    Rhinolast Nasal Spray (22ml)
    From As low as £17.99
    • Easy to use antihistamine nasal spray
    • Can be used by anyone over age 6+
    • Relief from runny or blocked nose
  2. Rhinocort Nasal Spray (budesonide) - 120 Sprays
    Rhinocort Nasal Spray (budesonide) - 120 Sprays
    From As low as £12.99
    • Treats and prevents symptoms of hay fever
    • Reduces inflammation inside the nose
    • Effective nasal polyp treatment

    Please note brand received may vary

  3. Nasonex nasal spray medicine direct
    Nasonex Nasal Spray - 140 Sprays
    From As low as £19.99
    • 140 sprays per bottle
    • Used to treat hay fever and allergies
    • Relieves allergy symptoms quickly
  4. Loratadine (10mg) 30 Tablets
    Loratadine (10mg) 30 Tablets
    From As low as £1.99
    • Effective allergy treatment
    • Non-drowsy antihistamine
    • Helps to quickly relieve allergy symptoms

    Please note brand received may vary

  5. Levocetirizine 5mg Tablets
    Levocetirizine 5mg Tablets
    From As low as £11.99
    • Eases allergy symptoms
    • Antihistamine tablets
    • Works within 1 hour

    Please note brand received may vary

  6. Flixonase Nasal Spray 50mcg - Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
    Flixonase Nasal Spray 50mcg (150 Sprays)
    From As low as £19.99
    • Treats allergic rhinitis (allergy to dust, pollen etc)
    • Steroid nasal treatment
    • Reduces inflammation in the nose and reduces symptoms
  7. Chlorphenamine Hay Fever & Allergy Tablets - 4mg
    Chlorphenamine Hay Fever & Allergy Tablets - 4mg
    From As low as £3.99
    • Antihistamine medicine
    • Relieves symptoms assosciates with allergic reactions
    • Treats hay fever, insect bites and food allergies

    Please note brand received may vary

  8. Cetirizine Oral Solution 5mg/5ml Hay fever & Allergy - Medicine Direct UK online Pharmacy
    Cetirizine Oral Solution 5mg/5ml Hayfever & Allergy- 200ml
    • Oral form of Cetirizine Hydrochloride
    • Relieves symptoms of hay fever and allergies
    • Non-drowsy and fast acting

    Please note brand received may vary

  9. Certirizine Hydrochloride 10mg Tablets Hay fever allergy relief - Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
    Cetirizine 10mg Hay Fever & Allergy Relief - 30 Tablets
    From As low as £1.99
    • Antihistamine used to treat hay fever and allergies
    • Relieves itching, sneezing and other symptoms
    • Non drowsy

    Please note brand received may vary

  10. Dymista nasal spray - medicine direct online pharmacy
    Dymista Nasal Spray
    From As low as £30.99
    • Each bottle contains 120 sprays
    • Relieves allergy symptoms 
    • Contains antihistamine
  11. Beclometasone nasal spray - Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
    Beclometasone Nasal Spray (200 Sprays)
    From As low as £5.99
    • Each bottle contains 200 sprays
    • Relieves allergy symptoms such as colds and hay fever
    • Reduces itching, stuffy or runny nose and sneezing

    Please note brand received may vary

  12. Desloratadine 5mg Allergy Relief Hay fever - Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
    Desloratadine 5mg
    From As low as £12.99
    • Non-drowsy antihistamine medicine
    • Relieves allergic symtoms
    • Treats allergies such as Hay fever

    Please note brand received may vary

  13. Avamys Nasal Spray for Hayfever - Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
    Avamys Nasal Spray
    From As low as £17.99
    • Reduces allergy symptoms
    • 120 sprays per bottle
    • Used to treat Hay Fever and other Allergies
  14. Telfast
    From As low as £17.99
    • Non-drowsy antihistamine
    • Reduces the symptoms of allergies
    • Effective hay fever treatment

What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever is an extremely common condition where airborne pollen triggers an allergic reaction in the sufferer. Up to one in five people are affected by it at some point in their lives. There are three different types of pollen which you may be allergic to, these are: tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen.

The pollen particles are released at different times throughout the year and sufferers generally find the time between late March-September to be the worst, as that is when the pollen count is highest. Unfortunately, there is no cure for hay fever. However, symptoms can be relieved with treatment and people may find that their hay fever begins to get better they get older.

Hay Fever Symptoms 

Many symptoms of hay fever can be mistaken for the common cold, this is because there are a lot of similarities between the two conditions.

Common symptoms of hay fever include:

  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Itchiness in the throat or ears
  • Blocked nose
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or pains in your temples
  • Watery eyes

Causes of Hay Fever 

Typically, hay fever is an allergic reaction to airborne pollen, so if there is a high pollen count in the air your allergy symptoms will be much worse.

Dust mites and animal fur are other common causes of hay fever symptoms.

Hay Fever Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical history to diagnose hay fever.

They may recommend a skin prick test to check for an allergic reaction after materials that can trigger allergies are pricked into your skin. Alternatively, they may give you an allergy blood test to measure your immune system's response to specific allergens.

Hay Fever Treatment 

It is rare for hay fever to create any type of medical complication. Nonetheless, it can have an impact on the sufferer’s life and productivity at work or school. Hay fever can last weeks or even months, meaning it can become very frustrating, especially if symptoms such as a loss of smell or irritation begin to affect your daily life.

Avoiding pollen is the most effective way of getting rid of hay fever, but that is almost impossible as pollen is dispersed throughout the air that we breathe. The NHS recommend taking certain measures, such as using Vaseline around your nose, trapping pollen so it’s not inhaled, and showering or changing clothes as having been outside.

You can also buy air filters for your home which remove pollen particles and vacuuming regularly also helps to remove dust which may contain pollen. You should avoid working or being outside where possible.

You can also take antihistamines treatments such as tablets or sprays to relieve hay fever symptoms.

Buy hay fever tablets online

At Medicine Direct we offer free postage and packaging for all UK orders. Simply complete an online consultation and one of our doctors will recommend the best hay fever treatment for you.

You can order hayfever treatments such as Rhinocort, Cetirizine and Fexofenadine plus more from our pharmacy. 

Our pharmacist and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing medicines to treat hay fever.


Hay Fever Frequently Asked Questions

Will hay fever tablets make me drowsy? 

Antihistamine tablets may cause drowsiness in some people, but this side effect will not bother everyone who takes them.

Are hay fever tablets safe for children? 

Certain hay fever tablets, such as Cetirizine, are safe to be taken by children over the age of 6. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor of guidance if you are unsure.

Can I take allergy tablets when I’m pregnant? 

Pharmacies are unlikely to sell pregnant women allergy tablets. However, certain brands may be suitable for women during pregnancy.

Nasal sprays or eye drops may be suitable alternatives, but you should still speak to a doctor about what medication is safe for you to use during pregnancy.

Can I get hay fever tablets over the counter? 

Yes, there are various tablets for hay fever which you can purchase over the counter.

When is pollen season? 

Pollen season is in the spring and summer months.

Tree pollen season is between late March to mid-May. Grass pollen season runs from mid-May to July, and weed pollen season is from the end of June until September.

How do I know what treatment is right for me? 

You should speak to a doctor if an over the counter treatment has not worked or is unsuitable for you.

A doctor will be able to recommend the most suitable allergy relief medicine for you to take.

Do you get hay fever on holiday? 

If you are traveling to a destination with a high pollen count, then it is possible to get hay fever while on holiday.

Does the weather affect the pollen count? 

Yes, pollen tends to travel more in warm, dry and windy weather conditions.

As a result, the pollen count is at its highest in the spring and summer months.

Can I use a nasal spray, eye drops and tablets to treat hay fever together? 

Yes you can, as long as each item is safe for you to take individually. There is no problem combining tablets, nasal sprays and allergy eye drops to control your allergy symptoms.

How do I take my antihistamine tablets? 

Normally, you will be instructed to take one tablet in the morning . Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. These tablets can be taken with or without food and generally start to work in 30 minutes.

When should I start to take antihistamine tablets? 

These tablets work very quickly and should be taken when you need them. To prevent hay fever from occurring, take them throughout the pollen season.

What is the best time of day to take antihistamine tablets? 

You can take these tablets at any time, but they are most effective when taken first thing in the morning.

Will antihistamines make me drowsy? 

All antihistamines come with the risk of causing drowsiness, but this side effect will not affect everyone.

Are all antihistamine tablets the same? 

Most allergy tablets that you should take once a day will work in the same way, but different people can respond very differently to them. Some tablets may provide allergy relief to one person, while another person may experience no difference at all.

If you find one antihistamine to be ineffective, it is worth trying another.

If you use antihistamine tablets continuously, will you become addicted to them? 

Older forms of antihistamines that were used for insomnia and nausea can result in some dependency when used for extended periods of time. This is not the same as addiction.

However, newer versions of antihistamines that are taken once a day are safe for extended use. Please speak to a doctor if you are worried about developing a dependency.

Will the effect of hay fever treatments diminish over time if you use them every day? 

If used correctly and only used during hay fever season, your allergy treatment will not diminish from extended use.

What happens if I forget to take a dose? 

If you miss a dose, just take it as soon as you remember, as long as it is not almost time for your next scheduled dose. If it is, skip the dose you missed and continue taking your allergy medicine as normal.

Never double dose medication to make up for missing a previous one.

I have had tablets before but it wasn't quite enough to control all my symptoms. What should I do? 

Most treatments for a hay fever allergy will begin with an antihistamine tablet you should take once a day. In some cases, your symptoms may be confined to certain areas, such as itchy eyes or a blocked/runny nose, which may mean you have a nasal spray or eye drops instead of the tablets.

If one tablet is not enough to alleviate your symptoms, add a nasal spray to the treatment programme. If this is still not enough, you can also add eye drops to your regime.

If this combined course of treatment is insufficient to control your symptoms, consider using a different brand of medication to see if it is more effective.

How do I use a nasal spray properly? 

To effectively use a nasal spray, you should:

  • 1.Blow your nose to clear your nostrils of mucus.
  • 2.Remove the spray's cap and shake the bottle. If this is the first time you are using the spray, pump it to make sure it is working – a fine mist should come out of the end.
  • 3.Breathe out and tilt your head forward.
  • 4.Place the spray into one of your nostrils.
  • 5.Place your thumb on the bottom of the bottle and 2 fingers on the top. Use the fingers on your other hand to close the other nostril.
  • 6.Breathe in slowly and administer the spray. Do not breathe in too quickly as this may result in you swallowing the spray instead of inhaling it.
  • 7.Repeat this process for the other nostril.

Do not blow your nose or breathe too deeply after using the spray, to make sure it is absorbed properly.

When should I start to use my hay fever nasal spray? 

To receive the full benefit of the medicine, you should start to use a steroid nasal spray a few days before it is needed. You will then need to use it throughout the hay fever season to help to keep the symptoms at bay.

Do steroid nasal sprays have bad side effects like steroid tablets? 

Nasal sprays work differently to steroid tablets, delivering the medicine to the exact area it is needed. As a result, smaller amounts of medicine are used and only a small amount is absorbed by the body.

Side effects of a nasal spray are minimal, but may include dry skin inside the nostrils, redness at the site of application and taste disturbances.

Doctor Notes

Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.

This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.

We are fully regulated

All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Superintendent Pharmacist

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

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