Over-the-counter medications that are effective at treating rhinitis include antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Zyrtec, and decongestants, according to WebMD. Eye drops and prescription medications are also used to relieve rhinitis.
Many of the symptoms associated with rhinitis – itching, sneezing and a runny nose – are reactions to the body's release of a chemical called histamine, explains WebMD. Antihistamines block the histamine, which leads to a reduction in symptoms. Most antihistamines work in as little as 30 minutes, but they may only dry up the runny nose without relieving the stuffiness. Decongestants, however, do relieve the stuffiness. Many antihistamines and decongestants are available in the same product, since they perform different tasks to relieve rhinitis.