While Claritin is often the leading choice for over the counter antihistamines, depending on your situation and how your body reacts to it, there are a number of other options to choose from. Each of these medications has a slightly different impact and method for delivering the allergy relief that you are seeking. The best choice in antihistamine depends on your situation, and the following comparisons will give you some information to discuss with your physician. Depending on how your body reacts and what specific interactions or side effects that you are looking to avoid, the comparisons of Zyrtec vs. Claritin, Allegra vs. Claritin, and Benadryl vs. Claritin will give you the base information that you need.
Zyrtec (cetirizine) vs. Claritin (loratadine)
Both of these medications provide effective relief from allergy symptoms, but because of their slightly different pathways, their side effects can be different for different people. For the most part, people that are taking other medications, such as muscle relaxants and sleeping pills, should not take Zyrtec. Claritin, on the other hand, should be avoided if you have liver disorders or suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU).
Allegra (fexofenadine) vs. Claritin (loratadine)
These antihistamines medications use different active ingredients to treat the allergy symptoms: fexofenadine and loratadine, respectively. Access to Claritin is often easier, as Allegra can only be acquired with a prescription. This fact, combined with the lower cost of Claritin, causes many more people to prefer Claritin vs. Allegra.
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) vs. Claritin (loratadine)
The main difference between these two medications is that Claritin is a slower acting more long term solution, whereas Benadryl is great for more severe and sudden allergic reactions. Also, Claritin is a non-drowsy antihistamine that needs to be taken regularly for maximum results, whereas Benadryl causes sleepiness and only lasts for about 6 hours at a time. For these reasons, each of these medications has different roles to play and can be used to treat different symptoms with great results.
Make sure that you discuss the possible negative side effects of combining any drugs and discuss each of the options that interest you with your pharmacist and/or doctor before making any changes in dosage or medication type. All of these drugs have been approved and are helping millions of people that suffer from allergies, and finding the one that works best for you may take a bit of trial and error under the guidance of medical professionals.