Zyrtec vs. Claritin: Differences, similarities, and which one is better for you

Drug overview & chief differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ
Zyrtec and Claritin are allergy medications that are typically prescribed to treat symptoms of hay fever and upper respiratory tract allergies. Both of these drugs are antihistamines that temporarily relieve sneeze, fluid nose, itching, and reeking eyes. Antihistamines work by reducing the production of a chemical called histamine in the body. Histamine is a message that is responsible for causing symptoms when the torso detects contact with an allergen .
These allergy medications do not need a ball prescription from a doctor of the church. You can get them from your local drugstore as an over-the-counter drug. Both Zyrtec and Claritin are available in their generic forms. Although both Zyrtec and Claritin belong to to an identical drug class, they have differences in the prison term of attack and in their side-effects profile.

What are the main differences between Zyrtec and Claritin?

The active ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine hydrochloride. It is used to treat allergy symptoms in adults and children over 6 years of age. It is normally taken as an oral tablet and can be used for allergies that last throughout the year ( perennial ) or during sealed seasons ( seasonal worker ). Zyrtec ( Zyrtec details ) has a flying onset of action with relief normally felt within 1 hour. however, this medication besides has the likely to cause sedation .
Claritin, on the other hand, is known by the generic identify of loratadine. It is besides used to treat allergy symptoms but has a much slower onset of action than Zyrtec—around 3 hours. It is less probably to cause sedation and can be taken for seasonal worker or perennial allergies. Claritin ( Claritin details ) is desirable for adults and children older than 6 years of age. It is available as an oral pill .
independent differences between Zyrtec and Claritin

Zyrtec
Claritin

Drug class
Second-generation antihistamine
Second-generation antihistamine

Brand/Generic status
Generic form available
Generic form available

Generic name
Cetirizine HCL
Loratadine

What form(s) does the drug come in?
10 mg oral capsule once daily
10 mg oral tablet once daily

What is the standard dosage?
With or without food, once a day.
With or without food, once a day.

How long is the typical treatment?
Discontinue when allergy symptoms have been resolved
Discontinue when allergy symptoms have been resolved

Who typically uses the medication?
Adults and children 6 years and older
Adults and children 2 years and older

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Conditions treated by Zyrtec and Claritin

All antihistamines have been used in the treatment of allergies. OTC antihistamines like Zyrtec and Claritin can be used to treat allergic rhinitis ( swelling of the adenoidal line ), allergic conjunctivitis ( inflammation around the eyes ), and hives ( urtication ) .
Zyrtec and Claritin have been shown to be much more effective than placebo drugs to control symptoms of rhinitis such as sneeze, fluid nose, and congestion. Both drugs can besides treat itching and reeking eyes. Zyrtec and Claritin may besides be used to treat postnasal dribble from allergies as well. The consequence of these two drugs lasts for around 24 hours. Both medications can be used for seasonal or perennial allergies .
These antihistamines have been shown to be less effective in non-allergic conditions. They are not normally recommended to treat symptoms of the common cold or bacterial infections. Both drugs may be used off-label to treat asthma that is triggered by allergies. however, other drugs may be more useful in these cases .

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Condition
Zyrtec
Claritin

Seasonal allergic rhinitis
Yes
Yes

Perennial allergic rhinitis
Yes
Yes

Chronic urticaria
Yes
Yes

Allergic conjunctivitis
Yes
Yes

Allergic asthma
Off-label
Off-label

Is Zyrtec or Claritin more effective?

clinical trials have shown that both Zyrtec and Claritin are more effective in relieving the symptoms of allergy compared to a placebo pill. however, there are a few studies that compare the potency between Claritin and Zyrtec .
Zyrtec has a quicker attack of legal action compared to Claritin and may be more effective than Claritin in reducing allergy symptoms, according to one clinical test. however, cetirizine, the active component of Zyrtec, has been shown to produce more sleepiness than loratadine. In a randomized, clinical test, those taking cetirizine for allergic rhinitis experienced more sleepiness during the workday compared to loratadine .
The choice of anti-allergy medicine to use ultimately depends on your specific condition and symptoms. Your doctor will be able to suggest the best medicine for you after evaluating your symptoms .

Coverage and cost comparison of Zyrtec vs. Claritin

Zyrtec is available as a generic medicine. Since it does not require a doctor ’ mho visit or prescription, it can be purchased nonprescription ( OTC ). For this argue, it is not typically covered by Medicare or indemnity plans. The median retail price of generic Zyrtec is about $ 25. With a SingleCare coupon poster, this price can be lowered substantially .
Get the SingleCare prescription coupon cards
Claritin is taken as a once-daily antihistamine that can be purchased as a generic OTC drug. It is not normally covered by Medicare or insurance plans. The average cash monetary value for generic Claritin tablets is around $ 30. This price can be reduced with a SingleCare coupon menu and you can pay angstrom abject as $ 4 depending on the pharmacy you go to .
 
Zyrtec
Claritin

Typically covered by insurance?
No
No

Typically covered by Medicare?
No
No

Standard dosage
10 mg tablets
10 mg tablets

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Typical Medicare copay
$2
$18-$446

SingleCare cost
$13+
$4-$11

Common side effects of Zyrtec and Claritin

Second-generation antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Claritin are less likely to cause sedate side effects ; however, of the two, Zyrtec has been reported to cause a higher incidence of sleepiness .
early adverse effects of Zyrtec include fatigue, languor, dizziness, dry mouth, concern, stultification, cough, and nausea .
park side effects of Claritin include headache, fatigue, dry sass, stomach pain, jitteriness, diarrhea, bark foolhardy, nose bleeds, and blurred imagination .
other serious side effects may include abnormal center rate, palpitations, austere faintheartedness, or seizures. It is authoritative to contact your healthcare provider and seek care immediately should you experience any of these unplayful side effects .

Zyrtec
Claritin

Side Effect
Applicable?
Frequency
Applicable?
Frequency

Drowsiness
Yes
<17% Yes <5% Headache Yes *not reported Yes *not reported Lethargy Yes * Yes * Fatigue Yes * Yes * Dry mouth Yes * Yes * Sore throat Yes * Yes * Cough Yes * Yes * Skin rash Yes * Yes * Diarrhea Yes * Yes * This may not be a dispatch list of adverse effects that can occur. Please refer to your doctor of the church or healthcare supplier to learn more.
reservoir : DailyMed ( Zyrtec ), DailyMed ( Claritin )

Drug interactions of Zyrtec vs. Claritin

Most antihistamines, including Zyrtec and Claritin, are metabolized by the liver and excreted in the kidney. These drugs are broken down by the P450 cytochrome enzyme in the liver-colored which is involved in the metabolism of a number of early drugs. For this rationality, both Claritin and Zyrtec have a phone number of drug interactions .
Zyrtec and Claritin should be avoided with another sedating antihistamine such as Benadryl ( diphenhydramine ). Taking these two medications together can increase CNS side effects like sedation and stultification in judgment, concentration, and memory. You should besides avoid using Zyrtec or Claritin with alcohol which can besides increase sleepiness .
other sedating medications that Zyrtec is likely to interact with include benzodiazepines, some anticonvulsants, muscleman relaxants, and certain antidepressants among other drugs .
Claritin may have fewer drug interactions compared to Zyrtec .

Drug
Drug Class
Zyrtec
Claritin

Diphenhydramine
Chlorpheniramine
First-generation antihistamine
Yes
Yes

Gabapentin
Anticonvulsant
Yes
No

Escitalopram
Duloxetine
Antidepressants
Yes
No

Carisoprodol
Cyclobenzaprine
Muscle relaxant
Yes
No

Alprazolam
Lorazepam
Benzodiazepine
Yes
No

Tramadol
Codeine
Hydrocodone
Opioid
Yes
No

This is not a complete list of drug interactions. Please consult your repair before taking these medications .

Warnings of Zyrtec vs. Claritin

Antihistamines should not be taken if there is a history of an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine. Before taking either Zyrtec or Claritin, you should consult your sophisticate if you have liver or kidney disease. This is because these drugs are processed and excreted in the kidneys .
Children under 6 years of senesce, and adults over 65, should besides consult their healthcare provider before taking Zyrtec or Claritin .
additionally, Zyrtec is contraindicated with the coincident use of alcohol, tranquilizers or other forms of sedatives as they can increase the sedate side effects of this drug .
Studies have shown that most antihistamines do not cause give birth defects when taken during pregnancy. however, some of these drugs do have the potential to cause certain give birth defects. Before taking Zyrtec or Claritin in pregnancy, you should talk to your sophisticate about the potential risks .
Taking antihistamines during breastfeeding may not be recommended as these drugs can pass from breast milk to the baby. Zyrtec and Claritin may be considered for women who are breastfeeding if the benefits outweigh the risks .

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Frequently asked questions about Zyrtec vs. Claritin

What is Zyrtec?

Zyrtec is an nonprescription antihistamine that is used to treat allergies. It starts to relieve allergy symptoms within an hour and lasts for around 24 hours. Zyrtec can be used in adults and children over 6 years of age .

What is Claritin?

Claritin is a second-generation antihistamine that is available over the counter. It is indicated in the treatment of allergies and produces utmost effects in about 3 hours. Allergy relief normally lasts for 24 hours. Claritin is suitable for adults and children over 2 years of senesce .

Are Zyrtec and Claritin the same?

Both Zyrtec and Claritin belong to to the same drug course but their generic forms are different. Zyrtec has the active compound cetirizine hydrochloride while Claritin has the active compound loratadine. Zyrtec has more sedate properties compared to Claritin .

Is Zyrtec or Claritin better?

few studies have been performed comparing the efficacy of Zyrtec and Claritin. One clinical trial has shown that Zyrtec may be better for allergic rhinitis although there were no meaning differences between the two. still, Zyrtec produces more sleepiness and sleepiness compared to Claritin .

Can I use Zyrtec or Claritin while pregnant?

Certain antihistamines have been shown to be associated with parturition defects. While Zyrtec and Claritin may have a low pregnancy risk, it is best to consult your doctor before starting either of these medications .

Can I use Zyrtec or Claritin with alcohol?

No. Zyrtec or Claritin should not be taken with alcohol. Alcohol may increase sedating side effects when consumed with antihistamines .

Can you take Zyrtec and Claritin simultaneously?

No. Antihistamines should not be taken simultaneously because it can increase the risk of adverse effects .

Are Zyrtec or Claritin safe to take daily all year round?

Zyrtec and Claritin can be used long term. however, these medications are normally prescribed during the allergy season. Once allergy symptoms have subsided, these drugs may be discontinued.

Which is better–loratadine or cetirizine?

Loratadine has fewer sedating properties compared to cetirizine. The potency of the two are more or less equal. however, cetirizine may have a quicker onset of action .

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