Medically the review by Zara Risoldi Cochrane, Pharm.D., M.S., FASCP — created by Kimberly Holland — to update on in march 8, 2019

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Among the most famous over-the-counter (OTC) allergy meds space Zyrtec and also Claritin. These 2 allergy drugs create very comparable results. They both calm her immune system’s reaction to allergens.

However, the potential side impacts are different. They likewise take effect at different times and stay effective for various durations. This factors can determine which of these two drugs is much better for you.


These drugs have different energetic ingredients. The energetic ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine. In Claritin, that loratadine. Both cetirizine and also loratadine space nonsedating antihistamines.

Antihistamines have a call of making friend sleepy due to the fact that the very first types crossed into your main nervous system an ext easily and also had a direct effect on her alertness. However, newer antihistamines favor Zyrtec and Claritin are much less likely to reason this next effect.


Claritin is long acting. Most human being experience at the very least 24 hrs of relief ~ a solitary dose. Zyrtec, on the other hand, is quick acting. People who take it it might feel relief in as little as one hour.

Antihistamines choose Zyrtec and Claritin room designed to calm the histamine reaction her body has when the exposed come an allergen. When your body encounters other it’s allergy to, it sends out white blood cells and goes right into fight mode. It additionally releases a substance dubbed histamine. This substance causes many the the symptom of an allergic reaction.

Antihistamines are designed come block the results of the histamine that your body produces. In turn, they decrease the symptoms of the allergy.


next effects

Zyrtec and also Claritin have actually very few side effects and also are generally recognized as safe for many people. However, part side impacts may still occur.

Zyrtec can cause sleepiness, yet only in some people. Take it for the first time once you will certainly be at house for a couple of hours in situation it provides you sleepy. Claritin is much less likely to cause sleepiness than Zyrtec when you take either at recommended doses.

Shared next effects

Mild side results caused by both medicines include:

More significant side impacts of these medicines are rare. If you have actually one that the adhering to side results after taking either medication, look for emergency clinical attention:

In children

Children may have any type of of the side effects that adults do, but they can likewise have totally different reactions to antihistamines. Children may become stimulated, restless, or sleepless. However, if you offer your youngsters a dose of either medicine that’s also large, castle can end up being groggy.


Forms and also dosage

Claritin and Zyrtec both come in the exact same forms:

solid tabletschewable tabletsdissolving tabletsgel capsulesoral solutionoral syrup

The dosage relies on your age and also the severity of her symptoms.

Claritin is active in the body because that at the very least 24 hours. The usual daily sheep of Claritin for adults and also children who space 6 years and older is 10 mg every day. Because that Zyrtec, it’s 5 mg or 10 mg. The usual daily dose of Claritin for youngsters aged 2–5 year is 5 mg. Children this period using Zyrtec need to be given 2.5–5 mg.

People with chronic medical problems like kidney an illness may need less regular doses since the drug may take much longer for them to process. Larger adults and also adults who have chronic condition should only take 5 mg of Zyrtec every day. For the best feasible results, examine with your medical professional or pharmacist prior to deciding what sheep to use.

In children

Remember that youngsters may be various sizes at various ages, so when in doubt, begin with a smaller sized dose. For the finest results, speak to her child’s doctor or a pharmacist prior to deciding what sheep to offer your child. And constantly check the package for dosing guidelines.


Zyrtec and Claritin are both priced about the same. They’re obtainable over the counter, so prescription drug insurance will most likely not sheathe any portion of their expense. However, manufacturer coupons are often obtainable for both medications. This will reduce your in its entirety cost.

Generic version of both antihistamines are conveniently available, together well. They’re often less expensive 보다 the brand-name versions, and new forms and flavors often appear. Be sure to read the generic medication’s label to confirm you are obtaining the right form of energetic ingredient.

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Both Zyrtec and also Claritin are reliable over-the-counter allergy relief drugs. If your selection has brought you to under to these 2 drugs, you may ask yourself, will drowsiness have an influence on my day-to-day routine?

If the answers come this inquiry doesn’t lug you closer to an answer, questioning your doctor or pharmacist because that a recommendation. If you discover that the recommended medicine works well, stick with it. If it doesn’t, shot the other. If nobody of the OTC options seem to help, see an allergist. You may need a different course of therapy for your allergies.