Zyrtec vs. Claritin vs. Allegra

I’ve pretty much always had fairly horrible seasonal allergies. When I moved from Connecticut to Georgia in 1990 my allergies actually got better, at least for a few years. Then there was the year I had a nosebleed everyday for 2 months. That’s not an exaggeration. I didn’t start taking prescription allergy medicines until I got to college after a trip to the allergy clinic revealed that I was a perfect case study for their nurses in training and that I was getting a “nose crease” from rubbing my nose so much.

First, I started with Allegra. It worked well, but having to go to the doctor to get the prescription refilled is annoying. So, when Claritin went over the counter, I made the switch. It never worked as well as Allegra, but the convenience of it made it the winner (at the time). It seemed that from season to season Claritin had varying levels of success, though. I don’t remember last year being that bad, but the first few weeks of this season where nearly unbearable. I was a snot infested sneeze-fest. One day I sneezed so much, I actually pulled a muscle, which made subsequent sneezes and coughs not awesome.

So, I switched again. This time to the newly over the counter Zyrtec. Initially I bought a five pack to see how it worked and from day one it was great. My head feels way less full, I’m sneezing less, my eyes are less burny, and nosebleeds are at a minimum. An excellent test of its powers occured on Friday after work when I metup with the lady and some friends at Sweet Water for the beer tasting (I did not taste any) thing they do during the week. We were outside for about an hour and a half with only two sneezes. Success! So, this past weekend we headed back to the pharmacy to pick up a 60 pack of the store brand Zyrtec.

For now, Zyrtec is the winner. I’m not sure if I would switch back to Allegra if it ever goes over the counter, guess we’ll have to see how Zyrtec does over time.


53 thoughts on “Zyrtec vs. Claritin vs. Allegra

  1. “I use the prescription nasal spray Astellin. It’s like holy water for allergies.”

    Does that mean that a priest waves his hands at it and that it’s actually just normal saline spray?

  2. None of the allergy medicines have ever really worked for me. The old Claritin (pre-OTC) worked great for about a week and then my body just got used to it. Same with Allegra. So this season I’m going to give Bee Pollen a try. Yep. I’m an f’ing hippie now. :-)

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. I strongly recommend asking your physician about a nasal steroid like Nasonex or Flonase. I personally have had a lot of success with these drugs alone and in conjunction with an antihistamine. The drugs work on different parts of the allergy pathway and can have a greater efficacy or working effect.

    Nasal steroids can work faster than antihistamines at the onset of symptoms, and they are most effective if taken everyday of the allergy season. Flonase has a generic as well.

  4. I have the same problems with allergies. I didn’t have a problem really until I moved to ATL. Zyrtec has been the only thing that has worked. Yay! Have you gone to an allergist? That is my next step as I am sick of taking pills. Give me a shot any day over popping those effin’ pills.

  5. I have suffered from chronic sinusitis and vicious allergies. I have undergone a bilateral turbinate reduction surgery and a septum surgery. Zyrtec is by far the best for allergies. So far as instant satifaction try ‘nose drops’ they are 1% pseudophed saline drops. Instand clear up, just doesnt last long. And as a general rule saline spray should be your best friend. Ive been to an allergiest and nose doctor. Astellin, Rinocort, and Flonase also help a bit so far as sprays go. And of course if you get a really packed up Pseudophedrine/Phenalephrine works great, little red pills.

  6. I myself have also tried all 3 and sided with Allegra. I received all the side effects with Claritin and Zyrtec didn’t work. Allegra is the only one that works for me. Since I have sinus problems 365 days a year I take Allegra all year round. To me Allegra is like Seldane (minus the heart palpitations). I thought about trying Zyrtec again because it is OTC, but I will stick with what works.

    I have also tried generic Allegra and it didn’t work what-so-ever. Also when Allegra switched from capsules to tablets to me it seems like there not as effective.

    Just my 2 cents!

  7. I have tried Claritin and Allegra (generic) – neither work. I am also using Nasonex – but everytime I use the spray I sneeze. My allergies have been worse this year. I suppose Zyrtec is my only option left to try. I have also heard taking supplements of Vitamin C helps – any one hear of that? At this point I will try anything!

  8. I lived in Florida for years and didn’t have any allergic symptoms. When I moved back to Illinois, my allergies went crazy. I have been taking Zyrtec for about a week now. I see no benifit. I took Claritin last year and remember getting better relief. I’m going crazy with all of sneezing, itchy eyes, and nose.

  9. While Flonase does work great and yeah it has a generic, the generic still runs about 80 a month wihthout insurance (or if your insurance doesn’t cover allergies) which is almost as bad as 150 for a month of adderall

  10. I never had allergies until I went into the Navy…

    after moving to Virginia Beach, I had to start taking claritin daily… which I must admit worked pretty well. I would say it was effective 95% of the time…

    but I recently moved from Virginia Beach to the Mojave Desert and BOY has it wrecked my body’s entire system…

    so I actually burst a blood vessel in my eye today from sneezing so violently, rapid fire… and if that weren’t enough, it feels like im getting kicked on each side of the collarbone with each sneeze and not to mention – I went thru an entire brand new box of tissues…

    Well… the claritin didnt work as well as usual… I think it has something to do with my environment…

    anyway, so I bought a bottle of prescription strength zyrtec at walmart today… just took it about 20 minutes ago and i honestly have to say, i feel better than i did taking claritin…

    its obvious that things like these have different reactions with diff ppl…

    hope this helps…

  11. I have had terrible allergies all my life, done the shots thing, and all the Rx and OTC meds. I spent a week in the hospital once with Asthma. After that, I knew something had to be done, so I tried homeopathic drops, which work for me.

    Homeopathics (homeo means “the same”) are tiny, tiny, tiny amounts of whatever you are allergic to, distilled down 6, 8 or 12 times. It is kind of like allergy shots, meaning they get your body set up to fight off the allergens you respond to. The homeopathic drops work best if you start taking them about a month ahead of the allergy season.

    You usually won’t find these drops in the pharmacy, so go to your local health food store, such as Whole Foods, Central Market, Oat Willie’s, etc.

    I use the homeopathic allergy drops made by BioAllers.

    BioAllers makes drops ( which I prefer) for:
    Pollen and Hayfever
    Mold, Yeast and Dust (I used this year round here in Texas)
    Tree Pollen (I use in the winter for Cedar Pollen)
    Grass Pollen ( use this in the spring and fall)
    Animal Hair and Dander
    Dairy Allergies
    Grain and Wheat Allergies
    Children’s Allergies (does not contain alcohol)

    BioAllers makes tablets (dissolve under tongue) for:
    Indoor Allergies
    Outdoor Allergies
    Pet Allergies

    BioAllers makes Nasal Sprays for:
    Sinus and Allergy (great for sinus infections – opens the sinuses to drain all that crap out)
    Indoor Allergy
    Outdoor Allergy

    I keep a bottle of the Mold, Yeast and Dust plus a bottle of whatever else is in the air at the time, by my bed. I take a 1/2 dropper full of each under my tongue morning and evening. When allergens are really bad, I take a 1/2 dropper full several times a day.

    I used to be able to buy homeopathic drops from a Nevada company called DOLISOS, which worked excellently for me, but I cannot find their products here since they were bought out by a French company, Groupe Limagrain. Homeopathics are big in Europe and are often prescribed by M.D.s there.

    There is a good discussion of what homeopathics are, and what they do at

    Homeopathics take a while to build up your immunity, so do not give up on them until you have tried them for at least 2 weeks. Most of the many people to whom I have recommended the homeopathic drops now swear by them. A bottle costs between $8 – $12 and usually last me a month or more.

    Good luck!

  12. Hey bobafred, how is life in Georgia these days? We’re thinking of moving back eventually. Although with all the change down there, I don’t know if it would do my allergies any good. I had horrible allergies as a kid, growing up in Georgia. But as I got a bit older, they suddenly started to get better. Then, we moved to Illinois. Ugh. I started getting sinus infections. But I’ve also developed some fragrance and chemical sensitivities over the years which has worsened my asthma and allergies.

    I took Flonase for many years to reduce nasal pollops. That seemed to work. For my allergies, I started allergy shots which seem to work pretty well. Benadryl works for me but it makes me feel “loopy”. I’ve never tried Allegra, Claratin, or Zyrtec, but with my growing fragrance sensitivities, I’m thinking of starting. I was on Asmanex for my asthma, but now I’m on Singulair and Advair. I seriously think that the amount of air pollution (indoor and out) is giving us more allergies and respiratory diseases. Asthma and allergies were rare 50 years ago. Now, they are exploding all over the country. I think our “modern” society is slowly poisoning our immune systems.

    Good luck to everyone. Allergies suck.

  13. I have asthma and severe allergies and Allegra is the only thing I can use which I use daily. I can’t take generics because they make my ankles swell and they do not work as well (the formulas are not the same just the ingredients). Now my insurance company wants to punish me for getting my asthma and alllergies under control (no inhaler for 3 yrs now) and take Allegra away. Had I known that my insurance company with no Medical Degree can have someone who has NEVER met me, tell me what is best for me – I could have saved a lot of office visits. Is this legal drug pushing? Do you think it is time that we take back our rights before the insurance companies take our lives? I never realized that one drug could work for everyone, so why are there so many drugs on the market?

  14. I have a question –

    I was taking Allegra, 180 MG, it works for me but I don’t want to pay the price. So I’ve tried OTC Zyrtec and Claritin. Claritin 10MG works better for me than the Zyrtec 10MG, but I’m wondering if I could take more that just one pill a day? I feel like it works but not completely like the Allegra did. I’m guessing the MG amount of each pill; perscription vs OTC does not directly relate???

    Another dilemma of mine is every fall I develop a rash on my eye lids. I’ve tried every kind of creme to stop the itch and the rash, (its not pretty!). It has to be an allergic reaction to a seasonal something, but I’m not sure what. Any thoughts?

    I’ve done the whole allergy scratch test routine and was given the option to do shots or pills. I don’t have allergies year around so I don’t take pills daily. I’m worse in the spring and fall, I live in Montana so its mainly the vegitation that I’m allergic to.

  15. I am currently dying (figuratively… maybe) from my allergy symptoms. I never had allergies until the summer after I had a vasectomy. I had my first sinus headache and I went to the emergency room; I had no idea how bad they could get. Once I figured it out, I would get some sort of NSAID (usually naproxen sodium) plus decongestant. It would take care of things if they got bad, and I would be good for a few days. Then, a couple of years ago, I found Claritin. It worked great, but it was ridiculously expensive (as I do not regularly take medication… and do not fully grasp the costs that some people deal with). I finally found the generic and in bulk quantity at Sam’s Club (seriously, if you have not checked there, or Costco, you had got to check it out… it blows Walmart out of the water… and they are the same company).

    Now, fast forward to this past week… and maybe last year. I got to the point where I could not regularly take loradatine. It would make my throat super dry and scratchy. So, I started taking it every 36 hours, instead of every 24. That seemed to do the trick until this past spring. I got to where I would just take it a few times to try and get over symptoms, and then just hope to time it right before they go bad again.

    Well, this past week, I didn’t time things right. I had a horrible reaction, and had uvulitis for about the sixth time. I went to the Doc and hoped he would just give me some prednisone as it will knock that out within a few hours. Instead, it told me to get back on the loradatine until a frost… and to take two daily for the next three days. Well, I didn’t make it through the first two-a-day without feeling the symptoms… my throat was horribly dry. I completely lost my voice and having been off it completely, my other symptoms kicked me the butt. Yesterday, I figured I would try Zyrtec… and I was surprised to find a generic. It seems to work great, and today was excellent. However, it is about 26 hours since I took the first pill, and the symptoms are already returning. I just took another… I guess I will just have to keep on a good 24 hour schedule.

    In addition to that, the Doc put me on flonase. Hopefully I can make it through this season, and next won’t be so bad…. and we aren’t that far into it just yet.

  16. After reading all the comments on this site I’ve come to the conclusion that I was right in compring Zyrtec and Allegra. My doctor gave me a prescription for Allegra and what I ended up with is the generic (it sucks). I have an appointment with an allergist in another week and I wanted something “concrete” to confront him with. I’ve taken Zyrtec for quite some time prior to the Allegra and, although it seemed to work pretty well, I’m still looking for something better yet (like a shot or something that totally stops my continual use of Kleenex). I think there must be some big difference between the generic Allegra and the real stuff as the generic just doesn’t do any more for me than the Lortadine does that I bought at Walmart; it doesn’t do a thing actually. As for your homeopathic stuff – “rotsa ruck”!!!!

  17. Over the past 10 years, I have taken benadryl, zyrtec, flonase, and claritan-D. None of these worked for more than a couple of months. A couple of months ago, I started taking singular and it alleviates all my allergy symptoms. Thus far, it is the best allergy med I have found, and 1 pill daily alleviates my symptoms for 24 hours. Claritan D 24 hour only alleviated my symptoms for 6 hours. Best of all, I do not experience any negative side effects from singular.

  18. Have you tried the Claritin or Zyrtec “D” – apparently that is what makes it work so well. Nothing worked for me for years until I tried the “D” version :-)

  19. I’m convinced…I will try Zyrtec. Allegra used to work for me the best until Blue Cross stopped paying for it and Claritin D just wears out after a while but I take it anyways. I still sneeze constantly. Also, after reading all these posts I wanted to mention that nasal sprays like Nasonex and Flonase (steroids) (they work fairly well) are not good for people with Glaucoma or Cataracts. It can make vision much worse. I never knew that until a friend’s recent trip to the Opthamalogist. Oops! So he is back in allergy hell now as well.

  20. I have severe indoor allergies. I find Zyrtec and Claritin work for a couple days, then they don’t anymore. The one thing that always works for me is Benadryl. This is unfortunate, because as we all know, it is highly sedating. This isn’t bad at night, but I would never drive on the stuff.

  21. zyrtec works, because it makes me so sleepy that you dont go anywhere except to bed. That way you arent exposed to anything. Allegra is for me.

  22. Just thought I should mention a couple warnings. If you’re taking Claritin or Zyrtec “D” (for Decongestant), don’t stay on it long-term. The Psuedoephedrine in it can do super bad things over a period of time. I went to see an ENT a few years ago & the first thing he did was take me off of Claritin-D. Apparently it can cause heart palpitations, increase blood pressure (that doesn’t necessarily drop once you’re off the medication), insomnia, and a bunch of other nasty things.

    Also, if you’re prone to nose bleeds, it’s a good idea to stay away from most of the nasal spray (Flonase, etc), because the side effects for most of them are nose bleeds. Actually, I’ve yet to try one that didn’t give me a nose bleed. Singulair can help with the allergic rhinitis & other sinus problems, if you’re insurance company covers it.

  23. Hellllooo MIGRAINES…. anybody else get allergy-induced migraines? I haven’t been to a doctor yet, but that might change. I really didn’t have allergies that bad until I moved to ATL (as a couple of other people mentioned already), but now pretty much every spring I can count on migraines as soon as the pollen comes out. This year I got one pre-pollen as I’m finding out that I get them with a drastic weather change (for example from cold to warm). I flew to Tampa in December and got one, then a few months later we had a super Indian Summer-like day in the winter and I got another one. I’ve taken all the OTC stuff….. Zyrtec seems to work for awhile, then it feels like it doesn’t work anymore, so I switch to Clairitin, etc etc etc…. i have tried bee pollen and the like, but I don’t think it works for my allergies such as grass, and trees.. well and atmospheric pressure or whatever I get these migraines from…… Any thoughts anyone?

  24. Has anyone experienced lightheadedness/dizziness with allergies? When I get up in the morning my equillibrium is off and during the night if I change positions I get a woozy feeling in the head. Very scary. I’m thinking that it’s the inner ear since allergies also affect the ears. Went to the doctor yesterday and he said that this is the worst allergy season he’s seen in 10 years (I live in the California central valley; allergy capital of the world). He prescribed Allergra for me; I took one and saw an immediate difference but had bad insomnia last night. Thinking of taking some Zyrtec so I can at least sleep at night. Any comments?


  25. WOW! Some of you good folks really have it bad!! So sympathetic to read of your hassles with allergans. I live in Missouri, but anywhere that about half the women you run into are either on allergy drugs or wishing they had something that works–is the allergy capitol of the nation; face it: there are no areas where it’s allergy-free for everybody. Sigh. So, how many of you are doing what I am, and simply going to the store and, after looking at the ingredients, merely choosing something we’ve not tried recently? I appreciate several of you saying that the generics are not as effective as the name-brand drugs. Thanks. I am having success with taking small bites off pills like benedryl and chlorotrimenton – together- so I’m mixing some otc kinds. This has been effective so far this year, for me. Anyone else trying small amounts of 2, every few hours? I side-step both the dryness and drowsiness that way.

  26. Generic loratadine works but you should drink alot of liquids with it to stop drying out. Also if you put vaseline inside the ends of your nostrils. it catches the pollen. Lastly, I know how miserable allergies are because I have them but my grandmother used to say ( because she was Catholic Christian to ” offer it up ” for someone or something and the graces will really help that person or resolve a situation. I tried it and asked God to help a friend quit smoking and he did.

  27. nasal sprays can cause wicked sinus infections. i started nasonex with allegra last year, after i went to the doc all congested. i ended up with a severe sinus infection which ended up sitting in my lungs and causing a slight case of walking pnemonia. i will never touch it again! i’m trying to figure out if i can take 2 clartin a day as opposed to 1. my allegras almost out, and i really dont feel like dishing out the cash for the doc to perscribe me the perscibtion, and then having to pay for the pills. can anyone answer that? will 2 work?

  28. Regarding allergy meds~ I’ve tried OTC loratadine products, but absolutely no relief with those. Currently I’m taking my husband’s Allegra D and it’s the only quasi-alleviation from symptoms right now until I can get to an allergist.

    I’m from Mississippi and I’ve had severe hay fever my whole life. Allergy shots as a kid, steriod nasal sprays, Benadryl etc. seemed to placate me and make things okay. When I moved to Maryland in 2008, I noticed little to no reduction in hayfever, although I hoped for a merciful reprieve. Beginning in January of this year, I’ve been suffering from SEVERE indoor allergies and now I am suffering from incredibly debilitating allergy rhinitis symptoms this spring/summer. I’ve never felt this poorly before in my life; I’m so miserable right now. It’s Memorial Day weekend and I can’t move.

    My dilemma of the moment is this: I have an appointment with an allergist on June 3rd but I’m supposed to stop taking all antihistamines four days before the visit. Today is the first day without any meds and I can’t function. I’ve gone through a box of tissues, my face/eyes are puffy red, bloody mucus, constantly sneezing and coughing. I wonder if I can even make it without my meds until the appointment. I feel like I’m wasting away….What a life to live!!

  29. I grew up on Long Island, and I sneezed and gasped my childhood away. No place else has ever been as bad for me — even Atlanta where I now live. I’ve been through the allergy tests and found I was allergic to everything but the placebo. I went through two years of shots which did zilch. The best thing I’ve ever found for the hay fever is Allegra. I had to give it up 2 years ago because I couldn’t afford it any more. So I switched to the generic zyrtec. I’d used zyrtec before for the itchy allergies and it was okay, but the generic turns me into a zombie. So I switched to the generic loratadine. I’m taking that now. It is helpful, but nothing like Allegra. I’ve had chronic asthma my whole life. I tried the Advair disc which worked wonders, but I am apparently allergic to the serevent in it which spaces me out. The miracle cure for asthma has been Symbicort which totally wipes it out. But it is too expensive … one month without insurance costs over $600. So now I use a rescue inhaler 6 or 7 times a day unless my doctor can rustle up a free sample of Symbicort. Then I parcel it out so I am good for the daytime, and I just weather out the night with albuterol. If you aren’t rich, you gotta choose whether to eat or breathe. Good luck to the rest of you allergy sufferers.

  30. is it bad if you took an allegra pill in the morning and drank a beer in the afternoon

  31. You seriously have to be a moron to think that generic versions are worse than the originals. You are throwing your money away because you are too dumb to take a science course or do a little research.

    Generic drugs have the same quality control requirements as brand name drugs, as set by the FDA. The FDA does REQUIRE that all generics are exactly the same (except for inactive ingredients) as brand name products.


  32. Joe-

    Plenty of research has come out lately proving that many generics are less effective than name-brands. You are correct in that the active drug must be produced to the same standards; however, you also pointed out that the inactive ingredients do not.

    And therein lies the problem: The inactive ingredients in generic drugs are inferior, and it is these inactive ingredients that determine how (or even if) the active drug will be effectively absorbed by your body.

    Look it up.

  33. I take generic Allegra in the PM and over the counter Zyrtec in the AM. So far, it is the first combo of drugs that have worked for me. I also take 75 mg Zantac (yes, an acid reduction pill) and according to my doctor, it is supposed to help the allergy meds be more effective. I’m not recommending this combination of drugs to anyone; just saying that I have suffered the entire year and am finally getting some relief on these three medications (Allegra, Zyrtec and Zantac). No telling what the side effects will be long term. I have noticed that the Allegra in the evenings is causing insomnia so I will probably switch & take Allegra in the morning and Zyrtec in the evening.

    My symptoms were predominately extreme itching of the eyes, watery eyes, nasal congestion and mild asthma. I take Proventil as needed for the asthma, but not often.

    I agree with the writer who stated generic and brand name drugs are equivalent. However you must consider the INACTIVE ingredients of the generics. For instance, if red dye is in the generic and not the brand name drug, you could be allergic to the red dye and get no relief from the generic. The difference between the two is the inactive ingredients, not the active ingredients. The active ingredients in the brand & generic drugs are the same.

    Sam’s Club has good prices on generic Zyrtec or Claritin.

    I stay away from “D” products as I’ve heard they can cause heart problems.

    My greatest concern is the effect of these meds on chronic dry eye. It is my understanding that all antihistimines dry out the eyes, but that the old class of antihistimines (the Benedryl, Chlortrimeton, etc.) are far more drying than the new antihistimines like Allegra or Zyrtec.

    Good luck.

  34. Please be careful out there!
    NONE of these antihistamines have been tested for long term usage;. Your personal evaluations regarding blocking seasonal, environmental and air-borne allergins is ENTIRELY missing the fact these symptoms may be just one issue you have.
    Note that almost all GI tract issues (Colitis, Irritable bowl, etc. etc. ), arthritic conditions, and heart/heart-valve, single artery disease,- all these potentially fatal issues are FREQUENTLY mediated by Mast Cell involvement, and playing with H1, H2 blockers LIKE CANDY could be fine for a runny eyes, but, when you withdraw, or change ‘pills’, result in a bad heart, or colitis, or worse. These diseases are all connected after-all by Mast-Cell mediation. Yeah, some folks here have a better handle on it (for themselves) then some MD’s, so be choosy about your physician. Age and general health all must come into your personal equation.

  35. Its been in the news,
    Not all generics or Brand Name drugs are the same,
    conterfeit drugs are in the US even in Pharmacies.
    Causing even more problems now for Doctors and Hospitals
    in treating people.
    even if Generics are the same, the ingredients may come from not so good places and have foreign materiel in them. They may even be processed in
    a much different way then brand name drugs.

  36. I have developed some indoor and outdoor allergies, along with asthma, once I hit my middle 20’s, so I take allergy meds all year long. I started out taking claritin, which didn’t do much but give me dry eyes and mouth. I then switched to Zyrtec which works wonders, and has never really caused me any drowsiness. Zyrtec combined with Singulair (using Zyrtec in the morning and Singulair at night) pretty much covers my symptoms about 95% of the time. A couple weeks ago I decided to switch to the generic Zyrtec after being told it worked just as well as the regular. I was very happy when I received relief within an hr of taking it, but soon realized it didn’t last as long. I found I was waking up several times throughout the night for hour-long coughing and wheezing sessions. Once I switched back to the regular Zyrtec, I was symptom free pretty much all day again.

  37. Generics are chemically identical BUT do not necessarily release in the body the same way. I have experienced differences with generics.

  38. Almost nobody knows about Flunisolide (generic for what I can’t remember any longer—been on this for about 25 years now. I’ve tried all the nasal steroids and have always gone back to Flunisolide….and it’s super cheap too. With insurance it’s $10.00 and if you order from Canada if you don’t have insurance it’s like $26.00 or so. I have HORRIBE allergies to everything indoors and out and this is the only thing I need.

  39. “You seriously have to be a moron to think that generic versions are worse than the originals. You are throwing your money away because you are too dumb to take a science course or do a little research.

    Generic drugs have the same quality control requirements as brand name drugs, as set by the FDA. The FDA does REQUIRE that all generics are exactly the same (except for inactive ingredients) as brand name products.”

    Sorry pal, but your facts are not up to date. Generics are ALLOWED to have as much as 20% difference in how much actual medication is in each pill. 20, Twenty, one more than 19%-seriously. If the generic isn’t working, try the original. If you can’t afford the newer name brands take an extra half tablet or even an extra whole tablet. You may actually get it to balance out to 100% relief.

  40. Hi all. The value of these blogs: I just got prescribed Allegra, but now won’t take it, even though it cost bucks, because of the notes about insomnia. Many thanks. Other thoughts: 1. The “D” is for decongestant, so it’s possible it could cause heart problems in large amts. 2. Don’t use Afrin more than 3 days; can cause the nose bleeds. Flonase shouldn’t be used long term, either, but if you can keep the allergens under control most of the time, you shouldn’t need to. 3. Why is Allegra 180 mg, but most other antihistimines, i.e., Zyrtec, only 10 mg? Does this really mean Allegra is 18x more powerful? THAT’s amazing. NO wonder it works! 4. My drug book says Allegra and Zyrtec are the same generic Fexofenadine, and that Allegra is the generic, but Zyrtec is the brand name. So, except for the dosage, these should act the same. Why the price difference? 5. If you get the doc to write your diagnosis as a “cold” instead of an “allergy” your insurance may cover it. Just a tip I heard. 6. I used to take Loratidine (brand name is Claritin) and it worked for years. Now, new environment, more humid, and zap, didn’t work. Trying to find the right combo. 7. Has anyone found a good preventive for Christmas greens, e.g., trees, allergy attacks? Thanks.

  41. Zyrtec is citrezine (not sure of spelling). IT WORKED GREAT FOR ME FOR ALL OUTDOOR ALLERGIES THAT I HAVE,BUT HAD A HARD TIME CONTROLLING THE APPETITE. REALLY STIMULATED IT FOR ME. Once off of it,appetite became normal and very controllably. Trying Allegra.

  42. Lizatthebeach said
    ” 4. My drug book says Allegra and Zyrtec are the same generic Fexofenadine, and that Allegra is the generic, but Zyrtec is the brand name. So, except for the dosage, these should act the same. Why the price difference?”

    ===> Zyrtec and Allegra do NOT have the same ingredient.

    You may have misread, or be using a very funky book.

    Allegra is Fexofenadine. Zyrtec is Cetirizine.

    I have been or Allegra for 4 years, and just switched to trying Zyrtec. For me, Zyrtec lasts longer but puts me thru some sleepy hours, usually 506 hurs after taking it. Allegra never made me sleepy, but did not last 24 hours.

    I used to take Allegra in the morning, and did the same with Zyrtec. Now I’m switching to trying it at night to see if I can be more alert by day.

  43. I have been taking allegra, singulair, predinose, flonase and flana something and nothing is working.. I’m still sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, stuffy nose, my eyes feel swollen and my throat is itchy.. The Doc also gave me some shots but today I am going to try Zyrtec… I moved from San Diego to Georgia and when I started to run that’s when it all hit me at once. The first 4 meds worked like a charm in SD but not anymore. Any suggestios besides Zyrtec?

  44. I have allergies since I was 3 and had been through shots for 16 years. Now I am 37 and still suffering and the shots did nothing. I tried claritin and generic claritin and they do not work. I tried Zyrtec but it put me to sleep. The zyrtex is so bad I am drowsy for days after only taking it once. I just tried Allegra and it seems to be good so far

  45. Generics have to be the same as Rx, as required by the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194953.htm . Generic just means the patent expired and now other companies can sell the medicine. They cost less because you just pay for the medicine, not the massive research and development costs the original manufacturer had to recoup to make the entire project profitable.

    Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin are different drugs; comparing mg and dosages makes no sense at all. Realize the dosage has to do with what clinical trials found to be safe and effective for each specific drug.

    Allergies are confusing; no doubt there are some pretty complex reactions taking place in our bodies and medicine has yet to catch up. Try a few treatments and hopefully you will find something that works. Saline sprays or rinses are great to start with since they have several benefits and no side effects. Meds may help when things are worse.

    Homeopathic remedies are a scam. Nothing more. The dilution system used to create them practically gaurantees that there NO ‘active’ ingredient is left in the final product (and the igredients put in make no sense and are not based on any research). Homeopaths have since had to make up the idea of “the memory of water” to account for the fact that they dilute out all of the things on the label (that you think are in the preparation). People think they work due to placebo effect. The same with almost all “complementary and alternative medicines.” These things never show efficacy in professional, double-blinded clinical trials. If you think they work, realize you believe in magic, b/c there are no active ingredients in them.

  46. I started having allergy problems about five years ago (at 50). They got so bad that I had a monthly sinus infection for about 10 months. I went to an allergist who tested me and said I wasn’t allergic to anything, He said I had polyps and a deviated septum, and he gave me Allegra and Flonaise, and said I should see an ENT.The Allegra didn’t work much, and the Flonaise made me sneeze. I was on steroids for a few months. When I went to the ENT, he said I needed a Septo something-or-another. I had surgery. Now I have a hole in my septum, have lost the ability to smell or taste (my surgery was eight months ago), and my doctor told me to take Allegra. He never apologized for putting a hole in my nose, nor for the loss of my sense of smell and taste. I am sneezing all over again, but now I whistle while I breath. I also have horrible coughing fits at night. I went to another ENT doctor to get his opinion, and he wanted to do another cat scan(?). I’ve already had two (allergist, then ENT). He said the hole wasn’t that big… but you can put a number two pencil through it (I have not). He said that the number one reason people get holes in their septums is from Septo surgery. Nice. Wish I had known this earlier. Now my ENT who did the surgery (Dr. Dread) wants to send me to an allergist. I would sue the SOB, but my attorney says it’s a tricky lawsuit. And, my doctor is well known and loved in the industry. Not by me, of course. Sorry for going on, but I’ve had a rough past 5 years. My next attempt is Zyrtec. Although I think I already tried that 5 years ago, when this nightmare first began. Oh, well. Guess I’ll try it again…it could be worse. Right?

  47. WATCH OUT FOR TROLLERS! Anyone with a common name such as “john or bob” that is promoting name brand over generic is probably working for said company

  48. Lizatthebeach, Zyrtec contains cetirizine, not fexofenadine.

    As for generics, fillers make a huge difference. Cheaper formulations use lots of cellulose and its analogs for fillers, which is indigestible and thus blocks absorption of the drug bound in with it. Ideally, you’d want nothing but acidophilus or dextrose for a filler, but that’s fractions of a penny per pill more expensive. A compounding pharmacist could make you a pill like that, but it would be a lot more expensive than the OTC version.

  49. I’m sure the OP & others aren’t checking this post anymore, but I have to correct Lizatthebeach above in case someone else finds this via search like I did — Allegra is fexofenadine, but Zyrtec is cetirizine.

  50. I’ve have progressively worse seasonal allergies since my teens, but this season has been horrible. Not so sure I’ll go through the shots now with so many comments about them not working. But I will try brand name stuff and maybe allegra.

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