Zyrtec and Claritin both belong to the same class of medications that are generally used to treat allergic symptoms. Both are second generation antihistamines, a class of drugs that blocks the effects of a chemical called histamine – a substance produced by the body as a result of an allergic reaction. These two drugs are typically used to treat the symptoms of hay fever and upper respiratory tract allergies. You do not need a prescription for these over-the-counter drugs, but it is still advisable to consult a doctor or healthcare provider before taking those medications. In this article, we will look at the similarities between Zyrtec and Claritin.
What is Zyrtec?
Zyrtec is a common over-the-counter drug normally prescribed to treat certain types of allergies in adults and children (2 years and older) alike. It is an antihistamine drug available as a tablet, chewable tablet, or syrup. It is commonly used to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, runny nose, itching, watery eyes, sneezing, swelling, rashes, etc. The active ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine, which is sold under the brand name Zyrtec.
Zyrtec is also used to treat itching and hives caused by a variety of allergic skin conditions. Hives may cause red, itchy bumps on the skin. These bumps can be small or large. The cause of this is not always known. Additionally, Zyrtec is often prescribed for the treatment of perennial allergies (indoor allergies) and chronic hives in infants as young as 6 months.
What is Claritin?
Claritin is the brand name for the drug loratadine. Like Zyrtec, it belongs to a family of drugs used to treat allergic reactions, such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, and water eyes/nose caused by hay fever or other respiratory allergies. It is also an antihistamine that helps block histamine, a natural chemical released by your body when you have allergies. It also used to relieve itching and redness from hives.
Claritin also has a non-drowsy formula, making it a popular choice for people who need relief but don’t want to be drowsy. It is generally well-tolerated and has a low incidence of potential side effects. Claritin (Loratadine) is also available in combination with pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, others). It is not a prescription medicine and is available as an over-the-counter drug.
Similarities between Zyrtec and Claritin
– Zyrtec and Claritin both are second-generation antihistamines, a class of drug that blocks the effects of a natural chemical called histamine that is released by your body when you have allergic reactions. These medications help relieve allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, and watery eyes by blocking histamine.
– Zyrtec and Claritin both are over-the-counter medicines that are available without a prescription. These are commonly found in pharmacies, drugstores, and supermarkets. So, anyone with allergic reactions can just walk in to pharmacy and get any of these medications without a doctor’s prescription to relieve mild to moderate allergy symptoms.
Relief from Allergies
– Both the drugs are commonly used to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, and common year-round allergies, such as runny nose, itching, watery eyes, sneezing, swelling, rashes, etc. They are also used to treat itching and hives caused by a variety of allergic skin conditions. Hives may cause red, itchy bumps on the skin.
Forms of Administration
– Both Zyrtec and Claritin are antihistamine drugs available in a variety of dosage forms for your convenience, including as a tablet, chewable tablet, or syrup. While they are commonly found in tablet form, which can be swallowed with water, they can also be taken as chewable tablets, which is good for children or anyone who has difficulty swallowing pills.
Incidence of Side Effects
– Both the medications are generally well-tolerated and are less likely to cause any potential side effects. Even if the side-effects occur, individual reactions may vary. Some common side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, sore throat, headache, fatigue, and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea or upset stomach. These symptoms are usually mild to moderate.
In a nutshell, Zyrtec and Claritin both are common OTC medications used to treat allergic reactions. Basically, they belong to a class of drug called antihistamine, which works by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance released by the body during an allergic reaction. Both are available without a prescription, so you can just walk into a pharmacy and get either of them. Both the medications are generally well-tolerated and are less likely to cause any potential side effects.
What works faster Zyrtec or Claritin?
Although the body absorbs both the medications quickly, Zyrtec seems to be more potent and works faster for some individuals. However, individual reactions may vary and some people may find that one medication works faster for them than the other.
Does Claritin have less side effects than Zyrtec?
Both the medicines are generally well-tolerated with a low incidence of side effects. While they have similar side effects, if they occur, the severity of those may vary from individual to individual. Claritin tends to have fewer side effects than Zyrtec because the latter contain cetirizine, which is a potent drug.
What antihistamine is like Zyrtec or Claritin?
Allegra, with the generic name Fexofenadine, is a similar antihistamine drug that is used to treat allergy symptoms and block the effects of histamine.
Why was Zyrtec taken off the market?
The patent for Zyrtec was expired in 2007. So, now the generic versions of the drug are available.
What is the most powerful antihistamine?
Cetirizine is believed to be the most potent antihistamine available and has been the subject of the most clinical researches and studies. However, different antihistamine drugs may be more effective for some individuals, depending on their symptoms and their response to the treatment.