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Allegra Vs Zyrtec For Hives

Allegra Vs Claritin Vs Zyrtec For Allergies

Allegra Vs Zyrtec

First-generation antihistamines, like Benadryl, are effective against seasonal allergies, but they can make you very sleepy. Newer generation antihistamines are more popular because they work against seasonal allergies but dont cause as much drowsiness or sedation. These second-generation antihistamines include Claritin , Allegra , and Zyrtec .

What Antihistamine Is Right For You

You can buy many different brands and forms of antihistamines without a prescription.

  • Some work for only 4 to 6 hours, while others last for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Some are combined with a decongestant, a drug that dries up your nasal passages.

Ask your health care provider what type of antihistamine and what exact dosage is right for you or your child. Make sure you understand how much to use and how many times a day to use it. Be sure to read the label carefully. Or ask your pharmacist if you have questions.

  • Some antihistamines cause less sleepiness than others. These include cetirizine , desloratadine , fexofenadine , and loratadine .
  • Do not drink alcohol when you are taking antihistamines.

Also, remember:

  • Store antihistamines at room temperature, away from heat, direct light, and moisture.
  • Do not freeze antihistamines.
  • Keep all medicines where children cannot reach them.

Comparisons With Other Allergy Medications

Researchers are often studying, comparing, and improving antihistamines. Other popular brands on the market today are Allegra and Benadryl.

  • Allegra contains the active ingredient fexofenadine. Allegra is non-sedating, so it should not make a person feel drowsy. Allegra is also a second-generation antihistamine.
  • Benadryl contains the active ingredient diphenhydramine. This acts faster than the other three and aims to treat minor skin reactions, not seasonal allergies. Benadryl is a first-generation antihistamine, which makes it sedating, so people tend to feel drowsy after taking it.

When a person comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system reacts and produces a chemical called histamine.

Histamine causes many allergy symptoms, including inflammation of the skin or sinuses, pain, redness, and wheezing.

Immune responses also encourage extra mucus to develop, which helps to clear allergens from the nose and throat.

Allergy medications block histamine responses. This dulls the bodys response to minor or harmless allergens, such as pollen, dust, and pet dander.

Claritin and Zyrtec are effective and safe for most people with minor allergies. However, as with all medications, there may be some side effects.

Loratadinepresent in Claritinmay not be safe for people with severe liver conditions. The liver has to break down loratadine. The kidneys break down cetirizinefound in Zyrtecand the body excretes it in the urine, largely unchanged.

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Symptoms Of Antihistamine Overdose

When taken regularly, antihistamines reduce the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for people to live normal, productive lives. But when people stop taking antihistamines, they experience a withdrawal reaction. This occurs because the body has become dependent on the medication and will experience withdrawal symptoms when its no longer present.

The most common signs and symptoms of antihistamine overdose are:

  • Respiratory problems, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

People who take antihistamines for a long time can develop an allergic reaction that results in these symptoms.

In most cases, the symptoms of an antihistamine overdose will go away on their own once the person stops taking the medication. However, the symptoms may be more severe in some cases and require medical attention. In these cases, the best treatment is to reduce the dosage of the offending medication as soon as possible and consult a medical professional. Also, drinking plenty of water can help to reduce the adverse side effects of antihistamine withdrawal.

Alternatively, the person should be taken off of the drug and then institute a regime of antihistamine withdrawal. This should be done under the close supervision of a medical professional, as it is not uncommon for people to experience a relapse following antihistamine withdrawal.

Warnings Of Allegra And Zyrtec

Zyrtec vs. Claritin: What is the best antihistamine for allergies?

Allegra is a pregnancy category C, and Zyrtec is a pregnancy category B. Because the drugs have not been studied enough in pregnant women, be sure to consult your doctor before using Allegra or Zyrtec if you are pregnant.

Patients who are 65 or older and/or have kidney problems should consult a doctor before using Allegra or Zyrtec.

Grapefruit or grapefruit juice can interact with certain medications. Allegra can not only interact with grapefruit juice but orange or apple juice. These fruit juices lower the amount of Allegra in your body, making the drug less effective. It is important to take Allegra with water.

When taking Zyrtec use caution when driving or operating machinery. Avoid using Zyrtec with alcohol, marijuana, or other medications that cause sedation, because the combination can worsen CNS impairment.

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If Hives Continue You May Need To See Your Dermatologist Heres How Doctors Treat Hives

If you have only one outbreak of hives and you dont have breathing difficulties, you probably dont need medical attention. Yet if you continue to get multiple bouts of hives that continue after a couple of weeks, you may want to call a doctor, Elmariah suggests. Most often, the hives will resolve during this time or youll figure out whats causing them.

But hives that continue for weeks warrant a trip to the dermatologist. If they continue for six weeks or longer theyre considered chronic hives, which tend to be caused by the same triggers as short-term or acute cases of hives. Because dermatologists are skilled at working with hives, theyre your best bet in getting the appropriate treatment, Dr. Rossi explains.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Fexofenadine Hydrochloride

Common side effects may include:

  • menstrual cramps
  • sleep problems
  • tremors .

Because the effects of this medicine on an unborn baby are not known, talk with your healthcare provider before use. However, this medication can pass into breast milk, hence, avoid it if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Moreover, to be sure that this drug is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: severe kidney impairment, liver disease, or intolerance to sugars.

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Common And Severe Side Effects

Allegra and Zyrtec may cause mild side effects that tend to go away as your body gets used to the drug. Most of these dont call for medical attention. But tell your doctor if any side effects are especially bothersome or dont go away. Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you experience serious side effects.

The tables below list examples of side effects of Allegra and Zyrtec. Both Allegra and Zyrtec can cause similar side effects. The main difference is that Zyrtec is more likely to cause drowsiness than Allegra.

Common side effects

If youre taking antacids such as Maalox or Mylanta, take Allegra a few hours before or after you take the antacid. These antacids contain aluminum and magnesium, which can prevent your body from absorbing enough Allegra. This can make Allegra less effective. By taking your antacid at a different time from when you take Allegra, you can reduce this interaction.

Can Fexofenadine Cause Problems


Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains the most common ones associated with fexofenadine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any continue or become troublesome.

Common fexofenadine side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Headache Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know
Feeling tired or dizzy Do not drive and do not use tools or machines until you feel better. Do not drink alcohol
Feeling sick Stick to simple meals – avoid spicy foods

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

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Do Antihistamines Come With Side Effects

Side effects that are reported with antihistamines include dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, feeling nervous, excited or irritable, changes in vision such as blurry vision, and decreased appetite.

These symptoms are often not experienced with the second generation non-sedating antihistamines like loratadine, fexofenadine, and cetirizine. Please see the Drug Facts for more detail.

What Are Antihistamines

Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec all belong to a class of medication known as antihistamines. These medications are mainly used to treat allergies, including seasonal allergies or hay fever .

When your body has an allergic reaction to allergens , your immune system releases a chemical messenger called histamine. Histamine binds to specific immune cells and triggers the classic allergy symptoms of itching, runny nose, sneezing, etc. Antihistamines prevent histamine from attaching to the cells and keep your allergy symptoms in check. This group of medications is often classified based on its drug generation .

First-generation antihistamines include common medications like diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl. First-generation antihistamines are effective at treating allergy symptoms, but they can cause significant sedation this makes them less useful for people suffering from seasonal allergies who cant spend all day in bed.

Fortunately, second-generation antihistamines cause less drowsiness while still maintaining effectiveness. These newer generations include the active ingredients loratadine , fexofenadine , and cetirizine . All three are available over-the-counter . While all are effective, the differences may affect which one is right for your allergy symptoms.

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Talk With Your Doctor

Allegra and Zyrtec treat the same symptoms and come in similar forms, but these drugs have a few key differences between them:

  • You need to pay attention to what you drink with Allegra because fruit juices can affect how well it works.
  • Zyrtec is more likely to cause drowsiness than Allegra.
  • The effects of Zyrtec may last a few hours longer than the effects of Allegra.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about Allegra and Zyrtec and which drug may be right for you. They can also give you advice on taking the drugs safely.

Which Type Is Best

Zyrtec vs. Claritin: What is the best antihistamine for allergies?

There’s not much evidence to suggest any particular antihistamine is better than any other at relieving allergy symptoms.

Some people find certain types work well for them and others do not. You may need to try several types to find one that works for you.

Non-drowsy antihistamines are generally the best option, as they’re less likely to make you feel sleepy. But types that make you feel sleepy may be better if your symptoms stop you sleeping.

Ask a pharmacist for advice if you’re unsure which medicine to try as not all antihistamines are suitable for everyone.

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Taking Antihistamines With Other Medicines Food Or Alcohol

Speak to a pharmacist or GP before taking antihistamines if you’re already taking other medicines.

There may be a risk the medicines do not mix, which could stop either from working properly or increase the risk of side effects.

Examples of medicines that could cause problems if taken with antihistamines include some types of:

  • stomach ulcer or indigestion medicines
  • cough and cold remedies that also contain an antihistamine

Try not to drink alcohol while taking an antihistamine, particularly if it’s a type that makes you drowsy, as it can increase the chances of it making you feel sleepy.

Food and other drinks do not affect most antihistamines, but check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to make sure.

The Symptoms They Treat

The main active ingredient in Allegra is fexofenadine. The main active ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine. Both of these drugs are antihistamines.

Antihistamines work by blocking a substance called histamine in your body. Histamine is known for causing allergy symptoms. Blocking it helps prevent symptoms of seasonal allergies or hay fever.

Symptoms treated

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Maximum Doses And Effectiveness Of Antihistamines

All 178 included patients were initially treated with the licensed, once daily, dosage of antihistamines . Of them, 27 patients used antihistamines only on demand. In 138 patients the licensed dose was ineffective and in all these refractory patients the dose was raised up to fourfold. This remained ineffective in 97 . Subsequently, 59 of these 97 patients were treated with higher doses of antihistamines by combining two types of second generation antihistamines with a maximum of eightfold the licensed dose. The median maximal combined dose of antihistamines in these 59 was eightfold , however in 8 individuals the dose was raised further . Ten of 59 patients subsequently became completely free of symptoms, and nineteen patients had sufficient results. Thus, in 49% of patients a higher than fourfold dose reduced or completely eliminated symptoms. The remaining 38 of the 97 refractory patients received no further treatment , or further treatment was unknown , or they received other types of therapy including ultraviolet treatment , for which effectiveness results were not included in the current study .

Fig. 2

Antihistamine dosages and results. The following dosages were considered as standard dose: levocetirizine 5 mg, desloratadine 5 mg, fexofenadine 180 mg, clemastine 1 mg, hydroxyzine 25 mg, cetirizine 10 mg, loratadine 10 mg, acrivastine 8 mg three times daily

Why Trust Verywell Family

Difference Between Allegra Fexofenadine and Zyrtec Cetirizine

As a seasoned health writer, Isis Briones knows the importance of finding products that work best for you and your conditions. You can count on her to always provide a variety of recommendations from licensed medical professionals because she has tested and reviewed tons of products over the years to know everyone is different.

Additional reporting by Katrina Cossey

Katrina Cossey has been a news and feature writer for more than six years with experience at KFOR-TV and She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching for parenting content.

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Difference Between Zyrtec And Allegra

Categorized under Drugs | Difference Between Zyrtec and Allegra

Zyrtec vs Allegra

Allergies are very common among the population as one-fifth of the population is having an allergy once in a while in their lives. Some get it permanently and some get it seasonally. It depends on the type of allergy. Some researchers say that an allergy can be acquired as early as infant years through the use of baby powders and the introduction of milk formula rather than breast milk, which shows that these babies will get food allergies in the long run.

Allergies can be counteracted by so-called antihistamines. These are a class of drugs that blocks histamine receptors that cause inflammation and itching in that body part. Zyrtec and Allegra are one of these antihistamines. Let us try to tackle both.

The generic name Zyrtec is Cetirizine while the generic name of allegra is Fexofenadine. Allegra is available in up to 180 mg while Zyrtec is available in 10 mg. Allegra is classified both as a second and third-generation antihistamine while Zyrtec is classified as a second-generation antihistamine. Allegra was made during 1993 by Sepracor in Massachusetts, USA. It was approved by the FDA in 1996. Zyrtec is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

Common side effects of Allegra include: diarrhea, GI upset, headache, nausea, muscle pain, and tiredness. Common side effects of Zyrtec include: dry mouth, fatigue, insomnia, and stomach pain.


Who Is More Likely To Abuse Antihistamine

People who abuse other drugs such as alcohol and nicotine are more likely to abuse antihistamines. The categories of people who are more likely to abuse the drug are classified into risk groups:

  • Highly impulsive people
  • People who are genetically predisposed to addiction
  • People who have addictions in their homes or among their peers
  • Those with brains that have characteristics of being addicted to sedatives
  • Victims of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse
  • People with aggressive behavior, especially from a young age
  • Children without parental supervision
  • People living in poverty

Although anyone can become a victim of antihistamine abuse, people who abuse other substances are more likely to get high on these allergy medications. Since these medicines are readily available, even people who dont belong to any of the above risk groups can get addicted.

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And You Should Love Antihistamines

Antihistamine medications have some similarities in their chemical structure to histamines. Antihistamines work by attacking the same receptors on cells that histamines bind to. By occupying these sites, antihistamines block the effect of histamines that cause allergic symptoms. As a result, they treat allergy symptoms like itching, sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose, runny nose, and itchy throat. Antihistamines can also help with itching associated with skin rashes like hives and eczema.

Allegra Claritin Xyzal & Zyrtec: Pregnancy And Lactation

Zyrtec vs. Claritin: What is the best antihistamine for allergies?

Allegra , Claritin , Xyzal , and Zyrtec should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. As of now, there is no controlled data in the use of oral antihistamines in human pregnancy. Even though these OTC allergy medications seem to be safe and may be fine to keep taking during pregnancy, it is important to discuss with your healthcare provider so you can have a peace of mind.

Zyrtec is the preferred antihistamine when breastfeeding. Other antihistamines like Allegra , Claritin , and Xyzal are also considered safe but do not have as much research to support this.

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Drug Interactions Of Allegra Vs Zyrtec

Allegra has very few drug interactions. When taken with erythromycin or ketoconazole, there is an interaction that can result in a buildup of Allegra in the body, which could mean more side effects. Allegra also interacts with antacids, resulting in decreased amounts of Allegra in the body.

Zyrtec interacts with other drugs that cause drowsiness, such as painkillers, antidepressants, or medications used for anxiety or sleep, as well as alcohol or marijuana .

Consult your healthcare professional for a full list of drug interactions.


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