Potential Link To Obesity
At least one correlative study has found a potential link between antihistamine drugs, like Claritin and Zyrtec, and obesity. Antihistamine drugs may affect some patients’ normal appetite suppression neurotransmitters, thus leading patients to feel hungrierand therefore eat morethan they would if they were not using an antihistamine. Further study is needed, but those concerned about their weight or who have noticed differences in their eating habits while on these drugs should consult a doctor.
Here Are A Few Tips To Help Allergy Sufferers Enjoy The Beautiful Spring Weather:
Oral allergy medications
Oral medications are especially useful for mild allergy symptoms, and many are available over the counter.
Nonsedating antihistamines can relieve itching, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Options include:
- Loratadine , cetirizine , levocetirizine and fexofenadine all are available without prescription.
- Oral decongestants, like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine can ease stuffiness, and pseudoephedrine is often combined with an antihistamine. These medications are generally well-tolerated, with minimal side effects.
Common side effects
Oral decongestants cause insomnia and elevated blood pressure for some people, and antihistamines can cause drowsiness. If you find that one brand of antihistamine makes you sleepy, try a different one to see if you tolerate that better.
Older antihistamines, like diphenhydramine , are more likely to cause drowsiness compared to the newer antihistamines. Be careful about driving or working around heavy machinery if you take diphenhydramine.
Nasal steroid sprays
For more persistent allergy symptoms, nasal steroid sprays often are the best treatment option. Nasal steroid sprays block inflammation and swelling caused by airborne irritants and allergens, and prevent allergy symptoms.
Over-the-counter steroid nasal sprays include:
However, you may first want to know more details about allergy shots before considering:
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So Which One Should You Choose
This may sound obvious, but the key thing to pay attention to is not what’s written on a box, but what actually works for you. “Some people may respond well to one anti-histamine while getting no benefit from another,” Consumer Reports advises in its guide.
In a Washington Post Health Talk about allergies, Dr. Daniel Ein, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and a practicing allergist since 1972, gave this advice: “My rule about the best one antihistamine is: It’s the one that gives you the greatest relief with the fewest side effects at the lowest price.”
So if one antihistamine isn’t working for you, try a different one.
A doctor can also talk to you about prescription antihistamines, and if your symptoms persist immunotherapy, which can help desensitize you to what’s causing a reaction in the first place.
Most importantly, talk to your pharmacist and a board-certified allergist.
Recommended Reading: Allegra Drowsy Or Non Drowsy
Study : Zyrtec Vs Claritin For Seasonal Allergies
Figure 1: Study 1: Zyrtec vs Claritin in the Lab. Zyrtec was shown to be significantly better than Claritin in a controlled environment. A small clinical trial showed that Zyrtec was better at reducing symptoms compared to Claritin and a control. Patients on Zyrtec reported a 48% reduction in their symptoms, compared to 33% in patients on Claritin and 5% in patients on a placebo control.
When it comes to treating seasonal allergies, there are sometimes too many options at the drug store. Some may know that benadryl makes you sleepy while others do not. However, deciding between Zyrtec or Claritin may be a little more difficult.
Both are what we call second generation antihistamines. These function like Benadryl, but they do not cause as much drowsiness.
In general, both are effective and both drugs use similar mechanisms. However, in two clinical trials, researchers have found that there are significant differences between the two when they tested them head to head.
In a head-to-head clinical trial conducted on volunteers in a lab, researchers found that volunteers who were assigned to take Zyrtec reported more symptom reduction than patients who were assitned to take Claritin. Both were more effective than the patients who were assigned to take a placebo.
Study : Treating Outdoor Seasonal Allergies In A Park
Figure 2: Study 2: Treating Outdoor Seasonal Allergies in a Park. Zyrtec was shown to be significantly better than Claritin treating outdoor allergies. A small clinical trial conducted in a park showed that Zyrtec was better at reducing symptoms compared to Claritin and a control in a real-world park setting.
So we know Zyrtec works better in a lab, what about in the real world? Do the results in the controlled environment of a lab translate to better outcomes outside?
A second study answered this by testing volunteers during a day in the park. Since most of us don’t live inside labs, this provides a better estimate of how these medications work in the real world.
Researchers found that Zyrtec was again consistently more effective at reducing seasonal allergy symptoms than Claritin over the first 12 hours. The results held constant over the second day as well.
Effect Size – The effect size found in this study was small, though significant.
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Allegra Or Zyrtec Xyzal Or Claritin Choose The Right Otc Allergy Med
Your nose is running. Your eyes are itching. Allergy season has arrived, and you need relief. But at the drugstore, the shelves are stuffed with choices. Allegra® or Zyrtec®? Does Claritin® work better? And just what is Xyzal® anyway? Youre overwhelmed.
The first thing to know is that all 4 of the brands mentioned above are known as second-generation antihistamines. They all work basically the same way and dont tend to cause drowsiness, says Alyssa Wozniak, PharmD, a clinical assistant professor at DYouville School of Pharmacy in Buffalo, New York.
When your body comes into contact with an allergy trigger such as pollen, it makes chemicals called histamines. In people with allergies, that response can be exaggerated. So it causes symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, and maybe even congestion, says Wozniak. An antihistamine blocks those chemicals, easing your symptoms.
Any of these 4 medications works best for people who have milder symptoms, such as watery eyes or sneezing. Theyre also ideal for people whose symptoms are intermittent or episodic a few weeks during peak pollen season, for instance, or a month or 2 in spring and again in fall. One important note: None of them is especially effective for nasal congestion.
That said, there are differences between them. To make the best choice, you should understand what those differences are. Heres what Wozniak needs you to know:
Where Can I Buy Allegra Claritin Xyzal And Zyrtec
The over-the-counter versions of fexofenadine, loratadine, levocetirizine, and cetirizine are available in local pharmacies as well as stores online like Curist, and do not need a prescription.
At Curist, we develop FDA-approved equivalents to big brands in order to provide the same medicine relief but at half the price of the brands. Curist products are sold online and shipped directly to your door, and we carry fexofenadine , loratadine , levocetirizine , and cetirizine .
Also Check: Loratadine Versus Cetirizine
Dosage And Intake Methods
Allegra has been deemed safe andeffective for use in adults and children. Children from 2 to 11 years age can used this drug for utricaria and season allergic rhinitis without significant side effects, provided the dose is within recommended range.
Allegra is available in different forms. The detail of these forms along with the dosage is given as follows:
Which Is Better For Allergies Zyrtec Or Claritin
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Recommended Reading: Does Claritin Work For Itchy Skin
How Much Will My Allergy Medicine Cost
Allergy medications vary in cost. Oral antihistamines are some of the most affordable options: A months worth of generic antihistamines, such as loratadine or cetirizine, cost under $10. Decongestants are also equally affordable.
Nasal steroids are usually the most pricey. The average retail costs for the OTC generic versions of Flonase, Nasacort, and Rhinocort are between $20 and $30. Theres a trick that could save you money on these, but it does require you to speak with your healthcare provider.
The key here is to ask your healthcare provider to send a prescription for your allergy medicine to the pharmacy even though its available OTC. Be sure to contact your pharmacy also and let them know youd like to use a GoodRx coupon to help you save.
When you purchase medications OTC, you dont just pay for the price of the product. Youll also pay an upcharge for both the manufacturer and the retailer, as well as sales tax .
When you fill a medication as a prescription, some of the extra charges arent applied, so the cost of the medication can go down. Add a GoodRx coupon, and the price will drop even further. Flonase, for instance, can go from $27 to $13 by doing this which is over 50% in savings!
The table below lists some common allergy medicines and their approximate cost if your provider writes a prescription for it and you use GoodRx:
How Often Can Antihistamines Be Used
Antihistamines can be taken everyday to keep daily symptoms under control. Depending on when symptoms flare, they can be taken through the pollen season, for instance in the spring and fall, or they can be taken only when symptoms occur on an as-needed basis.
Antihistamines can be helpful if taken in advance of exposure to allergens that trigger symptoms. For instance, taking anithistamines a few days prior to the start of pollen season or before visiting your friend who has a cat or dog.
Also Check: Allegra For Skin Allergies
Zyrtec Vs Claritin: Side Effects And Interactions
Claritin is unlikely to cause CNS side effects such as sedation, or confusion when used at dosages of 10mg/day. Side effects may be more likely when used at higher dosages. Zyrtec is 3.5 times more likely than Claritin to cause sedation, particularly when used at dosages higher than 10mg/day. However, Zyrtec is still much less sedating than older antihistamines such as promethazine.
Side effects are generally mild with second-generation antihistamines and include a headache and rarely dry mouth, and nausea. All the second generation antihistamines currently on the market appear free from adverse cardiovascular effects. Few major interactions have been reported with either Zyrtec or Claritin however, there is the possibility that side effects such as sedation, confusion, and mental alertness may be enhanced if given with other drugs with this side effect. More studies are needed to determine if there are any interactions between second generation antihistamines and herbal products or food. Always speak with your doctor of pharmacist before using any drugs in combination.
How Do Their Side Effects Differ
You may have read that Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are non-drowsy. Compared to , which is notorious for making you sleepy, they do cause less drowsiness but they can still make you drowsy.
They also carry a risk of other side effects. Common side effects of all three include:
Allegra comes with more potential side effects than Claritin and Zyrtec. In addition to the side effects listed above, Allegra can also cause:
Each medication also has special precautions:
Claritin: If you have any liver or kidney dysfunction, you should have a chat with your doctor before taking Claritin.
Zyrtec: Avoid Zyrtec if youre using other CNS depressants like sedatives or anxiety medications, or if you are drinking alcohol.
Allegra: Allegra may be less effective if you take antacids within 15 minutes of taking Allegra or if you drink fruit juices like grapefruit juice.
Also Check: Robitussin Cough And Allergy
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Which Works Better For Allergy: Allegra Claritin Xyzal Or Zyrtec
The best antihistamine choice for you can vary depending on the degree of symptom relief you desire and the degree of side effects you are willing to tolerate.
For mild to moderate allergy symptoms, Allegra or Claritin are preferred because they are non sedating and do not make you feel sleepy. For more severe symptoms that can interfere with work, school or daily activities, Xyzal or Zyrtec may be more effective.
Since every person is different, some of us may experience fatigue on these newer antihistamines while some may not. It can be helpful to try different medications to see which works best for you as an individual.
Besides treating allergy symptoms, Allegra, Claritin, and Xyzal can be equally effective in treating hay fever and allergic skin rashes. Xyzal and Zyrtec, on the other hand, are considered to be more effective for the treatment of hives.
Recommended Reading: Allergy Pills Cetirizine
Zyrtec Vs Claritin For Postnasal Drip
Post nasal drip may occur for various reasons – allergies , colds or flu, various drugs , cold temperatures, bright lights, hormonal changes and spicy foods.
Thin postnasal drip secretions caused by allergies may be treated with antihistamines. Second-generation antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Claritin may offer better relief than older-type antihistamines such as promethazine . Intranasal antihistamines, such as azelastine, have a faster onset of action and appear more effective than oral antihistamines although require more frequent administration. Other treatments include decongestants, cromolyn, and corticosteroid nasal sprays.
In the treatment of post nasal drip caused by nonallergic causes, oral second-generation antihistamines are not very effective. However, the intranasal antihistamine azelastine is effective. Azelastine improves all rhinitis symptoms including nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing and sleeping difficulty. The most common side effect is a metallic after taste however, this is more likely at higher dosages and tends to dissipate with continued use.
If thin nasal mucus secretions become thick and turn yellow or green, bacterial infection is likely and a doctor should be seen to obtain antibiotics.
Side Effects Of Antihistamines
Ask your provider if antihistamines are safe for you or your child, what side effects to watch for, and how antihistamines may affect other medicines you or your child take.
- Antihistamines are thought to be safe for adults.
- Most antihistamines are also safe for children over 2 years old.
- If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, ask your provider if antihistamines are safe for you.
- Adults who take antihistamines should know how the medicine affects them before driving or using machinery.
- If your child is taking antihistamines, make sure the medicine is not affecting your child’s ability to learn.
There may be special precautions for using antihistamines if you have:
Allergic rhinitis – antihistamine Hives – antihistamine Allergic conjunctivitis – antihistamine Urticaria – antihistamine Dermatitis – antihistamine Eczema – antihistamine
Read Also: Robitussin Allergy-cough Syrup
Allegra Vs Claritin Vs Zyrtec For Allergies
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.
- Store antihistamines at room temperature, away from heat, direct light, and moisture.
- Do not freeze antihistamines.
- Keep all medicines where children cannot reach them.
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Which Is Better Xyzal Or Zyrtec Is Levocetirizine Or Cetirizine Better
Since both medications have a common core chemical structure, Zyrtec and Xyzal generally have the same level of effectiveness, onset of action, and range of allergy symptoms treated. Xyzal is slightly less drowsy, so if drowsiness is an issue with your allergy medicine, Xyzal is better than Zyrtec. However, because Zyrtec and Xyzal are very similar, the degree of symptom management and side effects may differ on an individual basis, so you may want to experiment with taking Xyzal or Zyrtec to find which is better for you.