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Have seasonal allergies. What are the differences between Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl? Which one is better?

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I have seasonal allergies. I do not know what type of medicine to buy.
What is the difference between the following medications? Also which is stronger or better? Any different side effects? Claritin does not always work well for me. The ongoing problem I have with my allergies is dry eyes. Not sure if it is because of claritin.

Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl
Posted Wed, 28 Aug 2013 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 26 minutes later

Thank you for your query.

1. Claritin contains Loratidine, Allegra contains Fexofendine and Zyrtec contains Cetrizine. all are second generation anti-histamines. Benadryl contains Dipenhydramine which is a first generation anti-histamine.

2. All these are equally effective medications. One of the main side effects of anti-histamines is drowsiness and sedation. Loratidine and Fexofenadine are non-sedating antihistamines. Cetrizine may cause sedation in more than 20% patients, more for Benadryl. Driving and operating machinery may be a safety problem.

3. The dry eyes are a known side effect. Dry mouth and throat is a common side effect.

4. You may take what suits you and there are many other medications, however you should consult a doctor.

5. ANother interesting concept is that these medications are more effective if started before the seasonal allergy sets in.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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