Compare Allegra vs. Claritin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Allegra
(Fexofenadine)

Claritin
(Loratadine)

Treats allergy symptoms. Allegra (Fexofenadine) relieves allergy symptoms without making you feel drowsy.Treats allergy symptoms. Claritin (Loratadine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that doesn't make you feel sleepy.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Allegra (Fexofenadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Claritin (Loratadine)
74%
5% vs. Allegra (Fexofenadine)
38%
25% vs. Allegra (Fexofenadine)
6%
6% vs. Allegra (Fexofenadine)
1517 reviews
Have you used Claritin (Loratadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AllegraClaritin
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Cough 3%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Fever 1%
  • Runny nose 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Stomach discomfort 1%
More Allegra side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Claritin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Claritin »
How it works
AllegraClaritin
Allegra (Fexofenadine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions.Claritin (Loratadine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. Antihistamines can also make you sleepy, but Loratadine is a low-drowsiness version.
Type of medication
AllegraClaritin
Antihistamine
2nd generation
Prescription or OTC
Antihistamine
2nd generation
Prescription or OTC
Available as
AllegraClaritin
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Orally disintegrating tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
AllegraClaritin
Risk factors for serious side effects
AllegraClaritin
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • History of phenylketonuria (PKU)
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Age 65 or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • History of phenylketonuria (PKU)
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Food
AllegraClaritin
  • Some forms of Allegra (Fexofenadine) contain aspartame (phenylalanine). People who have phenylketonuria (PKU) can't break down the amino acid phenylalanine. It builds up and causes serious medical problems. If you have PKU, check to see which products you can use.
  • Claritin (Loratadine) contains aspartame (phenylalanine). People who have phenylketonuria (PKU) can't break down the amino acid phenylalanine. It builds up and causes serious medical problems. If you have PKU, don't use this product.
Kidneys and liver
AllegraClaritin
  • The dose needs to be adjusted for people with kidney problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
AllegraClaritin
  • Won't make you feel drowsy like some antihistamine medicines.
  • Can make you feel dizzy or sleepy, so you can take it at bedtime.
  • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
Upsides and benefits
AllegraClaritin
  • Relieves allergy symptoms, like sneezing, runny nose, and itching.
  • Approved to be used in kids and adults age 6 months and older.
  • Won't make you feel drowsy like some antihistamine medicines.
  • Available over-the-counter without a prescription.
  • Comes in many forms, such as a tablet, liquid, or quick-dissolving tablet.
  • It's okay to take with most other medications since it has very few interactions.
  • Relieves allergy symptoms like sneezing and runny nose just as well as other antihistamines, but with less sedation (drowsiness).
  • Also treats hives and itchy skin.
  • Side effects are rare and usually mild.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Comes as a tablet, liquid, or quick-dissolving tablet.
  • Can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
  • Okay to take with most other medications because it doesn't have many interactions.
Downsides and risks
AllegraClaritin
  • For some people, the effects Allegra (Fexofenadine) has on allergies will wear off over time.
  • May not work as well as the first-generation antihistamines, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
  • The dose needs to be adjusted for people with kidney problems.
  • For some people, its effectiveness on treating allergies wears off over time.
  • Some people find that other more sedating antihistamines (like Zyrtec or Benadryl) are more effective for them.
  • If you have daily allergy symptoms, a prescription nasal steroid spray might be better for you long-term.
  • Not for kids under 2 years.
  • The Reditabs version contains aspartame (phenylalanine).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AllegraClaritin
  • Starts working in 1 to 2 hours depending on what dosage form you're taking.
  • Works best when taken regularly, even before symptoms are expected to appear.
  • Can make you feel dizzy or sleepy, so you can take it at bedtime.
  • Follow age-specific dosing and don't take more than recommended.
  • If symptoms get worse or you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor.
  • Take it only once a day.
  • Starts working in a few hours.
  • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
  • Avoid possible side effects by drinking plenty of non-caffeinated liquids.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor about trying a nasal steroid instead, which might work better for you long-term.
  • Using an antihistamine eye drop might work better to help itchy or watery eyes.
Learn more
More about AllegraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Allegra (Fexofenadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ClaritinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Claritin (Loratadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it