Compare Benadryl vs. Clarinex

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

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Prescription or OTC

Clarinex (desloratadine)

Prescription only
Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap.

5.6/ 7 average rating with 294 reviewsforBenadryl
Treats allergy symptoms.

Clarinex (desloratadine) is a good option for once-daily allergy relief. It doesn't make you feel sleepy, but you need a prescription.

Upsides
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is often better than other antihistamines at treating allergy symptoms and hives.
  • It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
  • It makes you sleepy, so it'll help if your allergies are bothering you at night.
  • The effects wear off in 4 to 6 hours, so side effects don't last that long.
  • It comes as a tablet, capsule, liquid, and quick dissolving tablet.
  • Clarinex (desloratadine) relieves allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, congestion, hives, or itchy skin.
  • Preferred for older people since it causes little to no drowsiness compared to other antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
  • Works faster than other non-drowsy antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin).
  • Side effects are rare and usually mild.
  • Available as a liquid or fast-dissolving tablet for people who don't like swallowing pills.
Downsides
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Talk to a pediatrician before giving Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to a child.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine).
  • Don't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) if you are breastfeeding.
  • May not work as fast as the other antihistamines that make you sleepy (like Benadryl).
  • Not a good medication for pregnant women to take.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
No pricing information available
Lowest price near you
$18.14
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Reviews
294 
86%
think this treatment is worth it
59%
think this treatment works well
8%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
    21%
  • Diarrhea
    20%
  • Fever
    12%
  • Irritability
    12%
  • Coughing
    11%
  • Sleepiness
    9%
  • Inflammation of airways
    6%
  • Ear infection
    6%
  • Vomiting
    6%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Overdose

    Using other drugs with the same ingredients

  • Increased side effects

    Age 65 years or older

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Hyperactivity

    Children age 6 years and younger

  • Trouble urinating

    Enlarged prostate

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Vision changes

    Glaucoma

  • Breastfeeding

    Nursing mothers

See more detailed risks and warnings