Compare Clarinex vs. Claritin

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

Clarinex
(desloratadine)

Claritin
(loratadine)

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.Treats allergy symptoms. Claritin (Loratadine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that doesn't make you feel sleepy.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Clarinex (desloratadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Claritin
74%
+16% better vs. Clarinex
38%
+42% better vs. Clarinex
6%
-24% worse vs. Clarinex
1517 reviews
Have you used Claritin (loratadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ClarinexClaritin
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Dry mouth 1%
  • Tiredness 1%
  • Headache 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Stomach upset 2%
More Clarinex side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Claritin »
How it works
ClarinexClaritin
Clarinex (desloratadine) 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
ClarinexClaritin
Prescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
ClarinexClaritin
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Orally disintegrating tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ClarinexClaritin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ClarinexClaritin
    Detailed Clarinex (desloratadine) risks & warnings »
    • Age 65 or older
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • History of phenylketonuria (PKU)
    Detailed Claritin (loratadine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    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
    ClarinexClaritin
    • Take it once a day with or without food or as directed by your doctor.
    • 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.
    Sleep
    ClarinexClaritin
    • In some rare cases, causes drowsiness, dizziness, sore throat, or muscle pain.
    • 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).
    • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
    Upsides and benefits
    ClarinexClaritin
    • 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.
    • 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
    ClarinexClaritin
    • May not work as fast as the other antihistamines that make you sleepy (like Benadryl).
    • Not a good medication for pregnant women to take.
    • 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
    ClarinexClaritin
    • Take it once a day with or without food or as directed by your doctor.
    • Works best if used regularly during allergy season.
    • Can give you headache or dry mouth.
    • In some rare cases, causes drowsiness, dizziness, sore throat, or muscle pain.
    • 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 ClarinexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Clarinex (desloratadine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about ClaritinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Claritin (loratadine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it