Compare Claritin D vs. Benadryl

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

Claritin D
(loratadine / pseudoephedrine)

Benadryl
(diphenhydramine)

Relieves congestion and allergy symptoms. Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) relieves allergies and congestion without causing daytime sleepiness. It can keep you up at night if you take it too close to bedtime.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.
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Coupons for Claritin D
Best available price for 60 (12 hour) tablets of loratadine / pseudoephedrine
Coupons for Benadryl
Best available price for 30 (25mg) capsules of diphenhydramine
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.97Claritin D
Reviews for Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine)
69%
of people (All ages) say Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine) is worth it
39%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
1527 reviews
Have you used Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
86%
+17% better vs. Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine)
59%
+20% better vs. Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine)
8%
Same vs. Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine)
294 reviews
Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Claritin DBenadryl

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

FDA side effect reports for Claritin D »

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

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »
How it works
Claritin DBenadryl
Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) is a combination medicine for allergies. Loratadine (an antihistamine) prevents allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes or skin. Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) clears your sinuses.Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.
Type of medication
Claritin DBenadryl
Prescription or OTC
Prescription or OTC
Available as
Claritin DBenadryl
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for
Claritin DBenadryl
Risk factors for serious side effects
Claritin DBenadryl
  • History of high blood pressure
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 or older
  • History of seizure
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine) risks & warnings »
  • Using other drugs with the same ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years and younger
Detailed Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 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.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Alcohol
Claritin DBenadryl
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
Food
Claritin DBenadryl
  • Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) 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.
No food related info.
Sleep
Claritin DBenadryl
  • You might not sleep as well due to Pseudoephedrine's effects and you can also have strange dreams while taking it.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
Upsides and benefits
Claritin DBenadryl
  • The antihistamine (Loratadine) in Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) works as well as other antihistamines, but causes less drowsiness. It's also less sedating than Allegra D and Zyrtec D.
  • The decongestant (Pseudoephedrine) in Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) is stronger than other decongestants. It can also help relieve congestion-related headaches and ear pressure.
  • The stimulant effects of Pseudoephedrine can give you some extra energy during the day.
  • Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse congestion symptoms after you stop taking the medicine) like decongestant nose sprays can.
  • It's available without a prescription, unlike other strong allergy medicines.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
Claritin DBenadryl
  • You can have more side effects when using combination pills than when using single-ingredient medications.
  • The decongestant (Pseudoephedrine) can make your heart race or give you anxious or restless feelings.
  • You might not sleep as well due to Pseudoephedrine's effects and you can also have strange dreams while taking it.
  • Pseudoephedrine can raise your blood pressure, so don't take it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
  • Although you don't need a prescription, you do need to show a photo ID to buy this from behind the pharmacy counter.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Claritin DBenadryl
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • You need to show an ID to buy Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains Pseudoephedrine.
  • Don't cut, crush, or chew tablets; swallow them whole.
  • It's better to take Claritin D (Loratadine / Pseudoephedrine) early in the morning or when you wake up, otherwise you can have trouble sleeping later.
  • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor since a different medication might work better for you.
  • Take it as needed every 4 to 6 hours.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can make you dehydrated, so avoid this side effect by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term.
  • If you only have itchy or watery eyes, try using just an antihistamine eye drop.
Learn more
More about Claritin DSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Claritin D (loratadine / pseudoephedrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it