Compare Claritin vs. Phenylephrine

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

Claritin (loratadine)

Prescription or OTC

Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)

Prescription or OTC
Treats allergies.

Claritin (loratadine) is a once-daily medicine for allergies that won't make you as sleepy as other medicines that work like it.

5.0/ 7 average rating with 1517 reviewsforClaritin
Clears your sinuses.

Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a good medication for relieving stuffy nose. It doesn't work as well as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), but it has fewer side effects.

4.2/ 7 average rating with 164 reviewsforPhenylephrine
Upsides
  • It doesn't cause daytime drowsiness unlike other antihistamines.
  • Side-effects are mild, if any at all.
  • Available over-the-counter without a prescription.
  • It provides quick relief of allergy symptoms for both children and adults.
  • It doesn't interfere with how a lot of other medicines work.
  • Works to clear nasal congestion and helps you breathe better.
  • Helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches.
  • Has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
  • It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
  • Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse symptoms when you stop taking it) like nasal spray decongestants do.
Downsides
  • It's not the best choice if you have persistent, daily allergy symptoms.
  • It's not recommended for children less than 2 years old.
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • Can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
  • Shouldn't use it before you want to sleep.
  • Not as effective after using it for 4 days in a row.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
Price
No pricing information available
Lowest price near you
$17.3
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Reviews
1517 
74%
think this treatment is worth it
38%
think this treatment works well
6%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Claritin (loratadine)?

Leave a review
164 
44%
think this treatment is worth it
24%
think this treatment works well
10%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    12%
  • Drowsiness
    8%
  • Nervousness or anxiety
    4%
  • Wheezing
    4%
  • Tiredness
    4%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Mouth or tongue irritation
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Hyperactive behavior
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Difficulty concentrating

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Excess phenylalanine

    History of phenylketonuria (PKU)

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Harm to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

See more detailed risks and warnings