Compare Nasacort AQ vs. Claritin

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

Nasacort Aq
(Triamcinolone)

Claritin
(Loratadine)

Relieves allergy symptoms. Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is the only medication in its class available over the counter for treating stuffy and runny nose due to allergies. You have to use it every day for it to work.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
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.834862385321101Nasacort AQ
Reviews for Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
67%
of people say Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is worth it
39%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Claritin (Loratadine)
74%
+7% vs. Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
38%
1% vs. Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
6%
+4% vs. Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
Side effects
Nasacort AQClaritin
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Cough increased 2%
  • Tooth disorder 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Throat pain 2%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Bronchitis 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Common cold 1%
More Nasacort AQ side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Claritin »
How it works
Nasacort AQClaritin
Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a nasal steroid. It works directly in your nose to help reduce swelling and inflammation from allergies.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
Nasacort AQClaritin
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Prescription or OTC
Antihistamine
2nd generation
Prescription or OTC
Available as
Nasacort AQClaritin
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Orally disintegrating tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Nasacort AQClaritin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Nasacort AQClaritin
  • Long-term use
  • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
  • Exposure to tuberculosis
  • Long-term use
  • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
  • Using other inhaled steroids with Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
  • Long-term use
  • Taking more than recommended dose
Detailed Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) 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 category
    Nasacort AQClaritin
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Relieves allergy symptoms like sneezing and runny nose just as well as other antihistamines, but with less sedation (drowsiness).
    • People age 65 and older have a higher risk of troublesome side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Claritin (Loratadine). Watch out for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. Also, feelings of drowsiness may leave you "unsteady" on your feet. This can make you more likely to fall causing broken bones or other serious injuries. Talk with your doctor before using Claritin (Loratadine) and stop using it if you have side effects.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    Nasacort AQClaritin
    • First-choice medication for treating runny and stuffy noses caused by allergies. It works by reducing inflammation in the nose.
    • Because it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, it has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
    • Available over the counter without a prescription.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Available over the counter without a prescription.
    Downsides and risks
    Nasacort AQClaritin
    • Can't be used on as-needed basis. Must be taken every day.
    • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left.
    • Since the medicine in Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
    • Needs to be primed before use and re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
    • 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
    Nasacort AQClaritin
    • Use Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) once a day, following age-specific recommendations on how many sprays to use. Don't take more than prescribed.
    • Blow your nose before using.
    • Can cause thrush (a fungal infection) inside the nose and throat.
    • Can also cause nosebleeds, a sore throat, and headaches.
    • Needs to be used regularly during allergy season for it to work. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for the medicine to start working fully.
    • Check with your doctor or pharmacist on how to use the nasal spray the right way.
    • Shake well before using it. Before the first use, prime the bottle by spraying it until you see a fine mist.
    • 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 Nasacort AQSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about ClaritinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert