Compare Benadryl vs. Clarinex

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

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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.

4.1/ 5 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
294 reviews so far
86%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
15possible 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%
  • Throat inflammation
    5%
  • Inability to sleep
    5%
  • Runny nose
    5%
  • Redness and swelling
    3%
  • Nausea
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Overdose
    • Using other drugs with the same ingredients
  • Increased side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Hyperactivity
    • Children age 6 years and younger
  • Trouble urinating
    • Enlarged prostate
    • History of bladder problems
  • Vision changes
    • Glaucoma
  • Breastfeeding
    • Nursing mothers
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions
See more detailed risks and warnings