Allegra and Claritin are very popular and frequently prescribed allergy medicine. They both come under the drug class of second generation antihistamine drugs. The mechanism of action is to effect the histamine action inside the body; histamine is the chemical responsible for allergy response.
Allegra is also known by the trade name Allegra ODT and generic name fexofenadine. This antihistamine drug is used commonly to reduce complications caused by allergic reactions. It is used to treat hay fever in children and adults. This drug can also reduce skin itching and hives which occur as results of chronic idiopathic urticaria. Allegra is available as tablets, capsules, and oral suspension. Tablets and capsules can be given to children who are at least 6 years old to treat seasonal allergy. Oral suspension can be administered to children from 2 to 11 years old and even two month old babies when treating chronic idiopathic urticaria. It is not known whether Allegra is harmful to unborn or nursing babies, therefore, it is advisable to seek medical advice just to be on the safe side.
Allegra should not be taken if a person shows any allergies to the drug. Antacids and any fruit juices should not be taken at least 15 minutes before and after the Allegra intake because antacids can reduce absorption of the drug. Other cold and allergy medicine, sedatives, muscle relaxers sleeping tablets, seizure medicine, anxiety medicine, and narcotic pain medicine should not be taken while taking Allegra because they tend to increase the sleepiness caused by Allegra. If it is very necessary, medical advice should be taken. Other than allergic reaction to medicine, minor side effects are associated with Allegra use such as nausea, stomach ache, diarrhea, headache, menstrual cramps, dizziness, and muscle pain.
Claritin, known by other trade names Alavert, Loratadine Reditab, Tavist ND etc., stands for the same drug known by the generic name Loratadine. This drug is actually an antihistamine drug. What it does is, reduce the effects of histamine naturally synthesized in our bodies. Histamine is the chemical responsible for allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery nose, itching nose and throat etc. This medicine is also used to treat skin hives. Claritin should not be taken if one is either allergic to the medicine or has a history of kidney disease or liver disease. This medicine is harmful to children below six years and should not be administered under any circumstances because for some the effects could be even deadly. Claritin has not shown any harmful effects to unborn but since it passes through breast milk, may possibly harm a nursing baby.
The drug is available as a pill and syrup. It is important that the dosage is followed exactly as prescribed. In an incident of overdose a person may experience increased heart rate, drowsiness, and headache. There are many serious and minor side effects associated with Claritin. Among the serious side effects, convulsions, jaundice, increased heart rate, and feeling of “passing out” are the main side effects and minor side effects such as diarrhea, drowsiness, blurred vision etc. may also be present. Some drugs can contain amounts of antihistamine medicine; therefore, a doctor’s advice should be taken when other drugs are taken simultaneously. Especially vitamins, minerals and herbal products should be only consumed with doctor’s approval.
What is the difference between Allegra (Fexofenadine) and Claritin (Loratadine)?
- Allegra is given to babies to treat chronic idiopathic urticarial, but Claritin is never given due to its harmful effects.
- Allegra is not known for harmful effects on unborn and nursing babies, but Claritin is not harmful to unborn but may harm nursing babies.