Difference Between Claritin and Claritin D

Claritin and Claritin D are two drugs used for seasonal allergy treatment. Though the names sound quite the same, some differences are found between the two. Both these drugs have the ability to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms like running nose, sneezing, itching, and watery eyes.


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 reducing 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, it possibly may harm a nursing baby.

Claritin 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 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 consumed only with doctor’s approval.

Claritin D

Claritin D is a combination of drugs. It is also popular by the trade name Alavert D-12. The generic name of Claritin D is loratadine and pseudoephedrine. The loratadine content of the drug serves the same purpose as Claritin does; that is to reduce effects of histamine and control seasonal allergy symptoms. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant. A decongestant shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passage and stops having a “stuffy nose”. Claritin D is, therefore, used to treat common cold symptoms too.

Misuse of cough and cold medicine in young kids may be very dangerous. Claritin D should not be given to kids younger than 4 years old. Claritin D should not be taken while taking MAO inhibitors like furazolidone, phenelzine etc. and also if those were taken during 14 days prior to Claritin D intake because serious, life threatening side effects are associated. A person who has a medical history of glaucoma, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disorder, problems with urination should always seek medical advice before using Claritin D.

In addition to the side effects mentioned for Claritin, there are many other side effects for Claritin D, which includes hallucinations, lessened urination, and sleeping problems, mild ringing in ears, memory issues etc.

What is the difference between Claritin and Claritin D?

• Claritin contains antihistamine drug Loratadine.

• Claritin D contains Loratadine as well as decongestant drug Pseudoephedrine.