Allegra and Claritin are approved for the same uses. Both are approved to treat allergy symptoms and to treat chronic hives of unknown cause (known as chronic idiopathic uticaria). Depending on the particular form, both Allegra and Claritin are approved for use in children as young as two years old (Allegra in the syrup form and Claritin in the syrup or chewable tablet form).
There are little differences between these two medications when it comes to approved uses; this area is not very useful for deciding between the two.
Differences in Effectiveness
Some studies suggest that Allegra (versus Claritin) may be more effective as an antihistamine. However, it is not clear if these differences are large enough to be noticeable.
Most importantly, different people react in different ways to medications. One person may find Claritin to be much more effective, while the next person may discover that Allegra is more effective. This same idea is applicable to side effects -- some people find Claritin causes less drowsiness, while others find that Allegra is better in this aspect. In the area of nonsedating antihistamines, people usually form strong preferences toward or against certain medications.
Deciding on Claritin vs. Allegra
Although the nonsedating antihistamines are all very similar, some people may find that one works better than the others. If you are interested in saving money, it is reasonable to try switching from Allegra to the nonprescription generic Claritin. You may find that it works just as well for you, or you may find that Allegra was a little better. With nonsedating antihistamines, "trial and error" is usually the way to determine which medication works best for you.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed November 5, 2007.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click