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Claritin vs. Claritin D: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 1, 2024
Claritin is an antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms. Claritin-D is Claritin combined with a decongestant (pseudoephedrine) for additional relief.

Key Differences

Claritin is a brand name for loratadine, an antihistamine that helps alleviate allergy symptoms like sneezing and itching. Claritin-D includes the same antihistamine benefits but adds pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, to relieve nasal congestion.
Claritin is primarily used for treating allergic reactions, it does not relieve nasal congestion on its own. In contrast, Claritin-D is more comprehensive, targeting both general allergy symptoms and congestion due to its decongestant component.
Claritin is generally non-drowsy and has fewer side effects compared to older antihistamines. However, Claritin-D may cause insomnia or restlessness due to the pseudoephedrine content, especially if taken close to bedtime.
Claritin is available over-the-counter without restrictions. On the other hand, Claritin-D is regulated due to the pseudoephedrine content, which can be used illicitly to manufacture methamphetamine, and may require a prescription or ID for purchase.
Claritin is suitable for a broad range of people, including those who just need allergy relief. Claritin-D is more specific and should be avoided by individuals with certain health conditions like hypertension, due to the pseudoephedrine.

Comparison Chart

Active Ingredient

Loratadine (antihistamine).
Loratadine and Pseudoephedrine.

Primary Use

Allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching.
Allergy symptoms plus nasal congestion.

Side Effects

Generally non-drowsy.
May cause restlessness or insomnia.

Purchase Regulations

Over-the-counter, no restrictions.
May require ID or prescription.


Broad use for allergies.
Not suitable for those with hypertension.

Claritin and Claritin D Definitions


An antihistamine medication for allergy relief.
She took Claritin to relieve her seasonal allergies.

Claritin D

Regulated due to pseudoephedrine content.
She had to show her ID to buy Claritin-D at the pharmacy.


Over-the-counter allergy medication.
Claritin can be purchased without a prescription at pharmacies.

Claritin D

Not recommended for people with high blood pressure.
His doctor advised against using Claritin-D due to his hypertension.


Loratadine-based medicine for allergic reactions.
Claritin effectively reduces her allergic skin reactions.

Claritin D

Medication for comprehensive allergy and congestion relief.
He uses Claritin-D during high pollen seasons for extra relief.


A popular choice for treating common allergy symptoms.
To combat pollen allergies, he relies on Claritin.

Claritin D

A combination of antihistamine and decongestant.
Claritin-D helps both her sneezing and stuffy nose.


A non-drowsy formula to treat allergic symptoms.
Claritin is his go-to drug for managing hay fever.

Claritin D

Contains pseudoephedrine for nasal decongestion.
Claritin-D is effective but can sometimes cause insomnia.


What is Claritin used for?

Claritin is used to relieve allergy symptoms like sneezing and itching.

How often can you take Claritin?

Claritin is typically taken once daily, but follow the package instructions or doctor’s advice.

What makes Claritin-D different from Claritin?

Claritin-D contains a decongestant (pseudoephedrine) in addition to the antihistamine.

Is Claritin-D suitable for everyone?

Claritin-D is not recommended for people with certain conditions like hypertension.

Is Claritin effective for skin allergies?

Yes, Claritin can be effective in treating allergic skin reactions.

Does Claritin interact with other medications?

Claritin can interact with certain medications, so consult a doctor before use.

Can Claritin cause drowsiness?

Claritin is usually non-drowsy and does not typically cause drowsiness.

Can you take Claritin-D for a cold?

Claritin-D can help with nasal congestion symptoms of a cold.

Can Claritin be used for pet allergies?

Yes, Claritin can be used to relieve symptoms of pet allergies.

Can Claritin-D cause insomnia?

Yes, the pseudoephedrine in Claritin-D can cause restlessness or insomnia.

Are there any age restrictions for Claritin-D?

Claritin-D may have age restrictions, especially for children, due to pseudoephedrine.

Can I buy Claritin over the counter?

Yes, Claritin is available over-the-counter without prescription.

Is Claritin safe for long-term use?

Claritin is generally safe for long-term use, but consult a doctor for ongoing symptoms.

Can pregnant women take Claritin?

Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking Claritin.

Does Claritin-D raise blood pressure?

The decongestant in Claritin-D can raise blood pressure in some individuals.

What are common side effects of Claritin-D?

Common side effects of Claritin-D include insomnia and restlessness.

How quickly does Claritin-D work?

Claritin-D generally begins working within an hour of ingestion.

Why is Claritin-D regulated?

Claritin-D is regulated due to the pseudoephedrine, which can be misused in drug manufacturing.

Can Claritin cause any allergic reactions?

Rarely, Claritin can cause allergic reactions; seek medical attention if this occurs.

Is there a children’s version of Claritin?

Yes, there are children’s formulations of Claritin available.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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