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Zyrtec vs. Claritin: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 20, 2023
Zyrtec (cetirizine) and Claritin (loratadine) are antihistamines used to treat allergy symptoms, but Zyrtec may work faster and cause drowsiness more often.

Key Differences

Zyrtec, also known by its generic name cetirizine, and Claritin, or loratadine, are both antihistamines. They're primarily used to combat allergic reactions by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance produced by the body during an allergic response.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
Zyrtec generally begins to work within an hour of ingestion and is known for its quick relief. In contrast, Claritin might take longer to start reducing allergy symptoms but can provide 24-hour relief just like Zyrtec. Both are effective in managing symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
One notable difference is the potential side effects. While both Zyrtec and Claritin are considered non-sedating antihistamines, Zyrtec might cause drowsiness in some people more frequently than Claritin. It's essential for individuals to understand how either medication affects them, especially if they're operating machinery or driving.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
Both Zyrtec and Claritin can be found in various forms, including tablets, liquid gels, and dissolving tablets for adults and children. The choice between them often comes down to individual preference, specific symptoms, and how one's body reacts to each medication.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Comparison Chart

Generic Name

Cetirizine
Loratadine
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Oct 20, 2023
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Onset of Action

Usually within an hour
Might take longer than Zyrtec
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Common Side Effect

May cause drowsiness more frequently
Less likely to cause drowsiness
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Oct 20, 2023

Duration

Provides 24-hour relief
Provides 24-hour relief
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Available Forms

Tablets, liquid gels, chewables
Tablets, liquid gels, dissolvable tablets, syrup
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Zyrtec and Claritin Definitions

Zyrtec

A medication known by its generic name, cetirizine.
If cetirizine doesn't work for you, try its branded counterpart, Zyrtec.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
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Claritin

A medication offering 24-hour relief from allergy symptoms.
One Claritin in the morning keeps his allergies at bay all day.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Zyrtec

An over-the-counter allergy medication known to work within an hour.
Within an hour of taking Zyrtec, her sneezing ceased.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Claritin

A widely recognized brand name for the drug loratadine.
The pharmacist said loratadine is the generic version of Claritin.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Zyrtec

An antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms.
After taking Zyrtec, her hay fever symptoms diminished.
Huma Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Claritin

A non-sedating antihistamine suitable for daily use.
He prefers Claritin because it doesn't make him sleepy.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Zyrtec

A drug offering relief from hay fever, hives, and similar allergic reactions.
For hives, my doctor recommended Zyrtec.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Claritin

Available in various forms to cater to adults and children alike.
She bought Claritin chewables for her child's hay fever.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

Zyrtec

A potential drowsiness-causing antihistamine.
She avoids driving after taking Zyrtec due to potential drowsiness.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Claritin

An antihistamine formulated to treat allergic reactions.
Claritin is her go-to for springtime allergies.
Huma Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

FAQs

Which one is more likely to cause drowsiness?

While both are non-sedating antihistamines, Zyrtec might cause drowsiness more often than Claritin.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

What is Zyrtec?

Zyrtec is an antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms, with cetirizine as its active ingredient.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Is Zyrtec faster acting than Claritin?

Zyrtec generally starts working within an hour, potentially faster than Claritin.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Can I consume alcohol while on Zyrtec?

Alcohol may amplify drowsiness caused by Zyrtec. It's advised to be cautious.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Can Zyrtec treat hives?

Yes, Zyrtec can help in treating hives and skin itching.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Is Claritin suitable for children?

Yes, Claritin has formulations and dosages specifically designed for children.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Are there any age restrictions for using Zyrtec or Claritin?

Both drugs have age-specific dosages. It's essential to follow label recommendations or consult a doctor.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

What is Claritin used for?

Claritin, containing loratadine, is used to treat symptoms of allergies like sneezing, itching, and a runny nose.
Huma Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Is drowsiness common with Zyrtec?

Some people may experience drowsiness with Zyrtec, though it's considered a non-sedating antihistamine.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Is Claritin available without a prescription?

Yes, Claritin is available over the counter without a prescription.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Do Zyrtec and Claritin have any interactions with other drugs?

While interactions are minimal, always consult a doctor or pharmacist before combining Zyrtec or Claritin with other medications.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

Is Claritin safe for pregnant women?

Claritin is generally considered safe during pregnancy, but always consult a healthcare provider.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Can I take both Zyrtec and Claritin together?

Taking both might increase the risk of side effects. Consult a healthcare professional.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Do Zyrtec and Claritin treat the same symptoms?

Yes, both Zyrtec and Claritin are designed to treat allergy symptoms.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Are there any significant interactions for Claritin?

Claritin has few known drug interactions, but always consult a pharmacist or doctor.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

How often can I take Claritin?

Claritin is usually taken once daily for 24-hour relief.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Is there a generic version of Zyrtec?

Yes, the generic name for Zyrtec is cetirizine.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Does Claritin provide 24-hour relief?

Yes, Claritin can provide relief from allergy symptoms for up to 24 hours.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Can I drive after taking Zyrtec?

If Zyrtec makes you drowsy, it's advised to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Are there any common side effects of Zyrtec?

Besides drowsiness, other side effects of Zyrtec might include dry mouth and stomach pain.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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