Benadryl vs. Claritin vs. Zyrtec: Allergy Management Made Easy

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Difference between Benadryl, Claritin and Zyrtec

Allergies are some of the most bothersome and annoying conditions we humans have to endure, and for those susceptible, it seems that they can be triggered by just about anything. Thankfully, there are numerous medications on the market that can ease much of the suffering associated with allergies, if not totally get rid of the symptoms. This comparison article take a look at some of the properties of three anti allergy medications: Benadryl, Claritin and Zyrtec.



Benadryl is a medication belonging to the antihistamine category. It is often used for the relief of the common symptoms of allergies such as itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and itching caused by hives and rashes. Benadryl may also be used to provide relief for insect bites, sunburn, and itching caused by contact with poison ivy and poison oak.

Claritin is also an antihistamine, although it is typically used for the treatment of allergic rhinitis symptoms.

Zyrtec is a relatively new type of antihistamine, with the benefit of much less risk of drowsiness and impairment of psychomotor skills. Zyrtec is commonly prescribed for the treatment of allergies to animal hair, mold, and dust, and for hay fever as well as various skin conditions.

How It Works

Benadryl blocks the effects of histamine, a chemical that is produced by the body and causes the constriction of air passages and inflammation. Benadryl offers only temporary relief from these conditions, since it works only to suppress the symptoms without actually treating the condition.

Claritin is considered by many doctors to be a promising antihistamine, since it provides many of the same benefits of antihistamines without causing drowsiness. This is why medications of this type are often referred to as “nonsedating.”

Zyrtec also blocks the effects of histamine, and like Benadryl, it doesn't actually treat the allergy as much as relieve its symptoms.

Side Effects And Precautions

Benadryl can cause a number of side effects, with the most common ones being dry mouth, nose, and throat, impaired coordination, upset stomach, congestion or difficulty in breathing, and drowsiness. When taking Benadryl, care should be taken by people with a history of glaucoma, peptic ulcers, urinary obstruction, enlarged prostates, asthma, hypertension or heart disease.

Claritin may cause headaches, fatigue, nervousness, dry mouth, sleepiness, stomach pain, and rashes. Claritin is not recommended for people with certain types of glaucoma, peptic ulcers, prostate conditions, or those who are breastfeeding.

Among the most common side effects of Zyrtec are drowsiness, fatigue, abdominal pain diarrhea, headache, drowsiness, and sore throat. Care should be taken by patients who have kidney or liver disease, and they should be prescribed a lower dose of the medication.



  • Is a medication belonging to the antihistamine category
  • Is often used for the relief of the common symptoms of allergies


  • Is also an antihistamine
  • Typically used for the treatment of allergic rhinitis symptoms


  • Is a relatively new type of antihistamine
  • Has much less risk of drowsiness and impairment of psychomotor skills

Benadryl Commercial

Claritin Commercial

Zyrtec Commercial

Which allergy med works best?
  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Zyrtec

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