Difference Between Zyrtec and Claritin

Generic versions of Zyrtec and Claritin are obtainable. Whilst Zyrtec and Claritin belong to the same medication family, their onset times and side-effect profiles vary.


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Zyrtec vs Claritin

The difference between Zyrtec and Claritin is that the former contains the active ingredient cetirizine hydrochloride, unlike the latter that has the active ingredient loratadine. When compared to Claritin, Zyrtec has a more sedative effect. Claritin cannot work as a muscle relaxant or antidepressant, or anticonvulsant. On the other hand, Zyrtec may serve these properties.

Zyrtec vs Claritin

This can last for around 24 hours. Adults and children over the age of six can take Zyrtec. Before taking this drug, children under six and adults aged above 65 should talk to their doctor.

Claritin is a second-generation OTC antihistamine. Often prescribed to handle allergies, and it takes about 3 hours to reach its full effect.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonZyrtecClaritin
Active Component This first-generation antihistamine contains the effective active ingredient cetirizine hydrochloride.This drug or antihistamine contains the active ingredient loratadine.
Sedative Effect It has a more sedative effect.This drug has a less sedative effect.
Muscle Relaxant It can work as a muscle relaxant which is a plus point of its use.This drug, unfortunately, cannot act as a muscle relaxant.
For ages It is for children over 6 and adults under 65 years.It is for adults and children not below 2 years.
Antidepressant This drug can also act as an antidepressant.This drug cannot act as an antidepressant.

What is Zyrtec?

Zyrtec (cetirizine) is an antihistamine that works by reducing the adverse effects of the natural chemical called histamine. Sneezing, irritation, watery eyes, and a runny nose are all symptoms of histamine.

Zyrtec has the potential to affect your thinking and reactions. If you drive or do anything else that demands you to be aware, be cautious.

Tiredness, sluggishness, drowsiness, excessive thirst, headache, constipation, cough, and vomiting are all side effects of Zyrtec.

If you have any of these significant side effects, you should immediately contact your healthcare practitioner and get treatment.


What is Claritin?

Claritin is a prescription allergy drug for treating hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies. Claritin can be intaken on its own or in combination with other medicines.

 This medicine should not be taken more frequently than prescribed. This drug should not be taken more than the recommended dosage for one’s age.

 These drugs, on the other hand, are typically administered during allergy season. These medications may be stopped if allergy symptoms have decreased.

Headache, weariness, dry mouth, abdominal discomfort, anxiety, diarrhea, skin disease, bloody noses, and blurred vision are all common Claritin side effects.

The anti-allergy drug you use will finally be determined by your health and symptoms. After examining your symptoms, your doctor will be able to recommend the appropriate prescription for you.


Main Differences Between Zyrtec and Claritin

  1. Zyrtec is for children over 6 and adults under 65 years, while Claritin is for adults and children over 2 years.
  2. Zyrtec can also act as an antidepressant, unlike Claritin than cannot act like one.


  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/aulr51&section=37
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0420.1999.tb01175.x
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