Allergies can be a real nuisance, especially during spring and summer when pollen counts are high. Fortunately, there are several over-the-counter medications available to help alleviate symptoms. Two of the most popular allergy medications are Zyrtec and Allegra. In this article, we’ll compare the two medications and help you decide which one is better for your needs.
What is Zyrtec?
Zyrtec, also known as cetirizine, is an antihistamine medication that is used to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and hives. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance produced by the body that causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and runny nose. Zyrtec is available in several forms, including tablets, chewable tablets, and liquid.
What is Allegra?
Allegra, also known as fexofenadine, is another antihistamine medication that is used to treat allergic rhinitis and hives. Like Zyrtec, it works by blocking the action of histamine. Allegra is available in tablet form and also as a liquid for children.
Both Zyrtec and Allegra are effective in treating allergic rhinitis and hives. However, studies have shown that Allegra may be more effective than Zyrtec in relieving nasal congestion. On the other hand, Zyrtec may be more effective in relieving itchiness and skin rash caused by hives.
Like all medications, Zyrtec and Allegra can cause side effects. The most common side effects of Zyrtec include drowsiness, dry mouth, and headache. Allegra, on the other hand, is less likely to cause drowsiness but may cause nausea or stomach upset. Both medications can also cause dizziness, so it’s important to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how they affect you.
Both Zyrtec and Allegra can interact with other medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking them. Zyrtec may interact with certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and antifungal medications. Allegra may interact with certain heart medications and antacids.
Dosage and Administration
Zyrtec is usually taken once a day, while Allegra may need to be taken twice a day. Both medications should be taken with water and can be taken with or without food. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and not take more than directed.
The cost of Zyrtec and Allegra can vary depending on where you buy them and whether you choose the brand-name or generic version. In general, Zyrtec may be slightly more expensive than Allegra.
In conclusion, both Zyrtec and Allegra are effective in treating allergic rhinitis and hives. If you have nasal congestion, Allegra may be a better option for you. If you have itchiness or skin rash, Zyrtec may be more effective. It’s important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking either medication, especially if you are taking other medications or have any medical conditions.