Allergic conditions such as rhinitis, flu, cold, etc. require timely treatment. Most of these discomforts occur when you are exposed to allergens; a few examples include dust, pollen grains, mites, etc. In this milieu, Zyrtec and Allegra are widely prescribed to treat most of the abovementioned allergic reactions. Both drugs form part of a genre called antihistamines. However, what are the differences between these two anti-allergic drugs. It is important to know these before starting to take either of them.

Meds that are categorised as antihistamines control a few substances which your body makes to avert allergic conditions. These substances are called histamines. Histamine(s) is responsible for making you sneeze or cause a swelling when you are at risk of exposure to a foreign particle. Sneezing, inflammation or itchiness are common anti-allergic approaches your system takes manage allergens like mites, dander (pets), dust or other such foreign bodies.

Antihistamines are meds that control histamines (anti-allergic substances) from showing up, and these meds thus help reduce typical allergic outcomes.

What is Zyrtec?

This is an antihistamine. It is administered for the treatment of allergic conditions among all ages – viz., both children and adults. It is prescribed for treating allergic conditions like cold, flu, watery discharge from your eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, itchiness, inflammation, etc.

Its use is strictly as per the advice of your treating doctor. For instance – for rhinitis or nasal allergies, dosage ranges from 5 milligrams (mg) to 10 mg. Such doses are taken as a single dosage within each 24-hour timeline. Ensure that the dose never breaches the 10 mg mark within a day’s time. Added level of care is needed when this med is administered to the elderly; for older patients, doses are pegged at 5 mg per day. Also, for children and teens, strength is maintained at 2.5 mg – as a single dosage each day.

What is Allegra?

Allegra is the banded formulation of a generic drug called fexofenadine; this is a 2nd generation line-up of antihistamines. The main advantage of such 2nd generation meds is they are less sedative than drugs belonging to the 1st generation of antihistamines. This drug is largely administered for the treatment of episodes of sneezing, runny nose, frequent outflow of tears from eyes, skin problems like hives or itchiness.

In some users, Allegra may cause signs of infections such as increase in temperature, coughs, stomach-based discomforts, etc. Upon sensing such problems, it is wise thing to inform the treating physician of all such signs. In some remote cases, you are likely to develop swelling of oral organs like tongue, throat or gums; some have experienced severe degrees of dizziness or drowsiness, and breathing difficulties including panting for breath or wheezing after taking Allegra. On witnessing one or more of these side effects, you need to seek medical support in a timely manner.

Zyrtec vs. Allegra – The key differences

Allegra carries a lesser level of risk of sedation. Hence, people who work on heavy machinery are more likely to be administered doses of this antihistamine. But, Allegra may take about 110 minutes to start functioning; on the other hand, Zyrtec may only take less than 60 minutes time to commence its action. A few clinical research findings indicate Zyrtec is more effective than Allegra in treating allergies such as rhinitis and other related nasal problems. Your dietitian may tell you not to take grapefruit (or its juice) while taking Allergen; however, there are no such restrictions on foods while taking Zyrtec.

Lastly, both these antihistamines must not be taken together; this practice is considered unsafe as it can lead to gastric disorders such as indigestion, pain in your lower abdomen and nausea coupled with vomiting. It is hence a key thing to talk to your caregiving team before starting your treatment of allergies.

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