Loratadine is used to treat allergies, itchings, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing from hay fever, urticaria, food allergies. It is the 2nd generation in the drug class.

It acts as an antihistamine for treating hives. Hives are red bumps on the skin formed due to allergies and skin reactions.

Claritin is the brand name, and Loratadine is the generic name for this medicine. It was developed by Schering plough.

Claritin is an over the counter medication you can also buy Claritin online from certified pharmacy. Medicine sent it for approval in 1993 and for commercial sale in 2002 (Haria, M., Fitton, A. and Peters, D.H., 1994).


Cetirizine is an antihistamine that helps treat allergic rhinitis, runny nose sneezing, inflamed nose, urticaria, and allergies. It is a second-generation antihistamine.

It was approved in 2007 by FDA as the over counter. Cetirizine is effective in decreasing the possible effect of sedatives.

Cetirizine is under the brand name Zyrtec. The generic name is Cetirizine (Spencer, C.M., Faulds, D. and Peters, D.H., 1993).

 Yeah, but What is Antihistamine?

Before understanding antihistamine, first, understand "Histamine." Histamine is a chemical present in your body that helps whenever your immune system poses a threat from foreign substances like dust, molds, pet hairs, etc.

It's a defense mechanism and makes the body sneeze a runny nose to kick the allergens out of the system. Antihistamine is a type of drug that helps treat reactions caused by various substances, termed an allergy.

It blocks the use of histamines to prevent the symptoms of sneezing, red eyes, runny nose as the body is in the symptoms stage. Histamines overreact towards the allergy, whereas antihistamine prevents the allergy symptoms and makes it tolerable and preventable.

Which Brands do they belong to?

Both are available over-the-counter medicine. Loratadine was approved in 2002, and Cetirizine was approved in 2007 by FDA.

Loratadine was branded under the name Claritin.Cetirizine was branded under the name Zyrtec. These two medicines brand are commonly used to treat allergies conjunctivitis.

They are also generic medicines for aller-tec,aller-tec D, quzyttir, reactine for Cetirizine and Alavert, Alavert D, loradamed.

Is it OTC or prescribed?

The FDA has approved both the medicines to be over the counter; the loratadine can be prescribed through a doctor for some conditions.

Loratadine vs Cetirizine

A study was conducted about the effectiveness of Cetirizine and loratadine. The study was born on 80 children aged 2 to 6 years with rhinitis allergies caused by house dust and plant pollens.

The children were studied parallelly and were monitored by the experts; they were given about 0.2mg/kg per day in the morning both the drug for 28 days; on the 28th day, the results displayed in which Cetirizine was proven significantly more significant as compared to loratadine.

Cetirizine helped to lower the histamine as compared to loratadine. Hence it proved effective and tolerable to the symptoms of allergies.Cetirizine comes under the brand Zyrtec, and loratadine comes under Claritin.

In Cetirizine, i.e., the Zyrtec contains Cetirizine which has a more effective time; a usual time for effect for Zyrtec is 1 hour. Both Cetirizine and loratadine have similar uses, but the drug also depends on the conditions, some people feel drowsiness by taking Cetirizine, but it depends on the person.

Are Cetirizine and Loratadine Safe to use While Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Loratadine and cetirizine are both antihistamine and used to treat allergy caused by outer substance. It is ok to take these medications if you are facing allergies, inflamed nose and other symptoms.

As it makes the day more frustrating, during breast feeding a minute amount of it is released but it does not have any effect on your infant. So, it safe to take these medics.

Mechanism (How it works)

Loratadine does create a block on one type of histamine receptor, i.e., the H1 receptor, and stops the activation of cells that histamine does. The loratadine does not enter the brain's blood barrier; hence, like other antihistamines, loratadine doesn't let the user feel sleepy or tired (Crumb, W.J., 2000).

Cetirizine has a quick one set of actions than another antihistamine. It blocks the H1 receptors to stop the generation of cells, decreasing allergic symptoms like runny nose, skin itchiness, and watery eyes. Yet the Cetirizine has some drowsy effect, but it depends on its body (Dyakonov, T., Muir, A., Nasri, H., Toops, D. and Fatmi, A., 2010).

Age Preferred

Loratadine can be taken by children of 2 years and older; adults can prefer this medicine dosage directed by the physician or as per the package description.Cetirizine can be taken by children starting from 1 year under the guidance of a physician.

Age 6 and older can take tablets and liquid. Twelve and above can prefer both tablets, drink, and capsules also. The option in Cetirizine is more than another antihistamine as it has a quick effect.

Forms and Dosages

Loratadine comes in tablets, chewable tablets, syrup tablets can be taken once a day before the food. Don't take more dosage without guidance.

The standard tablets should be entirely swallowed through water; the chewable tablet should be thoroughly chewed and swallowed.

10 mg once a day

For 2 to 5 years, 5 mg once a day

Six years and older 10mg once a day

The maximum dose is 10mg a day.

Cetirizine comes in tablets that melt in the mouth, chewable tablets, syrup, and solutions.

For adult 

  • It should be 5 mg to 10 mg

For children

  • Not preferred under two years
  • 2-6 years 2.5 mg oral solution can be increased to 5 mg as per the symptoms but should not exceed 5 mg

More than six years 5-10 mg orally each day, not to exceed 10 mg per day.

Side Effects

Loratadine's common side effects include

  • Fast heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and stomach pain
  • Hyperactive

Cetirizine side effects include

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Common headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mouth drying out
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing problems
  • Vomiting
  • Nose Bleed
  • Hallucinations
  • Blood pressure.


Loratadine interactions consist of

  • Lactation (it is a theoretical explanation that this medicine has decreased the breastfeeding compatibility of women)
  • Alcohol
  • Liver-related diseases ( consult before taking the medication)
  • Abametapir topical
  • Belzutifan

Cetirizine interactions consist of

  • Alcohol
  • Hypersensitivity towards allergy
  • Benadryl
  • Cymbalta
  • Lyrica


Loratadine and Cetirizine are both used to treat allergies, conjunctivitis, urticaria, itching, skin allergies, food allergies, runny nose, watery nose, sneezing, etc. There are side effects involved in both medicines.

Cetirizine proves effective due to its quick factor; it feels tiring for some people who avoid taking this medication while driving or having mental alertness activity.


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