If you have seasonal allergies (hay fever), you know all about the aggravating symptoms they can cause, from a runny or congested nose to watery eyes, sneezing, and itching. These symptoms occur when you’re exposed to allergens such as:
Allergens cause these symptoms by prompting certain cells throughout your body, called mast cells, to release a substance called histamine. Histamine binds to parts of cells called H1 receptors in your nose and eyes. This action helps open blood vessels and increase secretions, which helps protect your body from allergens. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the resulting runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and itching.
Allegra and Claritin are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can help relieve allergy symptoms. They’re both antihistamines, which work by blocking histamine from binding to H1 receptors. This action helps prevent your allergy symptoms.
While these drugs work in a similar way, they’re not identical. Let’s look at some of the main differences between Allegra and Claritin.