ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Prescription Antihistamines

Updated on July 29, 2015

Prescription Options

Many allergy sufferers have exhausted every OTC (over-the-counter) option for treating allergy symptoms. These include products such as Benadryl, Tavist, Chlor-Trimeton, Claritin, Zyrtec, and many more. But there are other options. Several prescription antihistamines are available which your doctor can prescribe to alleviate the symptoms related to allergies. In this article I intend to provide details on the 3 currently available ORAL non-sedating prescription antihistamines marketed in the U.S. It should be noted that there are other forms of prescription antihistamines, such as nasal sprays or eye drops.  This article will only deal with the oral prescription non-sedating antihistamines.

For each product I will provide information about dosage forms, dosages, side-effects, and my opinion on their effectiveness. I will also provide links to their various websites for more information and coupons!

The 3 available prescription non-drowsy antihistamines are:

  • Allegra
  • Clarinex
  • Xyxal

Each comes in a variety of dosage forms and combinations which will be discussed as well.

Allegra (fexofenadine)

Allegra was first approved by the FDA in 1996. It is presently available in 3 different dosage forms:

  • Allegra tablets: 60mg capsule & 180mg tablet
  • Allegra ODT (orally disintegrating tablets): 30mg
  • Allegra Susp: 30mg/5ml

NOTE: In March of 2011 the Allegra family of products became available WITHOUT a prescription and the brand name "prescription" product has been discontinued. You can still get generic Allegra (i.e. fexofenadine) by prescription.

Dosing: Ages 2-11 typically take 30mg twice daily

Ages 12-Adult take 60mg twice daily or 180mg once daily

Side Effects: Viral infection, nausea/vomitting, drowsiness, dyspepsia (upset stomach), and fatigue. Yes...even though it is technically a "non-drowsy" antihistamine, it may cause some mild drowsiness in some patients.

Generic Available: YES, the oral tablets are available generically as fexofenadine.

Commentary: Allegra, because it is now available generically, is the most affordable of the prescription antihistamine options. Personally, I would recommend trying the 180mg once daily dosage form, rather than the twice daily options (for adults). Allegra is worth trying if less costly OTC (over the counter) options have been tried and unsuccessful.

Xyzal (levocetirizine)

Xyzal is the latest oral non-drowsy prescription antihistamine to come to the U.S. market. Like Clarinex, the manufacturers of Xyzal played off the effectiveness of Zyrtec (cetirizine, now available OTC) by creating a chemically more potent version of the later, known as levocetirizine (Xyzal). It was approved by the FDA in May of 2007.

Dosage Forms:

  • Tablets: 5mg
  • Solution: 2.5mg/5ml

Dosing Information:

Adults: 5mg once daily in the evening

Children (6-11 years old): 2.5mg once daily in the evening

Side Effects: Drowsiness and fatigue.

Available Generically: YES, Xyzal tablets are now available generically.

Commentary: Xyzal is the new kid on the block. Although classified as "non-drowsy" it caused significantly more drowsiness than placebo in controlled trials. Due to the cost and higher incidence of drowsiness, I personally rank Xyzal as a "last option" amongst all the othe choices.

FREE TRIAL OFFER: The manufacturer is currently offering a free 5-day trial. Click here for details.

Clarinex (Desloratadine)

Clarinex is the prescription son (or daughter if you prefer) of the previously prescription-only antihistamine product known as Claritin (loratadine). Our body converts loratadine to the active metabolite and potent antihistamine known as desloratadine. Thus, as the patent was nearly expired on Claritin, the manufacturer decided to produce this active metabolite as a completely new and separate prescription product known as Clarinex. Thus, while Claritin became available generically, and eventually over the counter, the manufacturer was able to maintain a prescription only non-generic brand on the market. Clever strategy! Although wise consumers will note that the effectiveness of Clarinex is not likely to be significantly different from the much less expense OTC Claritin product.

Dosage Forms:

  • Clarinex Tablets: 5mg
  • Clarinex ODT: 2.5mg & 5mg
  • Clarinex syrup: 0.5mg/ml

Dosing: 12 years - Adult: 5mg once daily

6-11 years: 2.5mg once daily

2-5 years: 1.25mg once daily

Side Effects: Headache, pharyngitis, xerostoma (dry mouth), fatigue, dyspepsia (upset stomach), and dizziness.

Generic Available: NO

Commentary: Clarinex is not available generically and is therefore more expensive than Allegra generic. For those who have tried the OTC options unsuccessfuly, and for whom Allegra is not effective, Clarinex may be an option worth considering. Click here for a $25.00 COUPON to help reduce the cost of your prescription for Clarinex.

Prescribing information is avaiable HERE

Conclusion

Well, now you have the most important information on the currently available oral non-drowsly prescription antihistamines.  As mentioned before, I think that many effective OTC options are available and should normally be tried first.  When these fail, consider one of the above options in consultation with your physician. 

For more helpful information on treating allergies, check out this Mayo Clinic article.

Best wishes for a sneeze-free season!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Ome Ogbru 

      6 years ago

      Nice review. Very useful.

    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 

      6 years ago from A Country called Earth

      Thanks for your advise, I will keep them in mind... I am trying Loratadine at the moment and have not experienced any drowsiness or other side effects yet.

    • pharmacist profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Poquette 

      6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Nomascus,

      Astelin, Astepro and Patanase are prescription nasal antihistamines that can be used daily. Also, nasal steroid sprays can be used daily too, like Flonase, Nasacort AQ or Veramyst.

    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 

      6 years ago from A Country called Earth

      Do you know any nasal spray that could be used on a daily basis? Would it be less likely to cause drowsyness? I will have a look at the ones you described below as well...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)