Can You Take Xyzal And Claritin Together?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Claritin and Xyzal can be taken together.

Question

Can you take Xyzal with loratadine?

Asked by BADallergies On Jun 24, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jun 29, 2022
Last updated Jun 29, 2022

Key points

  • Claritin (loratadine) and Xyzal (levocetirizine) are both similar antihistamines and generally, should not be taken together.

Xyzal (levocetirizine) and Claritin (loratadine) are both antihistamines and generally should not be taken together.

Since both of these drugs work the same way, you likely won't get much additional benefit from taking them together compared to either one alone and you are increasing the risk of side effects occurring, like:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dry eyes

I would recommend taking one or the other and try to determine which medication works best for you, and stick with that one.

How Do Xyzal And Claritin Compare?

Both Xyzal (levocetirizine) and Claritin (loratadine) are second-generation antihistamines, which are noted for their long duration of action (around 24 hours) and mild sedative side effects when compared to first-generation antihistamines, like Benadryl.

Some sources classify Xyzal as a third-generation antihistamine, as it is a derivative of Zyrtec (cetirizine), but that designation doesn't really signify any demonstrable difference versus second-generation ones.

Overall, Xyzal and Claritin are very similar drugs, with the same duration of action (~24 hours), a similar onset of action (~30 minutes), and side effects.

Claritin products will generally cost a little less than Xyzal products, but again, they are similar.

Where there is a slight difference is in their overall effectiveness.

Most studies report that Xyzal is the superior antihistamine for multiple different uses, including hayfever (i.e. allergic rhinitis), itching, and allergic skin reactions.

One study reported the following:

Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis illustrate greater effectiveness for treatment with the active substance levocetirizine as monotherapy in reducing allergic symptoms when compared to treatment with loratadine.
Allergol Int . 2011 Dec;60(4):541-6

Another study concluded:

This study demonstrated that levocetirizine is superior to loratadine in improving symptoms in SAR [seasonal allergic rhinitis] and that there is a similar trend in PAR [perennial allergic rhinitis].
Curr Med Res Opin . 2004 Jun;20(6):891-902

Final Words

So, to summarize, Xyzal and Claritin should not be taken together as they do the same thing, and you'll just be increasing the risk of side effects. You should stick with one or the other on any given day.

Xyzal likely works better for the majority of people, but it's not uncommon for any one individual to prefer one over the other.

Thanks again for your question!

References

  • The effectiveness of levocetirizine in comparison with loratadine in treatment of allergic rhinitis--a meta-analysis, PubMed
  • Comparison of the effects of levocetirizine and loratadine on histamine-induced wheal, flare, and itch in human skin, PubMed
  • Loratadine versus levocetirizine in chronic idiopathic urticaria: A comparative study of efficacy and safety, PubMed
  • A direct comparison of the efficacy of antihistamines in SAR and PAR: randomised, placebo-controlled studies with levocetirizine and loratadine using an environmental exposure unit - the Vienna Challenge Chamber (VCC), PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Feel free to send him an email at Hello@HelloPharmacist.com!

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