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Benadryl vs. Claritin

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Pfizer/W-L's OTC allergy remedy produced a 54%-60% greater reduction in primary nasal allergic rhinitis symptoms than Schering's Rx antihistamine among 870 patients, Pfizer says, citing two studies comparing the remedies' effects on symptoms caused by cedar pollen and ragweed. Benadryl users experienced a higher incidence of somnolence (31.1% cedar pollen, 27.6% weed pollen) compared to Claritin users (4.4%, 4.7%). In response, Schering points to Claritin's non-sedating formula, safety and efficacy record and once-daily dosing. Claritin and other Rx antihistamines continue to be the subject of Rx-to-OTC switch talk (1"The Tan Sheet" July 3, p. 3)
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