Xyzal vs Claritin – Compare Differences Between Side Effects & Uses

Xyzal vs Claritin – comparison:


It is the brand name of a medication called levocetirizine, a 3rd-generation non-sedating antihistamine that is manufactured from the 2nd-generation antihistamine cetirizine.

It works by blocking the action of histamine, a neurotransmitter that is made by the human body when it reacts to a foreign substance, such as –  pet fur or pollen (any type of allergen).

The neurotransmitter acts on histamine receptors, leading to a chain reaction that results in allergic symptoms.


This medication treats allergy symptoms, like – swelling, rashes, and itching.


The usual recommended dosage for children 12 years of age and older and adults is 5 mg once a day in the evening. The effect of this medication lasts for an average of 24 hours.

Important note – people over 65 years should use this antihistamine with caution since they may be more sensitive to its effects.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • a cough;
  • feeling tired;
  • fever (high temperature);
  • weakness;
  • stuffy nose;
  • sinus pain;
  • a sore throat;
  • drowsiness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • nosebleeds (particularly in a child);
  • lightheadedness;
  • little or no urinating;
  • agitation;
  • foul-smelling stools;
  • hallucinations;
  • drainage from the ear;
  • worsening allergy symptoms;
  • loss of appetite;
  • hearing problems;
  • tingling around the lips or mouth;
  • dark-colored urine;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice);
  • depression;
  • a light-headed feeling like you might pass out;
  • aggression;
  • dry mouth;
  • painful or difficult urination;
  • stomach pain;
  • ear pain or full feeling;
  • unexplained weight gain;
  • ear infection;
  • vomiting;
  • trouble hearing;
  • constipation.


Consuming alcohol while taking this antihistamine may increase your risk of side effects, especially drowsiness. Therefore, you should talk to your healthcare provider about how much alcohol is safe to drink while taking this antihistamine.


This antihistamine can pass into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant. Therefore, you shouldn’t breastfeed while taking this antihistamine. This medicine is a Pregnancy Category B drug, which means it is not expected to negatively affect an unborn baby.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including herbal supplements, non-prescription medicines, and vitamins. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • ritonavir (Norvir);
  • antidepressants;
  • azithromycin (Zmax, Zithromax);
  • theophylline (Theolair, Slo-Bid);
  • sedative or sleeping pills;
  • xareleto;
  • antipyrine (Aurodex, Phenazone);
  • medications for mental illness, anxiety (Zoloft), or seizures;
  • pseudoephedrine (Sudafed);
  • ibuprofen;
  • erythromycin (Erythrocin);
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • antihistamines (doxylamine succinate).


It is the brand name of a medication called loratadine which belongs to a group of drugs called Histamine H1 Antagonists. This type of medication work by blocking the release of a chemical the human body naturally produces due to exposure to something (an allergen) which leads to an allergic reaction.

It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines and it was discovered in 1981. It was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1993.


This antihistamine is commonly used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis (an inflammatory condition of the upper airways which occurs in response to exposure to airborne allergens), hay fever, and other allergies.


For children over 10 years of age and adults, the usual recommended dosage is 10 mL once a day.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • headaches;
  • stomach pain;
  • sleepiness;
  • tiredness;
  • dry throat;
  • dry eyes;
  • dry mouth.

Rare side effects may include:

  • a light-headed feeling;
  • uneven heart rate;
  • severe headaches.

Before taking the antihistamine, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have or have ever had:

  • kidney disease;
  • glaucoma (an eye condition);
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • high blood pressure;
  • liver disease;
  • high LDL and total cholesterol levels;
  • a bladder obstruction or other urination issues (such as an enlarged prostate);
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • stroke;
  • heart disease;


If you are breastfeeding, do not take this antihistamine since it can pass into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant.

In addition, there are no well-done clinical studies to determine whether the antihistamine will harm an unborn baby. Therefore, you shouldn’t use this antihistamine without talking to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant.


Because both alcohol and this antihistamine may cause drowsiness, along with dry eyes (which may blur vision) and dry mouth, you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.

Drug Interactions

This medication may negatively interact with other drugs, especially:

  • aleve (naproxen);
  • adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine);
  • amoxicillin;
  • advil (ibuprofen);
  • clonazepam;
  • flonase (fluticasone nasal);
  • azithromycin (an antibiotic useful for the treatment of oral gonorrhea, strep throat, middle ear infections, traveler’s diarrhea, or pneumonia);
  • gabapentin;
  • benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • lisinopril;
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids);
  • metformin;
  • omeprazole;
  • mucinex (guaifenesin);
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol);
  • oxycodone;
  • tramadol;
  • prednisone;
  • tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • sertraline;
  • zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • xanax (alprazolam);
  • vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol);
  • trazodone;
  • singulair (montelukast).

Bottom Line – Xyzal vs Claritin

Xyzal (active ingredient – levocetirizine) is a prescription antihistamine drug that is approved to treat seasonal allergies and allergies which occur all year long (also referred to as perennial allergies) as well as chronic hives due to unknown causes (like – chronic idiopathic urticaria).

Claritin (active ingredient – loratadine) is a generic medication that is used to relieve a runny nose, sneezing, stuffiness, itching, and tearing eyes caused by hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or other upper respiratory allergies. In addition, it is used to relieve swollen, red, itchy patches of skin caused by hives.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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