Woman sneezing from allergies

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Stuffed sinuses, itchy eyes, and a constant sniffle – allergies can put a real damper on your day. But with so many allergy medications on the shelves, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. Fret no more! This article will guide you through the best allergy medicines, their pros and cons, and help you find the perfect solution to breathe easy and conquer your allergy woes.

According to one study, only one in four adults feel truly prepared for seasonal weather changes. More than two in five (44%) suffer from seasonal allergies, and 76 percent would rate those allergies as “severe.” Needless to say, seasonal allergies can be a nuisance, but they can be treated with the right medication. The best allergy medicine can combat those allergies quickly, safely, and without any side effects. To find the top five best allergy medicines on the market today, StudyFinds consulted eight expert sources, taking into consideration the reviews of each medication by allergists and consumers. Is there another OTC allergy brand we should consider? Let us know in the comments!

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created

StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

Woman Sitting on Sofa and Blowing her Nose into a Tissue
Woman sneezing (Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels)

The List: Best Allergy Medicine, According to Experts

1. Zyrtec

Zyrtec Cetrizine HCl/Antihistamine - 10mg/100 Tablets
Zyrtec Allergy Tablets

Per the experts, Zyrtec is the best choice when it comes to fighting seasonal allergies. This antihistamine is highly effective at relieving symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. It’s also fast-acting, so you can feel relief within just a few minutes of taking it. It is also available in a variety of forms, including tablets, liquid gels, and chewables for you and your kids!

Doctors are big fans of Zyrtec, and for good reason! It’s not just effective, but also affordable and comes in a variety of forms. Dr. Passer, an allergist, tells Forbes that Zyrtec is gentle on the wallet and tackles itchy skin, a common allergy struggle. Dr. Westreich, another Forbes consultant, reaches for Zyrtec too, praising it for being less likely to make you drowsy compared to other allergy meds. Plus, it’s the go-to choice for pregnant women who need allergy relief.

So how does Zyrtec work its magic? It all comes down to a tiny ingredient called cetirizine. This magic bullet blocks the release of histamine, a chemical your body produces when it encounters allergens. Histamine is the culprit behind all those annoying allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. With Zyrtec on your side, you can experience up to 24 hours of relief, perfect for busy schedules.

Just a heads-up: while Zyrtec is known for being non-drowsy, Women’s Health reminds us that everyone reacts differently. It’s always a good idea to be aware of potential side effects, like feeling a little groggy. To get the most out of Zyrtec, consistency is key! Taking it daily ensures it works its best.

2. Alle

Allegra allergy medicine
Allegra allergy medicine

When it comes to the best allergy medication, Allegra is a top contender. It’s a non-drowsy antihistamine that provides relief from a range of allergy symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and throat. Like Zyrtec, it is fast-acting, with relief kicking in within an hour of taking it. It’s also long-lasting, providing up to 24 hours of symptom relief

According to allergist Dr. Westreich, Allegra is a top pick for those worried about drowsiness. Studies even suggest it has minimal to no sedative effects, on top of lasting a long time (Forbes).

But why does Allegra stand out? Dr. Jennifer Monroy, MD, a Washington University board-certified allergist and immunologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO tells The Healthy that some antihistamines work better for certain people. Allegra, with its key ingredient fexofenadine, tackles allergies for many who find other meds leave them feeling sleepy.

The best part? Allegra comes in various forms like tablets, capsules, and even liquids, making it easy to find the perfect fit for you. Plus, it’s safe for children over six, making it a family-friendly option. Overall, if you’re seeking a powerful, non-drowsy allergy med, Allegra is definitely worth exploring!

3. Claritin

Claritin 24 Hour Allergy Medicine, Non-Drowsy Prescription Strength Allergy Relief, Loratadine Antihistamine Tablets, 100 Count
Claritin 24 Hour Allergy Tablets on Amazon

Claritin, another great antihistamine, has been on the market for over 25 years and has proven to be effective in relieving allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Like Allegra and Zyrtec, Claritin is also non-drowsy. Additionally, Claritin comes in a variety of forms, including tablets, liquid gels, and dissolvable tablets, and has remained a reliable allergy medication for years!

Kids and allergies? No fun! But fear not, parents! Women’s Health points to Claritin for Kids as a great over-the-counter option to fight those sniffles and sneezes. Just remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your pediatrician first, especially if your child takes other medications.

Claritin is a big name in allergy relief for a reason, Go Puff says. Their secret weapon? Loratadine, a second-generation antihistamine that’s less likely to leave you drowsy compared to older meds. So, you can ditch the Benadryl fog and still conquer symptoms like runny noses, itchy eyes, and all that springtime sneezing. Plus, it works wonders against natural allergens like pollen and dust mites, keeping you comfortable outdoors. And the best part? Claritin provides a full 24 hours of relief!

LiveStrong calls Claritin as a champion against pet allergies, too. Since pet dander and saliva are allergy triggers year-round, unlike seasonal allergies, Claritin’s loratadine (in the same drug class as Zyrtec) can be a lifesaver. As Dr. Anjeli Kalra tells LiveStrong, there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet. So, if you love your furry friends but struggle with allergies, Claritin might be your new best friend.

4. Flonase

Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray, 24 Hour Non Drowsy Allergy Medicine, Metered Nasal Spray - 72 Sprays
Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray

If you prefer a nasal spray to help combat those allergies, Flonase should definitely be on your radar. This nasal spray contains fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid that helps to relieve inflammation and other allergy symptoms. One of the best things about Flonase is that it can be used to treat a wide range of allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. Plus, it’s safe for both adults and children over the age of four.

Flonase might be your new allergy hero! The Healthy points out that Flonase is a super effective nasal steroid that tackles allergy symptoms and even works for itchy eyes. It’s a great option for people who prefer not to swallow pills.

Here’s the deal: Flonase works for up to 24 hours and comes in a handy spray form. Women’s Health gives a quick rundown on how to use it: just a spritz or two in each nostril daily. Dr. Evan Li even suggests pairing it with Allegra for an extra allergy-fighting punch (Women’s Health).

5. Xyzal

Xyzal Allergy Pills, 24-Hour Allergy Relief, 10-Count, Original Prescription Strength
Xyzal Allergy Pills

The best medicine for you depends on your allergies and associated symptoms. If none of the above work for you, you should definitely consider Xyzal. This powerful antihistamine is one of the most effective options on the market for treating allergy symptoms. Xyzal works in the same way by blocking the histamine receptors in your body, which helps to alleviate symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and runny nose. Xyzal is not known to cause drowsiness, so you can take it during the day without worrying about feeling tired or unfocused. It’s also fast-acting, so you can expect to feel relief from your symptoms within just a few hours of taking it. 

Love your furry friend but sniffling like crazy? Like Claritin, it is great for combating pet allergies! Verywell Health says Xyzal Allergy Relief Tablets are formulated to fight those symptoms caused by animal dander, offering much-needed relief.

Active hails Xyzal as the best liquid allergy medicine for kids, especially for tackling runny noses. The secret weapon? Levocetirizine dihydrochloride, a fast-acting antihistamine that only needs one dose a day! Plus, it provides 24-hour relief, day and night. Expect to see improvement within an hour.

Xyzal is a powerhouse for adults too! Women’s Health, quoting Dr. Li, calls it the “best prescription-strength oral antihistamine.” This means fast relief within an hour to tackle all those pesky allergy symptoms. So, breathe easy and cuddle your pet (or not!), Xyzal has your back!


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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  1. robert reed says:

    Zyrtec side effects: Depression, rage, anxiety, crying, mood swings, loss of appetite, exhaustion, no motivation, dizziness, brain fog. Do you really want these side effects?

  2. Ruth Nunez Dale says:

    Alavert D is the only allergy medicine I can take that actually helps me with all my allergies