Allergy Medication - Is One Antihistamine Better Than Another?

Clarinex (desloratadine) is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms associated with seasonal and year-round (chronic) allergies. Seasonal allergies are often caused by exposure to outdoor allergens such as tree pollen, grasses, and weeds while chronic allergies are caused by indoor allergens such as mold, pet dander, and dust mites.

Clarinex does not contain a decongestant (that's Clarinex-D) and therefore does not cause drowsiness. This is known as the first antihistamine to state in its labeling that grapefruit juice does not affect the absorption of the active ingredient.

How Does Clarinex Work?

This is classified as an antihistamine. This means its method of action is to block the effects of histamine, a natural substance in your body released by an overactive immune system during an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when your body inadvertently reacts to substances it views as harmful. These substances are called allergens.

Following the body's first exposure to an allergen, white blood cells produce Y-shaped antibodies that prepare the immune system for its next encounter with the same allergen. These antibodies, known as IgEs, attach themselves to mast cells. Mast cells are special cells found in the tissues of the respiratory and digestive systems. Each IgE is specific for each allergen.

Subsequent exposure to even a small amount of the allergen trigger IgEs to alert mast cells, which release inflammatory chemicals called histamine. When histamine is released, it attaches to the receptors of nearby cells. These receptors interact with other substances in the body and cause nearby blood vessels to swell and secrete excess fluid causing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.

Antihistamines such as Clarinex can protect cells from some of the allergic effects caused by histamine. By attaching themselves to cell receptors, these drugs prevent the receptors from binding to histamine. This prevents histamine from causing the chemical reactions in cells that produce allergy symptoms.

Different Forms of Clarinex

It is available in three different forms. A once-daily 5 mg tablet approved for adults and children age 12 years and older. Also available is a tablet that dissolves orally on the tongue, without the need for water. These tablets are also taken once daily and come in two sizes. A 2.5 mg tablet approved for patients 6 years and older, and a 5 mg tablet approved for patients 12 years and older.

Also available is a flavored syrup. For outdoor allergy symptoms, this form of it is approved for patients 6 months and older. For indoor allergy symtoms, the medication is approved for patients 2 years and older.

Side Effects

In clinical studies, the most common side effects for Clarinex were similar to the those of the placebo and included a sore throat, headache, dry mouth, and fatigue.
Amanda K. Jones is a licensed veterinary technician and an avid researcher of human allergy relief products including Clarinex. She runs a successful website dedicated to debunking various allergy relief products for the benefit of the consumer.

Amanda hopes she can decrease the number of pets who need to find new homes by educating pet owners on how they can control their allergies. For great free allergy relief tips, discount offers and more, visit Amanda's website at

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