Allergies are a huge nuisance that impedes everyday life. Whether they're seasonal, year-round, or food/pet related, they're constantly haunting your every move. That's why it's important to find the right medication for your pesky allergies. 

Like pizzas, allergy medications aren't all alike. Some serve different purposes than others, or contain higher doses. However, due to the wide variety found in an aisle of a drug store, it can be a little overwhelming, because all you want is instant relief.

Here's a list about the differences of the most commonly found allergy medications:


Allegra is a 12 to 24 hour decongestant, and is suppose to relieve both indoor and outdoor allergies. According to John Ferguson, a drug pharmacologist, Allegra is a "lower-medium duration antihistamine." 

Allegra is commonly used for: hay fever, seasonal allergies, chronic hives, and year-round allergies. It also comes in a few different forms: pill, dissolving tablet, and liquid form.


Most people are quickly able to recognize the tiny pink pill, known as Benadryl. The effects of Benadryl only last between 4 to 6 hours, and also causes drowsiness. 

Benadryl is commonly used for: Seasonal allergies, year-round allergies, itchy skin, anaphylaxis, common cold, insomnia, motion sickness, and parkinsonism. The allergy medication is also available in more than just pill form; oral tablet and cream form are common as well. 


Claritin is a 24 hour decongestant, and according to Ferguson, Claritin is "one of the longer lasting antihistamines." 

Claritin is commonly used for: Hay fever, seasonal allergies, chronic hives, and chronic or perennial allergies. It's available in pill, chewable tablet, oral tablet, and liquid form.


Flonase is a 24 hour corticosteroid, which is a steroid hormone. Since Flonase is a nasal spray, the medicine works to reduce any swelling or inflammation in your nose. However, long term use of nasal spray's can increase the chances of getting thrush in the nose and throat. 

Flonase is commonly used for: Seasonal allergies, year-round allergies, and chronic nasal congestion.


Zyrtec, which is the brand I commonly use, is a 24 hour decongestant. According to Ferguson, Zyrtec is a "stronger antihistamine," however, is usually short lived.

Zyrtec is commonly used for: Hay fever, seasonal allergies, chronic or perennial allergies, and hives. The medication also comes in pill, liquid capsule, dissolving tablet, and liquid form.

It's important to know what type of allergy medication will work best for you. While they all aim to relieve allergies, some might hold more beneficial qualities. But until you've found the perfect allergy medication, why not try to find ways to relieve some of those stuffy symptoms.