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Are Claritin and/or Zyrtec drying?

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  • Are Claritin and/or Zyrtec drying?

    My family doctor recently recommended Claritin or Zyrtec for my chronically stuffy nose. I know many allergy medications are drying; does anyone know if those two are? She said at my most recent exam that I have "allergic shiners" (red skin under my eyes) and that the inside of my right nostril was swollen almost to the point of being closed off. If Claritin or Zyrtec are drying then I'll skip them and live with it, since I've been living with a stuffy nostril all my life and don't know any different. I don't know if it's coincidence, but that's the same side (right eye) of my eye that has MGD and dryness...the other eye has always seemed fine to me. Coincidence?

  • #2
    Different people react differently to systemic antihistamines. Personally, altho I'm kerazy allergic to certain things and like you have congestion issues, my eyes (MGD/Bleph) can't tolerate any of these types of drugs. My eyes get super dry after acoupla days of use. This is one of those things I had to figure out own.


    • #3
      My ophthalmologist believes they are drying. When I was on Claritin, I took the lowest effective does. But eventually I was able to stop. I had mild seasonal allergies and was treated by my DO/naturapath with local bee pollen. The bee pollen had to be local and it worked beautifully - an inexpensive nutritious treatment. He also put me a Singular for a short time as the bee pollen was kicking in.


      • #4
        I have to take Reactine/Zyrtec (certirizine) in the spring/summer. Strangely, I don't find this antihistamine as drying as, say, birth control pills, antidepressants, or sleep aids (e.g., Tylenol Nighttime, Advil PM, etc.). I just have to take one dose of those and my eyes are horrible that night.

        I think you should definitely trial many different antihistamines to see what works and what causes the worst side effects. That's the only way to know how your eyes react to the inherently drying action of antihistamines.


        • #5
          Claritin and Zyrtec are less drying than, say, Chlor-Tripolon and Benadryl.... so you might be ok... I'd try them if I were you.
          Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
          Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?


          • #6
            Also, it's best to take the lowest effective dose and not over-medicate. So, for example, you might start with 1/4 of a Claritin and see if it helps. If not, increase to half, etc.