Claritin is the best allergy drug ever! It is the only thing that a) works for ALL my symptoms, and b) doesn’t knock me on my ass with drowsiness. And now anyone can walk into a pharmacy and buy it!
The one downside, at least for me: even OTC, it’s still expensive at $0.90/tablet, which means that since I have a $10 copay for a 30-day supply, it now costs me roughly triple what it did as a prescription drug.
So how long until it’s off patent and we can get a generic version? I’m sure the pharmaceutical company is fighting it tooth and nail, but we allergic asthmatics are awaiting that moment with, ummmm, bated breath…
I think there was an article in last week’s Newsweek about this. IIRC, the patent expires next year. The same article also stated that insurance companies are trying to jack up the copays on other allergy meds to as high as $50 to “encourage” people to switch to Claritin OTC which is not covered.
The patent expires Dec. 19, 2002, not next year. Wyeth already has it’s competitor ready. It will be called Alavert. I haven’t heard about a generic yet, but it will likely be available early next year.
Very glad to hear this! I sometimes need that and when I haven’t seen the doc in a while I have to go in for a prescription. Such a waste of time and money. Couldn’t understand why it was OTC in the UK. Of course, it was about a dollar a pill in the UK, but the convenience was worth it.
This summer, capybara is in Belgium for 7 weeks, slowly dying from grass seed or something. Goes to Apotheek in Bruges and in halting, embarassing Dutch:
“Do you have anything for. . . allergies? Like ‘Claritin’?”
“Yes, we have ‘Claritine’ and your accent is laughable, you putz. How much would you like?”
“ClaritINE, huh? I don’t need a. . . prescription?”
“Pshaw. Of course not, you ignoramous American. Here’s 20 pills for 9 bucks.”
“Now hurry up and run along and go buy some chocolate or tomato ketchup or whatever it is you people do.”
I had been using Allegra D, which has worked wonderfully for my symptoms (go allergy asthmatics! :D) But since I’ve been uninsured for a short time, and will continue to be so for another short time, if I can get Claratin, or a decent knockoff, for a halfway decent OTC price, I’m all for it.
My doctor put me on Claritin about a month ago, and it’s done wonders for my allergies. I’m curious, though; has anyone else experienced the side effect of sweating? A couple hours after I take it, I start sweating and don’t stop until I go to bed. It’s worth it, but I’d never heard this mentioned as a side effect.
It is of course possible that the sweating is due to something else (work-related stress, massive coffee intake, &c.), but it started when I started taking Claritin, and I don’t think I made any other lifestyle changes around then.