Prices of generics for Zyrotec, Allegra and Claritin

At WalMart today generics for Allegra and Claritin were a bit less than $8 while generic for Zyrotec was about $24. The quantities of each were about the same.

What is it about Zyrotec that makes it worth 300% of the otheres?

Well, there could be the perceived value, of course. From a manufacturing point of view, it may actually cost three times (roughly) as much to make cetirizine as opposed to loratadine or fexofenadine, though it’s not immediately obvious to me just by looking at the structures. Another possibility is that there was a different formulation involved that you didn’t notice.

Honestly, I would say Marketing… Honestly, pharmacology way, there isn’t much difference between the three 2nd generation antihistamines, except that Loratadine (Claritin) doesn’t cause any sedation, Fexofenadine (Allegra) can cause some, and Certrazine (Zyrtec) causes the most (of the 2nd generation, though they are WAY below 1st generation like Benadryl).

However, there are some people who have a greater response from one vs. another… But, there is no reason I can think of for a price difference, except marketing. If anything you would expect the Allegra to be more since it just went OTC.

There was a study I read that showed that all three have pretty much the same effect after 14 days of consecutive use… In fact it showed that Loratadine (Claritin) worked better sooner, but, all the 2nd generation were pretty much statistically equivalent after 2 weeks. Though, that is in population, not individual, for some people one does work better then the other, is it worth 300% more though? No…

And of course, nothing works better then 1st generations, especially Benadryl, it is still the best antihistamine, the only advantage of the 2nd generation is that it is less sedating.

You can buy a year’s supply of cetirazine (Zyrtec) at Costco for $16. For some reason they can sell it for one-tenth the price that everybody else charges for it. I’m not kidding when I say a year’s supply; it comes in a 365-count bottle, and it really is sixteen bucks.

Yeah, but that’s a pretty huge advantage. Anecdotally, if I take Benadryl, within an hour I am pretty much unconscious for the next 4. Not something I can take at work.

I hear ya’ …when I travel overseas…I take one or two Advil-PM…they are loaded with Bendryl (the API anyway)…knocks me out for a whole 9 hour light.

I find that in my case Zyrtec works way better than Claritin. Even this time of year with crazy amounts of pollen, I find I’m only sneezing a few times per day on Zyrtec, but last year on Claritin I was having full on sneeze attacks.

Since Claritin was king before Zyrtec was around, maybe they figure charging more is OK because the majority of people that will buy it would be the people who try it and find it works better, and thus are willing to pay more.

Like Washoe points out, though, it can be had cheap if you buy larger quantities. I usually get it at Target which sells 180ct bottles (of their generic brand) for a decent price. Next time I’ll definitely get it at Costco. Buying small packs of 10 pills is a huge waste of money.

I’ve had the exact opposite experience, so this just goes to (anecdotally) prove the comment above, that people seem to respond differently to the 2nd gen antihistamines. Zyrtec does next to nothing for me.

And if you don’t have any Costcos near you (I don’t) you can order Costco’s version from Amazon. It’s a bit more expensive, $26 the last I looked, but a hell of a lot less expensive than buying a month’s worth at a time at any store near me.

Zyrtec has always worked better for me. Claritin makes my blood pressure skyrocket, and I’m not a regular high blood pressure person. Allegra does nothing for me…it’s like taking nothing. I will pay whatever it costs to keep myself in Zyrtec–without it, I can’t function in the Spring or Fall.

Here it is for $17.80.

And here’s 700 tabs for $40.36 no sales tax AND free shipping.