Claritin (loratadine) and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) are both classified as antihistamines and generally should not be taken at the same time. Nevertheless, there may be times where your doctor will recommend taking Claritin daily for allergies and Benadryl at night for the treatment of insomnia.


In addition, Benadryl is generally a better option for the treatment of allergic reactions (e.g. from bee stings). If you take Claritin daily and are having an allergic reaction, it is considered okay to take Benadryl.


Claritin

Claritin (loratadine) is a non-sedating "second-generation" antihistamine approved for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria (a type of skin rash). Second-Generation antihistamines are noted for their long duration of action (~24 hours) and their lack of sedating effects.


Claritin may be taken with or without food and may be taken in the morning or in the evening. Although considered a non-sedating antihistamine, Claritin may cause drowsiness in a small percentage of individuals who take it (<10%).


Benadryl

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a sedating "first-generation" antihistamine used most commonly for the treatment of allergic reactions, seasonal allergies, symptoms associated with the common cold and insomnia.


Benadryl may be taken without regard to meals and the most commonly reported side effects is drowsiness. Other commonly reported side effects associated with taking Benadryl include but are not limited to:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation


Taking Claritin And Benadryl At The Same Time

For most individuals, taking Claritin and Benadryl at the same time is not recommended due to the risk of increased adverse events. Both medications are antihistamines so taking them together greatly increases the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and dizziness.


Nevertheless, as mentioned above, there may be situations where your doctor may recommend Benadryl in the evening or for allergic reactions, even if you already take Claritin.