I take Claritin in the mornings. Right now in the evening my eyes are itchy and I'd like to take Benadryl.

Is this a good idea or not?


1 Answer 1


Benadryl (aka diphenhydramine) is strongly anticholinergic1. That means it blocks acetylcholine activity in the body's cells. It does this by binding with the cells' acetylcholine receptors, which just about all cells have. These drugs have been linked to dementia2 in older people. Among the H1-blocking antihistamines (loratadine [Claritin], cetirizine [Zyrtec], and fexofenadine [Allegra]), loratadine is generally considered the weakest and cetirizine the strongest3. When I first developed hay fever symptoms after I stopped smoking, my then doctor put me on loratidine and Flonase. I no longer use loratidine, as I've found cetirizine to be more effective. However, I still use Flonase at night. It's available over the counter now, and I can get it at Costco for less than my co-pay was when it was a prescription drug.

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