Friday, August 1, 2008

Is Allegra a good antihistamine?

Allegra is the trade name for the generic medication called fexofenadine. Therefore, they are the same thing. Allegra has been available for several years longer than the generics, which entered the marketplace about October of 2006. (Photo courtesy of PDR). Note generics will not have the same markings on the pills as branded medications.

Where does this fit in the marketplace? Most insurances companies will try to shift patients to the generic version because of the lower cost. There are no quality issues between the two, that I am aware of, so the generic version is fine with me. Fexofenadine remains a medication by prescription only. There are no OTC equivalents. So usually I recommend patients try OTC loratadine (trade names Alavert or Claritin) and/or OTC cetirizine (trade name Zyrtec) prior to purchasing fexofenadine. To add complexity to the situation, fexofenedine is available is several forms. The pill is the least costly. The oral-dissolving-tablet (ODT) and suspension cost more and are targeted for children. All fexofenadine products are either tier 1 or tier 2. Finally comes tier 3 oral antihistamines: Clarinex and Xyzal. Insurances companies have placed these 2 here because they are available only by prescription and there are no generic equivalents available. The cost to the insurance companies is highest and so they are passing the cost on to the patients as much as possible.

If you have questions about the best antihistamine for you, ask your doctor.

No comments:

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.
My Zimbio Medicine Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory