Allergy Medicine for a 5 Year Old Boy

Updated on December 01, 2010
P.C. asks from Fort Mill, SC
20 answers

I have heard that you should give Zyrtec at night b/c it tends to make children sleepy but what about Claritin? SHould that be given in the a.m. or at bedtime? Do you prefer one over the other and why? I have already discussed this with my pediatrician but want to her moms opinions.
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answers from Charleston on

I like clairton I take it myself and give it to my daughter. I give it in the morning it doesnt make her sleepy at all

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answers from Greensboro on

Hi P.,

I used to have horrible allergies and then I had a caring individual give me some missing information in my thought process. Allergies to natural things only occur when the immune system is weak. The key to getting rid of allergy symptoms is building the immune system. I noticed you mentioned that your son had yeast last year and yeast is a primary culprit in breaking down the immune system. If you saw it in his private area then his entire body is eaten up with it and it is wreaking havoc on his system. FYI, yeast doesn't go away by itself and cream on the outward signs only lends a little comfort.

Forgive me for being presumptious. I know you asked for advice on claritin and zyrtec but thought you might want to dodge those all together if you could. There are several ways to build the immune system and I'd be glad to share them with you if you're interested.



1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

The Zyrtec doesn't seem to bother my son,when I give it to him in the morning, but he is a little older, 12. At first Claritin did not seem to work for him , but the Zyrtec did great, but we have recently tried Claritin again and it did work the last time. My son has bad allergy/sneezing attacks every time the weather changes, I have also been giving him natural products to help with this.
A. Petty
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answers from Louisville on

Some people get sleepy with Zyrtec, myself included, but my 10 yr old daughter does not. Claritin is not supposed to cause sleepiness. Hard to decide, make sure to cover everything with your doc and what for any changes in your child's behavior. Older children have been known to get irritable and angry easier when they are on Zyrtec. My daughter never did. Good luck!



answers from Raleigh on

After trying several prescriptions (Allegra, Flonase, Singulair together), I decided to try over the counter allergy relief for my son.

My son's ped said that it doesn't matter with Claritin, and suggested that my son take Benedryl in the morning and Claritin at night, or I could reverse them. Colored benedryl (red) makes my son bounce off the walls so I now only use clear. Whether he takes Claritin (or Benedryl) at morning or night doesn't seem to matter - but I do make sure he takes it after he eats. I don't know if it's just him or if it's a common side effect, but he sometimes complains of stomachaches if he doesn't eat before he takes claritin.



answers from Knoxville on

Hi P.,
I agree with Mimi. We need to be supporting our children's immune systems, not filling them with drugs, which only mask the problem and have side effects. Our bodies are wonderfully made, and can overcome a great deal, given the right nutritional support and tools. Children need to be developing strong immune systems to support their health for a lifetime. As for Zyrtec, it can cause stomach aches and trouble sleeping in children. And for Claritin, it can cause:
# Nervousness
# Wheezing
# Fatigue
# Hyperactivity
# Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
# Conjunctivitis ("pink eye")
# Voice changes
# A general ill feeling (malaise)
# Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold).
Contact Mimi for her advice. You can contact me as well.



answers from Greensboro on

Hello P.,

First and foremost I am not a pediatrician lol. I am however, a 38 year old mom of 2 (11 and 5 yrs old), part time working single mom, post graduate.

My oldest has severe allergies, fexofenadine 180mg (dr prescribed) was not effective, nor was costco, walmart brand, as well as, other otc's did not help either.

There are only 3 brand that are effective, in this order:

tylenol allergy am/pm (too expensive)

zyrtec (morning dosage last 24hrs)

walgreens (severe allergy-only buy when buy 1 get 1 free, $/dosage = to tylenol allergy).

I primarily buy zyrtec, 1 dosage, 1 pill, $4 coupon.

Hope my info helps :)



answers from Memphis on

My 4 year old step daughter started taking claritin and you would have thought we gave her a pot of coffee it made her bounce off the walls so the doctor told us just to give her the clear benadryl and it works wonders but it seems every kid reacts different so I would suggest trying it for a few days and if it doesn't work then switch



answers from Charlotte on


My 5 yr old daughter has allergies too, I haven't tried the Zyrtec, I have tried Benedryl & it made her really sleepy. The Claritin works great for her I give it to her in the morning, it has not made her groggy at all.



answers from Nashville on

I have not read any of the other responces ...but I will tell you my exprience with my 7yo son.

At 3 and 4 when his seasonal allergies started I was given Zyrtec samples to give my son because I tried Claritan....but it did not do as well as Zyrtec. (since my Ins co would not pay for Zyrtec when the dr. prescibed was not OTC yet. I never "noticed" that it made him particularly drowsey..but he was either at a sitters are preschool right after I gave it to him so I wasn't the one observing him....on wkdays I always gave it to him in the morning right b4 we left. On the wken I would usually think about it b4 we went I said I didn't "notice" any marked drowsiness. When I was no longer getting my FREE samples when it became OTC...I thought I would "try" Claritan again because 1) his allergies didn't seem nearly as bad and 2) in case the Zrytec did make him drowsey or not as alert..he was in "real" school now and wanted him as alert as possible. THis was last yr when he started Kindergarden. He has done well with Claritan this seems to do the job. I know on the commercial the main claim Zyrtec has over Claritan is it works faster. So I try to remember to give him the Claritan a little while b4 we leave the house. Occasionaly if he seems particularly stuffed up at night I will give him liquid his nose will clear up during the night. This DOES make him drowsey (puts him to sleep). I know this also because I have takin it for sleep myself...but what I do like about it is it doesn't make you still feel groggy/foggy the next morning. Hope that helps :)



answers from Raleigh on

We really like claritin and have given it to both our daughters in the morning or at night. Our youngest is allergic to cats, has had asthma and is allergic to other things outside that we aren't sure about. Claritin works great and it has also kept her asthma at bay. We prefer grape flavored over the fruit flavored because there's citric acid in the fruit flavor and she seems to get a rash from it. HTH!



answers from Goldsboro on

Been through Zyrtec and Singulair, both just awful. Tried Claritin and now Allegra. Thought the allegra was working, but after a couple weeks we are right back to some aggressive, mood swings.........though absolutely nothing like on that zyrtec and singulair stuff. I agree, please research these before giving to your children



answers from Knoxville on

We have used both. One child did better on claritin, the other zyrtec. Try one for a week then the other. If the first one works then just stick with it. I personally used claritin for the longest time with great results, then it just stopped working so the doctor switched me to zyrtec and it works well also.



answers from Raleigh on

My kids are a year older than yours. My son, now almost 6, did much better with the Claritin. But I have had other folks have better luck with Zyrtec.

I would choose one & stick with it. Claritin does not work overnight, it needs a week or so to start building up in the system.

Alternative (for seasonal allergies):
This year we are trying a natural alternative, myself included: Nettle Tea & Local honey or bee pollen. It works by letting your body build a natural defense to the pollens in your area. Whole foods or your local health food store will carry these. I am having success, my symptoms are greatly reduced, as are my daughters. My son does not seem to be suffering at all this year.

Good luck to you!

Aslo, On bad days I would give the Claritin in the am and a benedryl at dinnertime.




answers from Nashville on

We have used Claritin in the past with no problems. We have used Zyrtec for the last year for my 12, 10, and 6 year old. I give it in the morning and have not seen any problems with sleepiness. Quite frankly I would rather give it to them in the morning so it is at full strength during the day, then at night because it would be wearing off during the day when they need it to function.



answers from Chattanooga on

I just responded to someone else about zyrtec, but please do some research on it. It really messed my little girl up for a long time. I'll see if I can copy the post I made:

Don't use Zyrtec. If you do some research on it you will see that there are so many side effects that it's not worth it. My daughter was on zyrtec for about 6 months or so. It did help her allergies but, she kept getting more and more aggressive. It got to the point where she was biting kids at daycare over and over every day, they were having to call us to come get her because she was out of control and they could not deal with her, they were telling us she had some sort of aggressive behavioral disorder, the parents of the other kids were getting mad (and I don't blame them), and nothing Nothing we did made any difference. She is in one of the best daycare's in our city, so we knew it wasn't them.

We changed our parenting tactics, we put her to bed earlier we did anything and everything we could think of. She was evaluated by a behavioral specialist and a developmental specialist, developmentally she was way ahead. Behaviorally well... she was having problems and the lady told us to try some things which didn't work. After the second or third time of us going to get her at daycare and just feeling like the worst parents in the world, I looked at what we were doing that might be a cause, besides our parenting.

She was on regular vitamins and zyrtec. So I looked up zyrtec and the first link in google on zyrtec side-effects started listing the exact same things that Alyssa was doing. Some of the parents said their kids ended up with permanent damage and are now on ADHD drugs and all kinds of things. I took her off the Zyrtec and the next day, within 24 hours there was a difference. She stopped biting except very occasionally, she stopped having the severe mood swings and turned back into our normal sweet little girl (except she has a chronic snotty nose). I'd rather have the runny nose. Another side-effect of zyrtec is trouble sleeping. That last day she was on it she had such severe mood swings that she would be happy and smiling and laughing and literally 2 seconds later screaming biting and fighting whoever was closest to her. That was the last time they called us because they could not control her, could not keep her from hurting the other children even when they were standing next to her.

Please don't give your daughter that poor excuse of a treatment. Take it from someone who has been there.

Check out this link:



answers from Wilmington on

My 8 year old daughter just developed some allergies to something recently...she has never been allergic to anything before now...but I started giving her Claritin about half and hour before bedtime because it makes her sleepy. Ive never used Zyrtec with either of my I cant offer an opinion on that...hope I was helpful...good luck!



answers from Raleigh on

My 5 year old has been taking liquid Zyrtec before bedtime for about 2 years. It helps her breath better at night and sleepiness isn't a problem. From time to time when her allergies really flared up and she got wheezy, we had to use a nebulizer (breathing treatment) but she started taking a chewable Singulair at bedtime along with the Zyrtec and that has made a huge difference.



answers from Fayetteville on

Hi P.,

Every child is different. Zyrtec does not make my son sleepy, but we still give it before bedtime because that is the same time every night. Allergy medicine does seem to work better when taken on a regular schedule. He also takes allegra and we take them at the same time, so it's easy to remember. If he doesn't like to take it, I would think once a day of having to struggle with it would be better than twice, but that's just me. One thing, when he gets older and can take pills, they are very small in size, which is a plus! Good luck! L.



answers from Raleigh on

I have a 4 yr old and a 5 yr old that take 1/2 zyrtec (we use Walzyrt from Walgreens) tablet every morning and it does not bother them at all. The label says may cause drowsiness but it does not in all people. Now me it kicks my butt. I have to take it at night. Claritin put all of us to sleep and is more expensive because I have to get the childrens liquid. Claritin also caused my 5 yr old to feel groggy the morning after. Also even though the docs and pharmicists say that they basically have the same ingrediants I think that Zyrtec has a tendancy to cover all of our allergies and Claritin seems to not do as good. I really think it depends on what works best for you and your child. I am 34 yrs old and have taken a lot of allergy meds. My 2 youngest children have had allergy troubles and on different meds. Some cause headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth and the list goes on. The thing is can you tolerate being a little groggy better than a splitting sinus headache or infection. I know my little ones are miserable if I miss just 1 day of their meds in the spring or summer. They have a lot of outdoor allergies but love the outside. It is the same with any other medication...a little give and take. Take the grogginess if necassary and take the headache and snot free day!

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