Allegra Is Going OTC

By Heather Legg

There will be one more allergy medicine on the shelves of your favorite pharmacy this spring. The Food and Drug Administration has just approved the sale of Allegra as an over the counter drug. A prescription is no longer needed. Allegra is used for the relief of allergy symptoms like sneezing; runny nose; itchy, watery eyes; and itchy nose or throat and is said to work within an hour of taking it.

Now, along with Claritin and Zyrtec, allergy sufferers can buy Allegra without a doctor’s prescription. Children’s Allegra and Allegra-D with a decongestant will also now be sold over the counter. All of these will be at the same dose as they were as the prescription product. Prices will be variable depending on the retailer, but estimates are around 75 cents to a dollar per pill.

As of now, there is not a generic OTC equivalent, but there has been talk that many retailers will soon have their own generic brand of Allegra at cheaper prices. Sanofi-Aventis, a French company, makers of Allegra have been able to have very little generic competition, now that it will be OTC, that all may change. There are generics of both Claritin and Zyrtec. Allegra has been the number one prescribed allergy relief medication. Doctors will still be able to advise on medication and of course, if there are any questions, you can still ask your pharmacist or doctor.

People like Allegra as it does not cause drowsiness. Side effects are reported to be very minimal, even at higher doses. Now there will be no more doctor’s office visits and co-pays to get a prescription for Allegra. Also, no more waiting for a prescription to be filled. Not only time, but also money can be saved.

With spring allergies on the horizon, it will probably do quite well in its new position on the shelves of the allergy aisle in pharmacies, grocery stores, mass merchandisers, and wherever else allergy medication is found.



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