I’ve been a long-time hay fever sufferer. I also had a fair bit of allergic conjuctivitis in my younger years which I seem to be growing out of (finally!), though for the last 6 or so years dermographism has been a challenge too. You can just call me “Mr Healthy” :-)

Because of this, I have developed a more than average interest in antihistamines, and done a bit of research on the various “non-drowsy” over-the-counter products available in Australia.

The products are grouped by active ingredient, and then ordered by the most familiar brand name with that ingredient. As a rule, the best known brand is usually the most expensive – presumably you’re paying extra for all the marketing and colourful packaging.

Brand Active Ingredient Size Dose Price Cost per tablet
Zyrtec Cetirizine 30 10mg 21.95 $ 0.73
Zodac Cetirizine 30 10mg 9.95 $ 0.33
Alzene Cetirizine 30 10mg 17.95 $ 0.60
Telfast Fexofenadine 30 180mg 22.95 $ 0.77
Xergic Fexofenadine 30 180mg 21.95 $ 0.73
Fexotabs Fexofenadine 50 180mg 26.45 $ 0.53
Fexal Fexofenadine 30 180mg 15.95 $ 0.53
Xyzal Levocetirizine 30 5mg 22.95 $ 0.77
Clarityne Loratadine 50 10mg 36.95 $ 0.74
Lorastyne Loratadine 50 10mg 21.95 $ 0.44
AllerEze Loratadine 50 10mg 27.95 $ 0.56
Chemists’ Own Loratadine Loratadine 50 10mg 32.95 $ 0.66
Aerius Desloratadine 28 5mg 24.35 $ 0.87

Note also, the prices I’ve quoted here are from online pharmacies based in Australia, such as Pharmacy Direct and Pharmacy Online (don’t forget to allow for postage). Buying the same identical product from a non-discount pharmacy may cost up to a 1/3 more.

I’ve tried all the main kinds, with varying degrees of success. I do think it is a good idea to swap products every few months as in my experience extended use of one specific antihistamine reduced its effectiveness (as though the body became desensitised to it).