Combined Claritin-D® Myself and Saved Big

Claritin-D® 12 hour or 24 hour extended-release tablets have been working great for me. For decades, I have been a fan of Loratadine (lor at’ a deen), one of the key ingredients. This antihistamine seems very effective in preventing sneezing and itchy eyes from pollen, if taken an hour before becoming exposed. Pseudoephedrine (soo doe e fed’ rin), the other ingredient, takes care of a nasal/sinus congestion.

However, this “combination product” is sometimes expensive, compared to the individual ingredients. In my experience, taking separate pills lowered cost by a factor of 2.8. Besides cutting cost, with separate pills you can tune the amount of the decongestant to your needs. Loratadine might be sufficient, or perhaps the best option before bed time.

The box states the key ingredients as:

Costco sells Loratadine, Aller Clear 10 mg, 365 tablets, at a few cents per tablet. Costco also sells Sudogest® (a PSE HCl extended release generic) 120 mg, 10 extended-release tablets, for a few dimes each. Adjust dosage by taking one or half tablets, as needed.

PSE tablets come in sulfate and HCl hydrochloride form. The HCl variant contains 82% PSE, and the Sulfate one is only 77% by weight.

Since PSE is a controlled drug, I had to remember to manage my monthly quotum. A prescription from my doctor during the annual checkup was free. You might get a lower price with a prescription and a discount coupon at some pharmacies. Even then, it proved tricky to buy larger quantities to lower cost. CVS and Walgreens cancelled orders. They either claimed not to carry a certain combination of tablet weight and package count, or having low stock. In the end, Costco Pharmacy filled my Sudogest® 120 mg, 60 count prescription successfully.

updated: 20240314
photo: @soumeya, Unsplash license

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