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Posts Tagged ‘antihistamine’

Yes, There is Generic Allegra

Monday, July 25th, 2011

I mentioned a few days ago about the recent change in the antihistamine Allegra, as you can now buy it without a prescription. But as one of my colleagues mentioned to me, the generic is now available, also without a prescription.

Allegra's 2 strengths

Allegra's 2 strengths

Drug Safety Tip: Be sure to look carefully at the box of Allegra or fexofenadine before you buy it…there are 2 different tablet strengths sold on the same shelf. The 180mg strength of Allegra or fexofenadine is labeled 24-Hour. The other strength (the 60 mg) is labeled 12-Hour.

Now, you might already be thinking, “Taking 60mg Allegra twice a day only gives you 120mg per day, instead of 180mg. Hmmm…why wouldn’t it be a 60mg tablet every 8 hours http://homepage.westmont.edu/make_account/images/pic/acrobat-xi-standard.html visit this link?”

Good question.

The answer is that the dose of 60mg every 12 hours and 180mg every 24 hours were the doses originally approved by the FDA for the prescription form of Allegra, and had already been approved for non-Rx status.

When the company applied for approval to sell Allegra to consumers, the FDA approved the same doses as the prescription forms had. AND by the way, Allegra was approved as safe for NON-prescription use years ago by an FDA committee. That particular advisory committee decided that Allegra, as well as Claritin, was safe enough to sell directly to consumers. But at that time Allegra and Claritin were VERY, VERY PROFITABLE prescription products for their companies Sanofil-Aventis and Schering-Plough, and those companies chose to keep their profitable products prescription only. Well, until their patent protection expired, anyway.

And now you can purchase Allegra, Claritin and their generic equivalents fexofenadine and loratidine OTC (over the counter), just in time for ragweed season.

Allegra: Good News or Bad News?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
I was on the phone on hold when I heard a woman’s indignant voice at our pharmacy’s pick up counter.
“$60? Why, that’s ridiculous! There must be some mistake. It’s supposed to be $25.00.”

Uh, oh. Another patient here to pick up her prescription for Allegra. Time for me to explain why her copay jumped from $25.00 to $60.00. I finished my phone call and walked over to rescue the cashier.

I smiled at our frustrated customer. “No, I’m sorry, but your prescription insurance is no longer covering Allegra. It’s because it is no longer a prescription only medicine. Its patent has expired, and it is now available without a prescription.”

“But…can’t you just have it switched to a generic buy levitra online canada buy viagra uk?”

“We could do that. But that won’t help your copay, because your insurance plan is no longer covering that drug AT ALL. And for some reason, there IS no prescription generic available for us to order right now.”

“But if it went generic, it should be cheaper, not MORE expensive!”

“Well, it will eventually be less expensive, when it is available as a generic. But you can still get your Allegra, it just doesn’t NEED a prescription any more.”

I stepped out in front of the pharmacy counter and walked her over to the 2 strengths of Allegra now packaged and sold with the allergy products.

The good news is, you can now buy Allegra at the full prescription strengths, 60mg and 180mg, without a prescription at your pharmacy or grocery.

The bad news is, if you were one of the people who had insurance that paid for most of the cost of prescription Allegra, it is now cheaper for you to buy it yourself than to pay the entire cost of the prescription version.

There are 2 strengths available: Allegra 60mg 12 Hour and Allegra 180mg 24 Hour.

Allegra is a newer type of antihistamine that helps relieve allergic symptoms like itchy and runny nose, watery eyes, and stuffy nose without causing much drowsiness or sedation.

Right now, Allegra is more expensive than similar non-sedating antihistamines such as Loratadine (Claritin) and cetirazine (Zyrtec), because they have generic versions available. But if you are looking for another option for allergy relief without drowsiness, Allegra is now available over the counter (without a prescription).
Allegra 180mg 24 Hour once a day is equivalent to loratadine 10mg or cetirazine 10mg once a day.


Copyright © 2009 Louise Achey