Just like the brand-name Claritin, Claritin generic is also made with the allergy-fighting chemical loratadine (per Cabinet Health). When it comes to quality, shelf-life, efficacy, and safety, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) explains that generic drugs and brand-name drugs both meet the same criteria. The same is true for dosage amounts and strength of the medication. In other words, no one version is superior to the other. However, this does mean that both medications also come with the same side effects.
So are there any differences between the manufacturing of the two medications at all? Technically, yes. However, the difference is so small that it is not deemed medically significant. The FDA keeps a close eye on permitted levels of variance and any differences in strength, purity, or size are no different than what you would expect to see between two different batches of the exact same medication. Additionally, while the core elements of brand-name and generic drugs are the same, each is allowed to have its own distinct colors or flavors.
Of course, the most stark difference between the two is the price tag. This is because extensive clinical trials have already been conducted by brand-name drug manufacturers. Because the generic version of a brand-name drug follows the same formula, they are not required by the FDA to replicate these studies. Without this expense, generic drug manufacturers can afford to price their products as much as 85% lower than the brand-name version.