What is loratadine?

Loratadine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Loratadine is used to treat the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. It is also used to treat skin hives and itching in people with chronic skin reactions.

Loratadine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to loratadine or to desloratadine (Clarinex).

Before taking loratadine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take loratadine.

FDA pregnancy category B: This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Loratadine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Loratadine disintegrating tablets (Claritin Reditab, Alavert) may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of loratadine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using loratadine.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, drowsiness, and fast or pounding heartbeat.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast or uneven heart rate;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or
  • seizures (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • nervousness;
  • feeling tired or drowsy;
  • stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • dry mouth, sore throat hoarseness;
  • eye redness, blurred vision;
  • nosebleed; or
  • skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

There may be other drugs that can affect loratadine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Alavert, Claritin, Claritin Hives Relief, Claritin Reditab, Clear-Atadine, Clear-Atadine Children's, Dimetapp ND, Wal-itin, loratadine, Alavert Allergy, Claritin 24 Hour Allergy, Claritin Liqui-Gels, Loratadine Reditab, ohm Allergy Relief, and Tavist ND

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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