GENERIC NAME: desloratadine
BRAND NAME: Clarinex, Clarinex Reditabs
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Desloratadine is an oral, long-acting antihistamine that is similar chemically to loratadine (Claritin). It is used to treat the symptoms caused by histamine. Histamine is a chemical that is responsible for many of the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, for example, swelling of the lining of the nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and then attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine. The attachment of the histamine to the receptors causes the cells to be "activated," releasing other chemicals which produce the effects that we associate with allergy. Desloratadine blocks one type of receptor for histamine (the H1 receptor) and thus prevents activation of H1 receptor-containing cells by histamine. Desloratadine does not readily enter the brain from the blood and, therefore, causes less drowsiness (sedation). It is a member of a small family of non-sedating antihistamines which includes loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), and levocetirizine (Xyzal). Desloratadine was approved by the FDA in December 2001.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of desloratadine are:
- sore throat,
- dry mouth,
- muscle pain,
- painful menstruation, and
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