desloratadine, Clarinex

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: desloratadine

BRAND NAME: Clarinex

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.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes




Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index