GENERIC NAME: loratadine
BRAND NAME: Claritin, Claritin RediTabs, Alavert, Claritin Hives Relief, Children's Claritin, and others
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Loratadine is a long-acting, non-sedating antihistamine that is used for the treatment of allergies. Histamine is a chemical that causes many of the signs and symptoms of an allergy. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine on their surfaces. Histamine stimulates the cells to release chemicals that produce effects that we associate with allergy, including welts, itching, and tissue swelling. Loratadine blocks one type of histamine receptor (the H1 receptor) and thus prevents activation of cells with H1 receptors by histamine. Unlike some antihistamines, loratadine does not enter the brain from the blood and, therefore, does not cause drowsiness when taken at recommended doses. The FDA approved loratadine in April 1993.
- Loratadine is used for the relief of nasal and non-nasal symptoms of seasonal hay fever (allergic rhinitis).
- It is also used to treat patients with chronic welts (urticaria) and allergic skin rash.
The most common adverse events with loratadine are:
Nervousness and difficulty sleeping have also been reported.
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