loratadine and pseudoephedrine, Claritin-D

GENERIC NAME: loratadine and pseudoephedrine

BRAND NAME: Claritin-D

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Claritin-D is a combination of two drugs, an antihistamine (loratadine) and a decongestant (pseudoephedrine). Loratadine is a long-acting antihistamine that blocks the actions of histamine that cause some of the symptoms of allergic reactions. It is one of a few antihistamines that does not cause sedation. Pseudoephedrine decongests tissues by causing blood vessels to constrict.



PREPARATIONS: Tablets containing 5 mg loratadine and 120 mg pseudoephedrine (12 hour formulation) and tablets containing 10 mg loratadine and 240 mg pseudoephedrine (24 hour formulation) are available.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at 15-30°C (59-86°F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Claritin-D is used for the temporary relief of runny nose, sneezing, and nasal stuffiness from the common cold. It also is used for the relief of nasal and non-nasal symptoms of various allergic conditions such as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Claritin-D may be used in bronchitis or pharyngitis and for inflamed and congested sinuses (sinusitis).

DOSING: Claritin-D may be taken with or without food. It must be used cautiously in patients with heart (coronary artery) disease and angina (because pseudoephedrine can stimulate the heart) as well as in patients with diabetes (because there is a small chance that pseudoephedrine can raise the level of blood sugar).

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Claritin-D should not be taken at the same time as or within 14 days of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibiting drugs.

PREGNANCY: The decongestant pseudoephedrine causes birth defects in some animal species. Additionally, there have been associations between first trimester exposure to these medications and malformations in the fetus, primarily minor malformations. Thus, Claritin-D should be used in pregnancy only if the physician feels that the potential benefit outweighs the risk.

NURSING MOTHERS: Pseudoephedrine is secreted in breast milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers pseudoephedrine to be compatible with nursing.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of Claritin-D include stimulation of the nervous system leading to nervousness, restlessness, excitability, dizziness, headache, fear, anxiety, tremor, and even hallucinations and convulsions (seizures).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 4/17/1999

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