GENERIC NAME: loratadine and pseudoephedrine
BRAND NAME: Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour, and many others
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Loratadine/pseudoephedrine 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 causes some of the symptoms of allergic reactions. 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 are associated with allergy symptoms. 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. It is one of a few antihistamines that do not cause sedation. Pseudoephedrine decongests tissues by causing blood vessels to constrict.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Loratadine/pseudoephedrine 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. Loratadine/pseudoephedrine may be used for bronchitis, sore throat (pharyngitis), and for inflamed and sinusitis (congested sinuses).
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