GENERIC NAME: LORATADINE - ORAL (lor-AT-a-deen)
BRAND NAME(S): Claritin
USES: This medication is an antihistamine that treats symptoms such as itching, runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing from "hay fever" and other allergies. It is also used to relieve itching from hives.Loratadine does not prevent hives or prevent/treat a serious allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis). Therefore, if your doctor has prescribed epinephrine to treat allergic reactions, always carry your epinephrine injector with you. Do not use loratadine in place of your epinephrine.If you are self-treating with this medication, it is important to read the manufacturer's package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist. (See also Precautions section.)Do not use this medication in children younger than 6 years unless directed by the doctor. If you are using the chewable tablets, do not use in children younger than 2 years unless directed by your doctor.
HOW TO USE: If you are using the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all the directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, follow your doctor's directions and the instructions on your prescription label. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once a day or as directed by your doctor or the product package. If you are using the chewable tablets, chew each tablet well and swallow. Dosage is based on your age, condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not take more of this medication than recommended for your age.Tell your doctor if your allergy symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment or if your hives last more than 6 weeks. Seek immediate medical attention if your condition worsens or you think you have a serious medical problem (e.g., very serious allergic reaction/anaphylaxis).
SIDE EFFECTS: This drug usually has no side effects. If you have any unusual effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking loratadine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to desloratadine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history. Do not self-treat with this medication without consulting your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions such as: kidney disease, liver disease.Loratadine does not usually cause drowsiness when used at recommended doses. However, do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.If you have hives and your doctor has prescribed loratadine, or if you are considering using this drug to treat your own hives, tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these other symptoms because they may be signs of a more serious condition: hives that are an unusual color, hives that look bruised or blistered, hives that do not itch.The chewable tablets may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist about using this drug safely.Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, or confusion. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed and as directed by your doctor. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this drug.This medication passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Loratadine is very similar to desloratadine. Do not use medications containing desloratadine while using loratadine.This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin testing), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Different brands/strengths of this medication may have different storage requirements. Read the package labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements for the product you are using. Protect from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
Top loratadine Related Articles
Know Your Allergy TriggersAllergies are an overreaction of the immune system where the body's defenses react to substances such as pollen, food and more. Learn about common allergy triggers and how you can avoid an allergy attack.
Allergy (Allergies)An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Bed Bugs QuizThat unexplained itching could be caused by bedbugs. Take the Bedbugs Quiz to learn the causes and symptoms of a bedbug infestation.
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal DripChronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) usually is caused by pollen in the air. Perennial allergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis and is a year-round problem, often caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, animal dander, and pollens that may exist at the time. Treatment of chronic rhinitis and post nasal drip are dependent upon the type of rhinitis condition.
Cold, Flu, Allergy TreatmentsBefore treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Food AllergyThe most common food allergies are to eggs, nuts, milk, peanuts, fish, shellfish, strawberries and tomatoes. Symptoms and signs of a food allergy reaction include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, itching, hives, eczema, asthma, lightheadedness, and anaphylaxis. Allergy skin tests, RAST, and ELISA tests may be used to diagnose a food allergy. Though dietary avoidance may be sufficient treatment for mild allergies, the use of an Epipen may be necessary for severe food allergies.
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
Hives (Urticaria)Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be to food or medications, but usually the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown.
Home Allergy Quiz: Is Your Home Allergy Proof?Take this home allergy quiz and test your knowledge on allergens, dust mites, pollens and more to see how allergy-proof your home is.
Latex AllergyLatex allergy is a condition where the body reacts to latex, a natural product derived from the rubber tree. The reaction can either be delayed and cause a skin rash or immediate, which can lead to anaphylaxis. Avoiding latex is the most effective way to prevent an allergic reaction.
Lichen PlanusLichen planus is a common skin disease that features small, itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs. The abnormal areas on the skin in lichen planus are typically flat-topped (hence the term planus), itchy, and frequently have a polygonal or angular shape.
Nasal Allergy ReliefLearn how a combination of medication, preventing allergens, and allergy relief products can reduce allergy symptoms and help you feel better.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Types, Treatment, and SymptomsPinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents.
Skin RashThe word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.
Urticaria PictureThis is a close-up view of wheals with white-to-light-pink color centrally and peripheral erythema. See a picture of Urticaria and learn more about the health topic.
Worst Allergy CitiesSee pictures of the top 10 "spring allergy capitals", according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). From coast to coast, see if your city made the top 10.