What is loratadine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for loratadine?

Claritin, Claritin RediTabs, Alavert, Claritin Hives Relief, Children's Claritin, and others

Is loratadine available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for loratadine?

No

What are the uses for loratadine?

What are the side effects of loratadine?

The most common adverse events with loratadine are:

Nervousness and difficulty sleeping have also been reported.

What is the dosage for loratadine?

The usual dose of loratadine is 10 mg daily for adults and children older than six years of age. The dose for children 2 to 6 years of age is 5 mg daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with loratadine?

: Erythromycin, cimetidine (Tagamet), and ketoconazole (Nizoral) increase the blood concentration of loratadine by inhibiting the elimination of loratadine. This may result in increased adverse events from loratadine.

St. John's wort, carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Epitol, Teril), and rifampin reduce blood levels of loratadine.

SLIDESHOW

Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers See Slideshow

Is loratadine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Loratadine is secreted in breast milk at levels similar to blood levels. Nursing mothers should decide whether to stop breastfeeding or discontinue loratadine.

What else should I know about loratadine?

What preparations of loratadine are available?

  • Tablets: 10 mg.
  • Tablets, disintegrating: 5 and 10 mg.
  • Tablets, chewable: 5 mg.
  • Syrup: 5 mg/5 ml.

How should I keep loratadine stored?

Tablets should be stored between 2 C and 30 C (36 F and 86 F), and syrup should be stored between 2 C and 25 C (36 and 77 F).

Summary

Loratadine (Claritin, Claritin RediTabs, Alavert, Claritin Hives Relief, Children's Claritin, and others) is drug prescribed for the treatment of the symptoms of non-nasal and nasal seasonal allergic rhinitis and hives (urticaria or allergic skin rash). Drug interactions, dosing, and side effects are discussed in the information.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

QUESTION

Allergies can best be described as: See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

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.

See more info: loratadine on RxList
Medically Reviewed on 3/7/2019
References
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW