Does Claritin (loratadine) cause side effects?
Claritin (loratadine) is a long-acting, non-sedating antihistamine that is used to treat symptoms of non-nasal and nasal seasonal allergic rhinitis and hives.
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.
Common side effects of Claritin include
Serious side effects of Claritin include
- fast or uneven heart rate,
- severe headache, and
Drug interactions of Claritin include erythromycin, cimetidine, and ketoconazole, because they increase the blood concentration of Claritin by inhibiting the elimination of Claritin. This may result in increased adverse events from Claritin.
St. John's wort, carbamazepine, and rifampin reduce blood levels of Claritin.
Claritin is not expected to harm a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Claritin is secreted in breast milk at levels similar to blood levels. Nursing mothers should decide whether to stop breastfeeding or discontinue Claritin.
Claritin (loratadine) is a long-acting, non-sedating antihistamine that is used to treat symptoms of non-nasal and nasal seasonal allergic rhinitis and hives. Common side effects of Claritin include headache, drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth, nervousness, and difficulty sleeping. Claritin is not expected to harm a fetus. Claritin is secreted in breast milk at levels similar to blood levels.
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Related Disease Conditions
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.
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before 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.
Allergy Treatment Begins at Home
Avoiding allergy triggers at home is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms. Controlling temperature, humidity, and ventilation are a few ways to allergy-proof the home. Cleaning, vacuuming, and using HEPA air filters also helps control allergies.
Sinus Infection vs. Allergies
Both sinus infections and allergies (allergic rhinitis) cause symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose and fatigue. Sinus infection (known as sinusitis) is inflammation of the sinuses, caused by infection from bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi (molds). Allergic rhinitis occurs when certain allergies cause nasal symptoms. When a person with allergies breathes in an allergen, such as pollen, dust, or animal dander, symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, itching, sneezing, and fatigue occur.
Drug Allergy (Medication Allergy)
Drug or medication allergies are caused when the immune system mistakenly creates an immune response to a medication. Symptoms of a drug allergic reaction include hives, rash, itchy skin or eyes, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, fainting, and anxiety. The most common drugs that people are allergic to include penicillins and penicillin type drugs, sulfa drugs, insulin, and iodine. Treatment may involve antihistamines or corticosteroids. An EpiPen may be used for life-threatening anaphylactic symptoms.
COVID-19 vs. Allergies
Though there is some overlap in allergy and COVID-19 signs and symptoms there are also significant differences. Symptoms that they have in common include headache, fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, wheezing, and sore throat. Fever does not occur with allergies but is one of the defining symptoms of COVID-19 infections.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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- Asthma and Allergies and Your Child
Medications & Supplements
- loratadine - oral, Claritin
- pseudoephedrine/loratadine 24-hour tablet - oral, Claritin-D
- loratadine/pseudoephedrine sustained-release - oral, Claritin-D
- loratadine liquid - oral, Claritin
- loratadine dispersible tablet - oral, Alavert ODT, Claritin RediTabs
- loratadine, Claritin, Claritin RediTabs, Alavert, Claritin Hives Relief, Children's Claritin
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
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.
Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.