Loratadine: Uses & Side Effects

Loratadine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Loratadine is used to treat sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, skin rash, itching, and other cold or allergy symptoms.

Loratadine is also used to treat skin hives and itching in people with chronic skin reactions.

How should I take loratadine?

Use loratadine exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cold or allergy medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Loratadine is usually taken once per day. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Do not crush, chew, or break the regular tablet. Swallow the pill whole.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

To take the orally disintegrating tablet (Claritin RediTab, Alavert):

Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Open the package and peel back the foil. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.

Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth.

Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Precautions

You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to loratadine or to desloratadine (Clarinex).

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • asthma;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease.

Loratadine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Loratadine can pass into breast milk, but is considered compatible with breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Some forms of loratadine may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before taking loratadine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to loratadine: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using loratadine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or uneven heart rate;
  • severe headache;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

Common loratadine side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • feeling tired or drowsy;
  • stomach pain, vomiting;
  • dry mouth; or
  • feeling nervous or hyperactive.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Keyword: loratadine.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.