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Generic Name: loratadine (lor AT a deen)
Brand Names: Alavert, Claritin, Claritin Reditab, Clear-Atadine, Dimetapp ND, ohm Allergy Relief, QlearQuil All Day & Night, Tavist ND, Wal-itin

What is loratadine?

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.

Important information

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

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

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Loratadine disintegrating tablets (Claritin Reditab) may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of loratadine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine if you have liver or kidney disease.

Before taking this medicine

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; or

  • 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 and may harm a nursing baby. 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).

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.

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.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, drowsiness, and fast or pounding heartbeat.

What should I avoid while taking loratadine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Loratadine 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; or

  • 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.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Loratadine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Loratadine for Allergic Rhinitis:

10 mg orally once a day

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria:

10 mg orally once a day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

2 to 5 years: 5 mg orally once a day (syrup)

6 years or older: 10 mg orally once a day (tablets, capsule, and disintegrating tablets)

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urticaria:

2 to 5 years: 5 mg orally once a day (syrup)

6 years or older: 10 mg orally once a day (tablets, capsule, and disintegrating tablets)

What other drugs will affect loratadine?

Other drugs may interact with loratadine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about loratadine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use loratadine only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2015 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.02. Revision Date: 2015-02-20, 6:19:13 PM.