What is loratadine?

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Generic Name: Loratadine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is loratadine used for?

Loratadine 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 (for example,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 Loratadine, it is important to read the manufacturer’s package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not use Loratadine 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 should I take loratadine?

If you are using the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all the directions on the product package before taking Loratadine. If your doctor has prescribed Loratadine, follow your doctor’s directions and the instructions on your prescription label. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take Loratadine 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 Loratadine 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 (for example, very serious allergic reaction/anaphylaxis).

How do I store loratadine?

Loratadine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store loratadine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of loratadine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush loratadine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using loratadine?

Before taking loratadine,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to loratadine, any other loratadine, or any of the ingredients in the type of loratadine you will be taking. Check the package label for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription loratadine, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention loratadine for colds and allergies.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma or kidney or liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking loratadine, call your doctor.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (pku, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), you should know that some brands of the orally disintegrating tablets may contain aspartame that forms phenylalanine.

Is it safe to take loratadine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Loratadine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Loratadine. Loratadine is pregnancy risk category  B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of loratadine?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as: fast or uneven heart rate; feeling like you might pass out; jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or seizures (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include: headache; nervousness; feeling tired or drowsy; stomach pain, diarrhea; dry mouth, sore throat hoarseness; eye redness, blurred vision; nosebleed; or skin rash.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with loratadine?

Loratadine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Loratadine is very similar to desloratadine. Do not use medications containing desloratadine while using loratadine.

Does food or alcohol interact with loratadine?

Loratadine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with loratadine?

Loratadine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus—The decongestant in this medicine may put diabetic patients at a greater risk of having heart or blood vessel disease.
  • Enlarged prostate.
  • Urinary tract blockage or difficult urination—Some of the effects of antihistamines may make urinary problems worse.
  • Glaucoma—A slight increase in inner eye pressure may occur.
  • Heart or blood vessel disease.
  • High blood pressure—The decongestant in this medicine may cause the blood pressure to increase and may also speed up the heart rate.
  • Kidney disease—Higher blood levels of loratadine may result, which may increase the chance of side effects. The dosage of loratadine-containing combination may need to be reduced
  • Liver disease—Higher blood levels of loratadine may result, which may increase the chance of side effects.
  • Overactive thyroid—If the overactive thyroid has caused a fast heart rate, the decongestant in this medicine may cause the heart rate to speed up further.
  • Urinary retention—Condition may be worsened with use of pseudoephedrine.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Loratadine.

What is the dose of loratadine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis

  • 10 mg orally once a day;

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria

  • 10 mg orally once a day;

What is the dose of loratadine for a child?

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)

How is loratadine available?

Loratadine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths: Tablet, Oral: 10 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of loratadine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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