Loratadine is the generic name of an existing approved brand-name drug called Claritin. It is a second-generation histamine H1 receptor antagonist that works by blocking the action of histamine receptors in the human body, preventing the immune system’s reactions that cause allergy symptoms.
This drug was originally manufactured by Bayer Healthcare, a German company, and was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1993.
This antihistamine is typically used to treat a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, skin rash, hives, itching, and other allergy or cold symptoms.
Allergy involves an exaggerated response of the immune system, usually to common substances, like – pollen or foods. If an individual is allergic to a substance, like – pollen, his immune system reacts to the substance as if it was harmful and foreign, and tries to destroy it.
Individuals who have allergies are usually allergic to one or more of the following:
- pet dander;
- certain plants;
- certain medications, like – aspirin or penicillin;
- certain foods, like – shellfish or nuts;
- insect bites;
- bee stings.
Note – perennial allergies can occur throughout the year, while seasonal allergies (like hay fever) happen at specific times of the year.
Syrup – the usual recommended dose for children 2 to under 6 years of age is 1 tsp per day. The maximum recommended dose is 1 teaspoonful in 24 hours. The usual recommended dose for adults and children 6 years and over is 2 tsp per day. The maximum recommended dose is 2 teaspoonfuls in 24 hours.
Capsules – the usual recommended dose for adults and children 12 years of age and older is 10 mg once per day with water.
Tablets – the usual recommended dose for adults and children 12 years of age and older is 10 mg once per day.
Notes – this medicine is typically given once per day in the morning, however, it can depend on whether the antihistamine has any sedating effect on the patient and the timing of the symptoms.
Because serious adverse effects (even death) can occur from the misuse of this drug in very young children, do not give this antihistamine to a child younger than 2 years old.
Contact your healthcare professional immediately if an overdose is suspected. Symptoms of overdose may include:
- increased heart rate;
Side Effects And Precautions Of Claritin
Common side effects may include:
- feeling drowsy;
- feeling tired;
- skin rash;
- blurred vision;
- eye redness;
- sore throat;
- dry mouth;
- stomach pain.
Rare side effects may include:
- seizures (convulsions);
- yellowing of your skin or eyes;
- a feeling like you might pass out;
- fast or uneven heart rate.
To be sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- have an allergy to any type of medicine;
- have a rare illness called porphyria in which porphyrins build up, negatively affecting the nervous system or skin;
- have epilepsy;
- have a severe liver failure;
- have lactose (sugar in cow milk) intolerance;
- have type 2 diabetes mellitus.
There are no clinical studies regarding the safe use of this antihistamine medication during pregnancy, hence, if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, contact your doctor before using it. More importantly, do no use this medication if you are breastfeeding a baby because it can pass into breast milk and may harm your baby.
This medication may interact with:
- St. John’s Wort;
- erythromycin (an antibiotic that is used for the treatment of a few bacterial infections);
- rifampin (a semisynthetic antibiotic produced from Streptomyces mediterranei);
- carbamazepine (a medication which is used primarily in the treatment of neuropathic pain and epilepsy);
- ketoconazole (a synthetic imidazole antifungal drug which is typically used to treat fungal infections);
- cimetidine (a histamine H2 receptor antagonist which inhibits stomach acid production).
High & Abuse
Since this antihistamine medicine is available as over-the-counter and has no recreational value, it is not presumed that adolescents or young adults could use it to get high.
However, you might be interested that Benadryl (an antihistamine that reduces the effects of the natural chemical histamine in the human body) does have some potential recreational effect as a deliriant at doses of 500 mg.
Loratadine and Alcohol
It is not a good idea to mix alcohol with loratadine since alcohol will worsen the sedative side effects of this medicine, usually to an unpredictable degree. In general, combining alcohol and medications also may increase the side effects, like:
- liver damage;
- heart problems;
- impaired breathing;
- internal bleeding;
- loss of coordination;
- abnormal behavior;
- changes in blood pressure.
Important note – drinking alcoholic beverages while taking antihistamines can lead to serious injuries, particularly among seniors. Also, ask your healthcare professional if you have any questions about how alcohol might interact with any medication you are using.
7 Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies
It is an amazing Indian spice that you can’t miss out on if you want to relieve your allergy symptoms. Its effectiveness is due to the content of curcumin, a chemical which acts as a natural decongestant.
#2 Eucalyptus Essential Oil
It has potent anti-inflammatory properties, and, according to some studies, is beneficial for the respiratory system. To use this essential oil, make sure it is diluted correctly with a carrier oil like avocado or coconut oil.
It has powerful anti-histamine qualities, therefore, nettle can be very effective in fighting seasonal allergies.
#4 Saline Spray
It is an effective way to clean out your nasal passages to prevent allergens (like dust or pollen) from making their home inside your nose.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it is a strong anti-inflammatory plant compound that is efficient in blocking an allergic response. Foods rich in quercetin include – garlic, capers, onion, pears, apples, or broccoli.
Staying well hydrated helps keep the lining of the sinuses and nose moist. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
#7 Omega 3s
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are potent compounds that help reduce inflammation as well as they may play an important role in regulating the human body’s response to allergens. Foods high in omega 3 include – flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, red kidney beans, pinto beans, almonds, broccoli, navy beans, or dark leafy greens.
Image credit – Shutterstock & Getty
READ THIS NEXT: Nasacort vs Flonase