Loratadine (Generic Claritin) is an antihistamine that is effective for temporary relief of allergy symptoms, including sneezing, itching and watery eyes, and runny nose triggered by hay fever, pet dander, and other allergens. It can also relieve itching from hives.
What is loratadine used for?
Loratadine is used to treat the symptoms of hay fever, including pollen, dust, or other airborne substances, as well as reactions to other indoor and outdoor allergens. It provides relief from itching associated with hives; however, it is not intended to prevent hives or to treat the serious or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction anaphylaxis (skin rash, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing).
How loratadine works
Loratadine works by blocking histamines, substances inside your body’s immune system that react when they come across something they believe is a harmful pathogen. Histamines bind to receptors in your cells and trigger allergic reactions to remove the pathogen. Antihistamines block H1 histamine receptors, so your body does not experience an allergic reaction. Loratadine binds to peripheral histamine receptors in the brain and spinal cord area, so it’s less likely to cause drowsiness than other antihistamines.
Common side effects of loratadine
Stomach pain or diarrhea
Red, itchy eyes
Serious side effects:
Itching or hives
Swelling in the face, eyes, lips, tongue, throat, arms, legs, feet, or ankles
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Hoarseness or wheezing
Loratadine dosage information
Loratadine is available in three different forms and two doses:
Tablet (10 mg)
Dissolving tablet (10 mg)
Liquid (120 ml bottle, 5 ml doses)
It is usually taken once per day with or without food, or otherwise as prescribed by your doctor. Take it exactly as directed; do not take more than the prescribed amount each day.
Loratadine is also available with pseudoephedrine in the brand-name products Alavert-D and Claritin-D to treat allergy symptoms.
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