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This medication 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 (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 this medication, it is important to read the manufacturer's package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist. (See also Precautions section.) If you are using the tablets or capsules, do not use in children younger than 6 years unless directed by the doctor. If you are using the liquid or chewable tablets, do not use in children younger than 2 years unless directed by the doctor.
If you are using the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all the directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, follow your doctor's directions and the instructions on your prescription label. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication 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.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The 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 this medication 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. Get medical help right away if your condition worsens or you think you have a serious medical problem (such as a very serious allergic reaction/anaphylaxis).
This drug usually has no side effects. If you have any unusual effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking loratadine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to desloratadine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history. Do not self-treat with this medication without consulting your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions such as: kidney disease, liver disease.
Loratadine does not usually cause drowsiness when used at recommended doses. However, do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
If you have hives and your doctor has prescribed loratadine, or if you are considering using this drug to treat your own hives, tell your doctor right away if you have any of these other symptoms because they may be signs of a more serious condition: hives that are an unusual color, hives that look bruised or blistered, hives that do not itch.
Liquid products or chewable tablets may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, or confusion. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this drug.
This medication passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Different brands/strengths of this medication may have different storage requirements. Read the package labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements for the product you are using. Protect from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Loratadine is very similar to desloratadine. Do not use medications containing desloratadine while using loratadine.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin testing), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication for you, do not share it with others.
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