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What Is Loratadine: Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

What Is Loratadine: Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

Generic Name: Loratadine

Brand Name(s): Alavert, Tavist ND, Dimetapp ND, Claritin RediTabs

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What is loratadine?

Loratadine is an antihistamine that blocks the action of histamine, which is a chemical released by mast cells in response to an allergen. When histamine is released, it causes symptoms of allergy. 

Loratadine is usually used for the temporary relief of allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy skin, eyes, throat, or nose. This drug is also used to suppress skin itching and redness due to hives as well as relieve hay fever symptoms. Although loratadine can help relieve the symptoms of hives, it cannot prevent the occurrence of hives and other types of skin allergies.

Loratadine is also available in combination with pseudoephedrine, which is a decongestant used for the treatment of sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, and other symptoms of the common cold

Loratadine is a long-acting and non-sedating antihistamine, which is often prescribed by doctors for the treatment of allergy symptoms. Unlike other types of antihistamines, loratadine does not enter the blood-brain barrier, so it does not cause drowsiness. 

Before Usage

  • Let the doctor know if you are allergic to loratadine, desloratadine, or any of the drug's ingredients.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history and if you are allergic to certain medications, food, and other substances. 
  • Avoid self-medication using this drug without speaking first with your doctor, especially if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or asthma
  • Only use loratadine at recommended doses since taking more than the recommended dose may cause drowsiness. 
  • The chewable form of loratadine may contain aspartame. Consult your doctor before using this medication if you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or other medical conditions that restrict your aspartame or phenylalanine intake. 
  • Loratadine should only be used when clearly needed during pregnancy. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning for pregnancy.
  • Loratadine may pass into breast milk. However, it is unlikely for this medication to harm a nursing child. Make sure to consult your doctor if loratadine is safe to use while breastfeeding. 
  • Loratadine is not recommended for children who are younger than 6 years old without a doctor's advice. 

Usage 

Loratadine should be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor. Read the directions on the medicine label before using this medication. 

Do not take this medication longer than the recommended period and in larger or smaller doses. Medications used for cold and allergies should only be used for a brief period until the symptoms go away. 

Keep this medication away from children who are 2 years old and below. Consult a doctor before giving children any medicines for cough and cold. The improper use of these medications in very young children can cause death. 

This medication is orally taken once a day with or with food. When taking the chewable tablets, each tablet must be chewed well before swallowing. When taking the regular tablet, swallow it whole and do not chew, crush, or break the tablet. 

Inform your doctor if you do not see any improvement on your allergy symptoms after three days of taking this medicine. Seek emergency medical help if your symptoms get worse or when you develop a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Dosage

The dosage usually depends on the patient's age, medical condition, and treatment response. 

Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis

The usual dose is 10 mg taken orally once a day. The maximum adult dose per day is 10 mg. 

Pediatric Dose for Allergic Rhinitis

  • For children ages 2-5 years old: 5 mg taken orally once a day. The maximum dose per day is 5 mg. 
  • For children 6 years old and above: 10 mg taken orally once a day. The maximum dose per day is 10 mg. 

Adult Dose for Urticaria

The usual dose is 10 mg taken orally once a day. The maximum adult dose per day is 10 mg. 

Pediatric Dose for Urticaria

  • For children ages 2-5 years old: 5 mg taken orally once a day. The maximum dose per day is 5 mg. 
  • For children 6 years old and above: 10 mg taken orally once a day. The maximum dose per day is 10 mg. 

Side Effects

This medication may cause side effects. Inform your doctor if any of the following symptoms do not go away or become severe:

There are also serious side effects of loratadine. Stop taking loratadine and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms:

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may increase people's risk of developing serious side effects as well as change how other medications work. Share a copy of a list of all medications or supplements you use with your doctor or pharmacist. They include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements. 

While using loratadine, avoid taking other medications that contain desloratadine. The reason is that desloratadine is quite similar to loratadine. 

Loratadine may also interfere with allergy skin tests and cause false results. For this reason, ensure to inform your doctor or laboratory personnel that you are currently taking this medication. 

Storage and Disposal

This medication should be kept in the container that came with it. The container should be tightly closed and out of children's reach. Store this medication at room temperature and away from light, heat, and moisture. 

After removing the disintegrating tablet of loratadine from the blister pack, use it immediately. Use it within six months after opening the foil pouch. 

Medications that are no longer needed should be properly disposed to make sure that other people, children, and pets cannot consume them. This medication should not be flushed down the toilet. The best way to dispose this medication is through take-back programs in your community. You can ask your pharmacist about these programs for the proper disposal of unused or expired medications. 

Key Takeaways

  • Loratadine is an antihistamine that blocks the action of histamine, which is a chemical released by mast cells in response to an allergen. When histamine is released, it causes symptoms of allergy. 
  • Loratadine is usually used for the temporary relief of allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy skin, eyes, throat, or nose.
  • This medication is not recommended for children who are younger than 6 years old without a doctor's advice.