Loratadine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamines in the body. It is used to treat allergic conditions like:
- Allergic rhinitis or hay fever
- Dust mite allergies, pet allergies
- Treating itching, nettle-type, allergic skin rashes
- Treating a chronic itchy nettle-type rash or chronic idiopathic urticaria
Loratadine is a non-sedating or non-drowsy antihistamine. It works by preventing histamine from producing allergic symptoms such as a runny, itchy, watery nose and eyes, itching, rash and redness. When the body gets in contact with allergens such as pollen, dust and other foreign substance, the histamine receptors in the mast cells causes a chain reaction that results in allergic symptoms. Loratadine blocks these receptors to stop allergic reactions.
How to Use Loratadine
Loratadine is available over-the-counter in liquid, chewable tablet, and pill form. It is a generic medicine but you can also buy it under various brand names. It can be taken by adults and children two years of age and over. Take this medication exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your physician.
The typical adult dose is 10 mg a day with or without food. Do not crush or break the regular tablet. Swallow it whole. If you are giving the liquid form, use the special measuring spoon or cup. For the chewable tablet, chew the tablet before swallowing it. For a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not use in a larger amount or longer than the recommended time.
Possible Side Effects of Loratadine
Side effects of Loratadine during the clinical trial were mild such as:
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Abnormal movements among children
- Stomach pain
Serious side effects that need medical attention are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, eyes, or tongue
- Severe headache
- Uneven heartbeat
- A light-headed feeling
Getting the Best Result from Loratadine
- Do not give this medicine to children younger than 2 years of age.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this medicine.
- Give your doctor a complete list of all of your medications which includes OTC and prescription medication, vitamin and other supplements.
- Use Loratadine only for a short period of time until your symptom clears up.