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Claritin (loratadine) is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Loratadine is used to temporarily relieve the symptoms of hay fever (allergy to pollen, dust, or other substances in the air) and other allergies. These symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, nose, or throat. Loratadine is also used to treat itching and redness caused by hives. However, loratadine does not prevent hives or other allergic skin reactions. Loratadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.
Loratadine comes as a syrup (liquid), a tablet, and a rapidly disintegrating (dissolving) tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Follow the directions on the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take loratadine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than directed on the package label or recommended by your doctor. If you take more loratadine than directed, you may experience drowsiness.
The antihistamine in this medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Do not use if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients. Ask a doctor before use if you have liver or kidney disease. Your doctor should determine if you need a different dose. When using this product do not take more than directed. Taking more than directed may cause drowsiness. Stop use and ask a doctor if an allergic reaction to this product occurs. Seek medical help right away. If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use. Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
Common Side Effects of Loratadine
- Stomach pain
- Dry eyes, dry mouth, dry throat
- An opposite reaction in which you feel excited, jittery, or nervous, known as paradoxical CNS stimulation instead of drowsy or sleepy
Severe Side Effects of Loratadine
- Liver damage or inflammation
- Tightness in the chest or breathing tube
- Passing out or fainting
- Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
Contact your doctor if any of these conditions get severe.
Can you use Loratadine with alcohol?
Alcohol and Loratadine may cause drowsiness, along with the dry mouth and dry eyes (which may blur vision), you should avoid drinking alcohol while taking loratadine.
Can you take grapefruit drinks along with Claritin?
Loratadine and grapefruit juice are both broken down in the liver the same way, so there's a small chance of adverse effects when both are taken at the same time.
Does loratadine lose its potency after expiration? At what rate?
Medications should not be used past the expiration date printed on the packaging. Medications can lose potency and/or become unsafe to take once past their expiration date. Always read and follow the complete directions and warnings on over-the-counter medications and discuss their use with your health care provider before using them.
How many Claritin can I take in a day?
You should not take more than 10 milligrams (mg), which is one tablet or capsule and two teaspoons of syrup a day of loratadine unless directed by your doctor.