Loratadine is a part of a group of drugs called antihistamines and is used to treat hay fever, allergies, and symptoms like itchy eyes, throat, or nose, sneezing, and runny nose. Loratadine is available in the form of an extended-release tablet, a dissolving tablet, and in liquid form. It works by limiting the effects of histamine (a chemical produced by the body), which results in reduced allergic symptoms. It can also be taken to cure redness and itching caused by hives.
However, Loratadine should not be taken to prevent allergic skin reactions or hives. Loratadine can also be used as a part of combination therapy with Sudafed, Pseudoephedrine, and other medications.
Loratadine can help cure hay fever and other allergies, but it also has some side effects. Most of the side effects aren’t severe and disappear as your body adjusts to the use of Loratadine. However, visit your doctor immediately if any of these side effects worsen or persist.
Minor side effects
- A sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Feeling hyperactive or nervous
- Mouth sores
- Stomach pain
- Red or itchy eyes
However, some of these side effects are severe and can cause death if not treated immediately. Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of these major side effects.
Major side effects
- Feeling you might faint
- Difficulty swallowing and breathing
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Signs of an allergic reaction including, dizziness, itching, trouble breathing, rash, and swelling
How to use?
Take Loratadine only according to the prescribed dosage, without increasing or decreasing your dose. You can take Loratadine with food if you feel nauseous. It is advisable to take one tablet every day unless prescribed otherwise by your doctor. Make sure you swallow the regular tablet whole, without chewing, breaking, or crushing it as this can affect your dosage. Loratadine is not approved for children under two years of age as misusing cold and cough medicines in children can lead to death. If you are taking the liquid medication, it is advisable to use a dose-measuring device to ensure you get the right dose. If you are using the chewable tablet, make sure you chew before swallowing. Lastly, if you are using the dissolving tablet, keep it on your tongue until it dissolves. You can then swallow it, ideally with water. Loratadine will not work immediately, however, visit your doctor if your symptoms do not go away after three days of using Loratadine or if your hives persist even after six weeks.
- Do not take Loratadine if you are allergic to any of the active or inactive ingredients found in it or to desloratadine. It is advisable to ask for a list of ingredients from your pharmacist to avoid an allergic reaction.
- As the side effects of taking Loratadine include drowsiness, avoid operating machinery or driving a car until you are sure about the way Loratadine affects your body.
- Inform your doctor of all the diseases you have had, especially if you have a history of kidney disease and liver disease.
- It is not advisable to take Loratadine if you have a medical condition such as phenylketonuria in which you have to avoid taking aspartame.
- Use Loratadine with caution in older adults as they are more sensitive to its side effects, especially drowsiness and confusion.
- It is uncertain whether Loratadine can harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor about the use of Loratadine if you are pregnant.
- Loratadine can pass into breast milk but will not have any harmful effects on a nursing infant. Nevertheless, consult your doctor about the use of Loratadine before breastfeeding.