Claritin (loratadine)

What is Claritin?

Claritin (loratadine) is used for the temporary relief of sneezing, red, watery or itchy eyes and other symptoms resulting from an allergic reaction of your body to pollen or other irritants. It is unlikely to prevent a skin reaction and treats just the symptoms mentioned above. Sometimes this drug is prescribed to treat itching and redness as a result of hives, but it is up to your doctor to decide what you will be taking this medication for.


The effects of Claritin

This drug comes in a variety of forms – as a tablet, liquid (syrup) and orally disintegrating tablet. All the forms are supposed to be taken once w day with some food. However, your health care provider may recommend doing otherwise – in that case you need to follow his instructions. If you are taking the liquid form you need to have a special measuring spoon that will allow measuring the exact amount of the medication that you have been prescribed. Using a regular spoon or some cup is unacceptable, as literally every drop is important – and taking less can make your entire treatment less effective. If there wasn't a special spoon coming with the drug, you can as your pharmacist for one – it is going to cost you no money at all, but you will be able to take the right amount of Claritin based on a number of individual factors your health care provider had to consider.

Talking to your doctor about taking Claritin

Stop taking this drug if it does not work after 3 days of the treatment and talk to your doctor to learn about your options. In most cases this drug works very well, with most people noticing the first results after the very few doses taken. When you talk to your health care provider about Claritin, it's very important that you discuss your personal and family medical history. Strange as it may seem, some health conditions can make you unable to take Claritin, and an alternative will need to be found. Its therefore crucial that you listen very carefully to your doctor and follow all the instructions provided.

Which side effects am I likely to get?

Make sure you watch for any side effects that may occur, although some of them can be minor, and other ones – more serious. It's important to know the difference between minor and serious side effects. Minor side effects can include: headache, dry mouth, nosebleeds, sore throat, mouth sores, insomnia, nervousness, weakness, stomach pain, and diarrhea. The following side effects are serious and must be reported to your health care provider as soon as you can to prevent them from getting worse: rash, hives, itching, swelling, hoarseness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and wheezing. Anaphylaxis is a dangerous allergic reaction that some people may rarely develop. If you notice any dangerous symptoms, be sure to report them as soon as possible to your health care provider. The following ones should cause concern: difficulty swallowing, swelling in and around the mouth, wheezing, dizziness, loss of consciousness, drooling, and trouble breathing.

Interaction of Claritin with other drugs

If you are taking any cough and cold products – discuss this fact with your health care provider, as they can have some additional antihistamine effects that can interact with those of Claritin. Other medications you are also taking at the moment may interfere with Claritin in some other ways – this is why the best advice that can be given is to tell your doctor in advance when you intend to start taking some new medication. This is needed as that way you will know for sure no reactions will occur during the treatment – and this is very important, as you probably want to get maximum benefits without spending too much money on it.

Claritin in pregnant and breastfeeding women

This drug is FDA pregnancy category B, which means it is not expected to harm an unborn baby. However, it is not known for sure which effects this drug can cause in a nursing infant. Claritin may pass into breast milk, which means there is a potential danger for your child to get some symptoms that are not expected to be lethal, but will make it impossible for the child to be completely healthy.

What you need to do in case of Claritin overdose

Claritin overdose can produce some of the following symptoms: fast or pounding heartbeat, drowsiness, and headache. If you or someone else may have taken too much of this medication and any of the symptoms mentioned are displayed – make sure you seek emergency help for yourself or that other person.