Generic name: Loratadine
Why is this medication prescribed?
Loratadine is used to relieve hay fever and allergy symptoms, including sneezing; runny nose; and red, itchy, tearing eyes. Loratadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. Loratadine may cause less drowsiness than other antihistamines.
How should this medicine be used?
Loratadine comes as a syrup, a tablet, and a rapidly disintegrating tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription 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 prescribed by your doctor.
To take the rapidly disintegrating tablet, place the tablet on your tongue. It will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking loratadine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to loratadine or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially erythromycin (E-Mycin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), medications for asthma or colds, medications for depression, muscle relaxants, pain medications, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking loratadine, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking loratadine.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Loratadine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your regular diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from loratadine are not common, they can occur. You may have discolored urine; this effect is harmless. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth, nose, and throat
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- rapid heartbeat
- difficulty urinating
- vision problems
- muscle weakness
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Loratadine can affect blood glucose tests. Tell your doctor that you take loratadine if you are having this laboratory test.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Feb 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
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