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Loratadine, sold under the brand names Claritin and Claritin-D (which contains loratadine plus pseudoephedrine), is an over-the-counter antihistamine medication.

The drug is often used to treat nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) and hives (urticaria).

Antihistamines work by blocking the release of histamine, a chemical your body naturally produces when it is exposed to something that causes an allergic reaction.

Loratadine was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 and was originally manufactured by Bayer Healthcare.

Loratadine Warnings

People who are allergic to the drug's active ingredient (loratadine) or any other components in the drug should not take loratadine.

Those born with the rare condition phenylketonuria should also avoid loratadine.

If you have severe kidney disease or poor liver problems, talk to your doctor before taking loratadine.

Pregnancy and Loratadine

Loratadine is a pregnancy category B drug, which means it is should not cause harm to an unborn child.

Regardless, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this or any other medication.

You should also alert your physician if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It's not recommended that breastfeeding mothers take this medication.

Loratadine for Dogs

Because loratadine does not tend to cause as much as drowsiness as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), it may be used for dogs with allergies, if your veterinarian approves its use.

Before giving loratadine, make sure that your dog does not have liver disease and is not taking any other antihistamines or medications like cimetidine, erythromycin, or ketoconazole, which may interact with loratadine.

Ask your veterinarian what dose is safe for your dog.

It's also a good idea to give your dog either only the capsules or tablets because the alcohol in the liquid form of loratadine may be too strong for your dog.

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Loratadine (Claritin) Side Effects

"" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px auto !important; border: 0px; vertical-align: bottom;">Common Side Effects of LoratadineSleepinessTirednessStomach painHeadacheDry eyes, dry mouth, dry throatDiarrheaAn opposite reaction in which you feel excited, jittery, or nervous, known as paradoxical CNS stimulation instead of drowsy or sleepySevere Side Effects of LoratadineLiver damage or inflammationTightness in the chest or breathing tubePassing out or faintingSeizuresLow platelet count (thrombocytopenia) DressAfford lack decorated items to wear of the cocktail

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Loratadine (Claritin) Interactions

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Loratadine is not known to have many major drug interactions.

However, it's still important to share with your doctor and pharmacist all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking.

You should not take loratadine if you are taking Ranexa (ranolazine).

Also, before taking loratadine, first talk to your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

Cordarone, Nexterone, or Pacerone (amiodarone)Prezista (darunavir)Sprycel (dasatinib)Loratadine and Alcohol

Because both alcohol and loratadine may cause drowsiness, along with dry mouth and dry eyes (which may blur vision), you should avoid drinking alcohol while taking loratadine.

Loratadine and Grapefruit Juice

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.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about drinking grapefruit juice if you are taking loratadine.

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Loratadine (Claritin) Dosage

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Loratadine comes in capsules, tablets, and as syrup. Loratadine should not be given to children under that age 6.

You should not take more than 10 milligram (mg), which is one tablet or capsule and two teaspoons of syrup a day of loratadine, unless directed by your doctor.

Loratadine Overdose

People who take more than the recommended 10 mg of loratadine a day are at greater risk of severe sleepiness, racing heartbeat, and headaches.

Children who take more than the recommended 10 mg of loratadine may actually start to move and behave similarly to people who have Parkinson's disease.

If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. You can get in touch with a poison control center at (800) 222-1222.

Missed Dose of Loratadine

If you miss a dose of Loratadine, try to take it as soon as you remember.

However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Don't double up to make up for a missed dose.

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