Articles, DRUGS

loratadine (claritin) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Allergic reactions often are the epitome of serious problems. Allergy can be defined as that phenomenon that occurs due to the bodies’ reaction to a certain element that the body obviously does not recognize as a friendly substance. Allergy reactions and cause sources often vary from one person to another depending on the individual’s reaction to their body. Once a new substance is introduced in the system for the first time the body recognizes it as a foreign compound and judges its compatibility. Once not compatible usually your body creates an antibody to fight the substance the next time it’s introduced to the system and the outward or external show of incompatibility thus occurs as allergies.

There are certain medications that are used to treat these issues, one of them being the highlight of our article today. Loratadine is an antihistamine medication or treatment medication that addresses to the causes of hyper allergic symptoms, severe itching, runny nose and hay fever symptoms, allergic reactions from pollens, hives in your skin with eminent red blotchy rashes and such. Antihistamine in nature would mean something that controls or regulates the allergic reactions and may often inhibit physiological changes through histamine which is a substance in our body that recognizes the allergy reactions. The same substance is present in the food items as well and can be also be used in treatment of these allergy reactions. Loratadine is the generic name of the drug with the Claritin being the loratadine brand name. However, this medication solely competes to contain or control the reactions to an allergy like sneezing or runny nose but this does not directly participate in relieving you of your allergies or curing your allergy symptoms and therefore one should never replace the loratadine with the epinephrine.

However this is strictly a prescription only drug and should be handled with immense care if you are going without a prescription since these drugs can have counter effects to your allergic reaction or worse may interact with your allergy medicines.



The way the allergy medicines work has been discussed before where the presence of a substance within the body would detect a not so friendly foreign ingredient that has been newly introduced to your system. At this stage, the body’s first reaction is to block the substance from causing any reaction or harm and thus it creates a serious situation where an antibody is created to combat the substances. Hence, the next time this substance is introduced to the system, the allergic reactions from the previous bout starts showing up as your body uses the antibody as a defense shield. It is at this time that the medications to prevent the excessive production of allergic symptoms are used to contain the situation in your body. Here in this segment we will learn about some of the benefits that this drug possess.

  • Excessive itching: excessive itching is an outwardly show of the allergic reaction that causes extensive itching in your skin. it can also expand to the eyes where the eyes now red would start itching excessively. Sometimes this itching may cause secondary skin problems along with redness and even swelling and to tackle all of it, antihistamine drugs such as loratadine can be used to contain the excess itch situation. It probably would cool down the itching by relaxing the allergic reaction internally.
  • Common cough and wheezing: even though it is strictly tagged risky, common cold and cough situations can be treated using this medication. Loratadine uses its benefits to even cure allergic or common cold reactions such as runny nose or an excessive mucous buildup but drying of cough, wheezing and difficulty in swallowing followed by sore throat.
  • Swells in the neck and face: swelling is the most common allergic reaction where the face starts swelling with redness and congestion while the swell can even extend up to the face or the arms. Claritin drug is used to treat these drug reactions which are similar to allergies and thus face or body swelling along with the joints too can be treated by this medicinal drug.
  • Hay fever controller:  hay fever is a noted common allergy often caused by your skin reacting to pollens in and around your system. It may cause excess sneezing with watery eyes and skin itching as a form of allergic reaction and it can all be controlled using this drug.
  • Hives in the skin: hives too are a form of allergy where red bumps appear in the skin as a physical form. This too can be treated using loratadine.


Usually your doctor is there to prescribe to you the right amount of loratadine dosage or way of consuming it along with the time intervals if you are consuming it more than once a day. However, if you are opting for over the counter Claritin drug, always read the label for instructions and carefully evaluate the dosage unit required to eliminate overdosing cases.

Usually this dosage is prescribed to be taken orally and the ‘with food’ or ‘without food’ part can be sorted out from your doctor itself. Usually this medicine can be availed in different forms, from chewable tablets to oral suspensions. In case you are using the regular tablets, simply use a full glass of water to wash it down your throat instead of biting or chewing or even breaking it into half. The breaking of a regular tablet will cause the inactive ingredients to clump together which in fact increases over dosing risks. However check the label carefully for chewable tablets which in fact needs to be chewed properly before swallowing.

Also, in case of an oral suspension, either measure the dose in a dose measuring syringe or through a measuring spoon and always shake the container well before use. For the oral disintegrating tablets, carefully remove the medicine from the foil and place it gently on your tongue. Allow the drug to disintegrate slowly as you gulp down a little each time. Once again refrain from swallowing it whole.


The Claritin drug will be prescribed to you based on your age, weight, demographics, medical requirement and if needed even the test results if conducted should be taken into consideration.

Usually if you are going through a doctor, you would know best to assure your diet and dosage on your doctor’s guidance but if you are opting for an over the counter dosage be very careful regarding the consumption time or dosage or even frequency.

It is of best knowledge that you start with a initial dose that is the bare minimum and if the results hereafter are not satisfactory you can move on to a higher dose if need be. This medication is not apt for children who are below the infant age, i.e. below 7. The base dose for any reaction starts with a loratadine 10mg tablet. This basic dose is usually the bar line above which consumption of a higher dose without doctor’s consent can be deemed risky or even life threatening.

The higher doses however include 20mg or 40mg for emergency situations or situations under which the doctor feels compelled to prescribe such dosage to you.

Loratadine is actually used for dogs too to relieve them from allergic symptoms that might haunt them but the dosage for your dog should indeed be quiet low placed at around 0.5, 0.25 and a maximum of 5mg at emergency situations.


Usually the loratadine (Claritin) gets a green signal for during the pregnancy use as these drugs don’t usually partake in affecting the child. However, since breast feeding is in the option, it is best if you speak to your doctor beforehand about the effects.

Usually grapefruit juice and the loratadine drug are both broken down in the liver the same way which is why it is perfectly fine and often advisable for you to drink grapefruit regularly whilst on this medicinal course to reduce side effect risks.

Since this medication is also applicable for dogs, before opting for this medicine, make sure you know the statistics of your dog’s health which includes liver problems, worms. It is for the best if you consult a vet before giving this medication to your dog since the vaccines from your dog’s earlier days may still be reactive with this medicine causing adverse side effect.


Drug interactions occur when two dissimilar drug combines within your system concocting a third party drug that causes increase in the side effect or may cause an all together change, usually for the worse. Hence, it is always of the best interest that you furnish your medical history and reports to your doctor so that he knows what medicines can club together for side effects.

The usual ones would be off the counter pain killers or herbal medicines or antibiotics for liver or kidney. Also, any sort of birth control pill or any other prescribed medicine to treat the allergies may cause reactive actions.


Side effects are common when you are using a drug to treat yourself. However, not every individual experiences the side effects the same way as one another, it is always somewhat different for people where for one person the side effects may be as negligible as anything while for the other it can be a panic stricken situation and indeed a difficult time to deal with. Always keep an eye out for the early signs and consult your doctor if things get too heavy. Here is a list of side effects for you.

  • Restlessness in children: restlessness in children can be a common side effect to this drug where they become hyper active especially as a reaction to introduction of a new foreign substance in their body. this drug may take a toll on the nervous system hence causing hyper activity and restlessness amongst children.
  • Stomach pain and fatigue: this is a common side effect also noticed in children where repeated stomach upset and stomach pain may occur along with excessive tiredness. Sometimes this tiredness may even result in lack of focus or concentration and day time sleeping and should quickly be reported to the doctor.
  • Diarrhea or difficulty in passing urine: diarrhea is often noticed to be a common symptom to this allergy remedy but often diarrhea in excessive terms may be bad for health. If the side effects prolong for too long it is of importance that you strictly prohibit taking this medication. Along with this problems in passing urine may persist with slight burning feeling that hampers your urinary tract.
  • Dry mouth and prolonged flu: loratadine side effects at the base form may include prolonged fever like seasonal flu with cold sweats and child running down your spine while feelings of persistent dry mouth may exist that causes several problems.
  • Abdominal pain or chest pain: abdominal pain or chest pain or pain in the lower rib cage are symptoms of overdosing or simply a sign that your body feels this medication is not suitable for you.
  • Insomnia and nervousness: at this time the nerves may feel quite jittery in nature and may invoke severe feelings of nervousness even whilst performing everyday mundane activities. This causes flogging of the brain and would soon result in insomniac feelings where sleeping will become difficult at nights. This is strictly an overdosing sign and should instantly be curbed at the core before things get out of hand.

Usually the drug loratadine working under the brand name Claritin is not a medicinal drug to treat your allergy but it sure is a drug that would help you