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Updated 11 February 2013

Loratadine

Loratadine is an antihistamine used for the treatment of allergic conditions, mainly hay fever and skin conditions.

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Loratadine is the active ingredient of Adco-Lorahist, AP-Loratadine, Cipla- Loratadine, Clarinese, Clarityne, Laura, Lorfast, Lorahist, Lorano, Pollentyme, Rhinigine, Rohist, and Sandoz Loratadine. Loratadine is also one of multiple active ingredients found in Clarityne D and Demazin NS (both loratadine + pseudoephedrine).

General information

Loratadine is an antihistamine used for the treatment of allergic conditions, mainly hay fever and skin conditions. Unlike many older antihistamines, loratadine has very little sedative effect, meaning you won’t feel drowsy after taking this drug. It may still cause drowsiness in a small percentage of those taking it.

Loratadine has a long-acting affect and only needs to be taken once a day.

How does loratadine work?

When you are exposed to an allergen, your body reacts by producing a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms we associate with allergy. These include itchy, red, watery eyes; sneezing and runny, itchy nose; postnasal drip; and an itchy, sometimes visibly red skin.

Loratadine is an antihistamine, meaning it counteracts the action of histamine to help relieve you of the symptoms of allergy.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 2

Available as: Tablets and syrup

What does it do? Loratadine has an anti-allergy effect.

Overdose risk: Low

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? Yes

Available on prescription only? No

User information

Onset of effect: Within 1 hour.

Duration of action: Up to 24 hours.

Dietary advice: Loratadine can be taken with or without food.

Stopping this medicine: Loratadine can be safely stopped when no longer needed.

Prolonged use: No special precautions.

Special precautions

Alert your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have kidney or liver disease,
  • you have epilepsy,
  • you have a known allergy to the product, or
  • you are taking other medication.

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: Safety and efficacy of this medication has not been established for children under the age of 2.

Elderly: No special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may, although unlikely, lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how it affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Nausea

x

x

Fatigue

x

x

Headache

x

x

Palpitations/ tremors

x

x

Convulsion

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Cimetidine

Potential risk of loratadine toxicity

Barbiturates

Potential for enhanced sedation

Benzodiazepines

Potential for enhanced sedation

Hypnotics

Potential for enhanced sedation

Sedatives

Potential for enhanced sedation

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include confusion and nausea.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 10mg once daily

Children:

< 30kg: 5mg daily

> 30kg: 10mg daily

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
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