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All about: Claritin

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Generic name: Loratadine
Brand names: Claritin

Why is Claritin prescribed?

Claritin is an antihistamine that relieves the sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, itching, and tearing eyes caused by hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies. It also relieves the swollen, red, itchy patches of skin caused by hives. Claritin is also available as an over-the-counter product.

Most important fact about Claritin

If you have liver or kidney disease, your doctor should prescribe a lower starting dose of Claritin.

How should you take Claritin?

Claritin is available in syrup, regular tablets, and rapidly dissolving tablets called Reditabs. The Reditabs should be placed on the tongue rather than swallowed. They disintegrate rapidly and can be taken with or without water.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed. Never take two doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Claritin can be stored at room temperature. The Reditabs should be kept in a dry place. Use them within 6 months after opening the foil pouch in which they are packed. Take each tablet immediately after removing it from its individual blister.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Claritin.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Dry mouth, fatigue, headache, sleepiness

Why should Claritin not be prescribed?

Do not take Claritin if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to it. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions that you have experienced.

Special warnings about Claritin

This medication may cause excessive sleepiness in people with liver or kidney disease, or older adults, and should be used with caution.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Claritin

Although no harmful interactions with Claritin have been reported, there is a theoretical possibility of an interaction with the following drugs:

Antibiotics such as erythromycin
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Claritin during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Claritin appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Claritin is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Claritin is finished.

Recommended dosage


The usual dose is 10 milligrams once a day, taken as 1 tablet or 2 teaspoonfuls of syrup. In people with liver or kidney disease, the usual dose is 10 milligrams every other day.


The usual dose is 1 teaspoonful of syrup once a day. If the child has kidney or liver problems, give 1 teaspoonful every other day.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Claritin overdose may include:
    Headache, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness

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