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Loratadine Fact Card

Loratadine is a type of anti-histamine which is often used for hayfever, allergies and allergy related skin reactions.

Brand Names Clarityn Allergy, Clarityn Rapide Allergy
Used For Hayfever, allergies and allergy related skin reactions.
Doseage 10mg daily in adults
Side Effects headache, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, agitation (in children)
Warnings Avoid taking alcohol while on cetirizine. Do not use along with other antihistamines.
Pregnancy Can be used in pregnancy

Loratadine is a type of antihistamine tablet that is used to treat the symptoms of hayfever and allergy including skin reactions. It is available to buy over the counter as well as on prescription.

What is Loratadine used to treat?

Loratadine is used to treat the symptoms of hayfever and skin reactions associated to allergy (hives, urticaria).  

How does Loratadine work?

Antihistamines mainly work against chemicals in the body called histamines.  These are produced in response to injury or inflammation of the cells in the body. In allergic conditions such as hayfever, these histamines are unnecessarily produced and give rise to symptoms such as sneezing and itchy eyes. 

Antihistamines start to work in 30 minutes reaching maximum effect after 1-2 hours. 

loratadine alcohol

How do I take Loratadine?

The dose is usually 10mg daily for adults. Your doctor will advise on the dose and preparation most suitable for you. It is available in tablets, chewable tablets and liquid form. 

Side effects of Loratadine

The most commonly reported side effects include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • agitation (in children)

Less than 1% of people taking loratadine will experience any of these side effects but if you do experience them then discuss this with your doctor.

loratadine side effects

Things to avoid

Avoid taking in conjunction with other antihistamines as the side effects are more likely to occur. 

Loratadine should not be given to children under the age of 2 years. Always ask your doctor before using this medication in children. 

Loratadine and alcohol

Avoid taking loratadine with alcohol as this can increase the likelihood of experiencing the side effects of tiredness and fatigue.

loratadine when pregnant

Can I take Loratadine when pregnant?

There is no evidence of harm from taking loratadine during pregnancy but they are generally avoided unless the benefit outweighs the risk of harm. Loratadine is considered the safest antihistamine to use during pregnancy.

Loratadine and breastfeeding

Antihistamines are present in breast milk but they are not known to be harmful.  They are generally best avoided if breastfeeding but your doctor can discuss with you whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

loratadine when breastfeeding

Please note. This site is for information only. If you are taking any medications please follow the instructions given by your doctor. Should you have an adverse reaction to any medication please seek medical advice.

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