IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
LORATADINE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Claritin
USES: This medication is an antihistamine that treats symptoms such as itching, runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing from "hay fever" and other allergies. It is also used to relieve itching from hives. Loratadine does not prevent hives or prevent/treat a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Therefore, if your doctor has prescribed epinephrine to treat allergic reactions, always carry your epinephrine injector with you. Do not use loratadine in place of your epinephrine. If you are self-treating with this medication, it is important to read the manufacturer's package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist. (See also Precautions section.) If you are using the tablets or capsules, do not use in children younger than 6 years unless directed by the doctor. If you are using the liquid or chewable tablets, do not use in children younger than 2 years unless directed by the doctor.
HOW TO USE: If you are using the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all the directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, follow your doctor's directions and the instructions on your prescription label. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once a day or as directed by your doctor or the product package. If you are using the chewable tablets, chew each tablet well and swallow. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The dosage is based on your age, condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not take more of this medication than recommended for your age. Tell your doctor if your allergy symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment or if your hives last more than 6 weeks. Get medical help right away if your condition worsens or you think you have a serious medical problem (such as a very serious allergic reaction/anaphylaxis).
SIDE EFFECTS: This drug usually has no side effects. If you have any unusual effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking loratadine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to desloratadine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history. Do not self-treat with this medication without consulting your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions such as: kidney disease, liver disease. Loratadine does not usually cause drowsiness when used at recommended doses. However, do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. If you have hives and your doctor has prescribed loratadine, or if you are considering using this drug to treat your own hives, tell your doctor right away if you have any of these other symptoms because they may be signs of a more serious condition: hives that are an unusual color, hives that look bruised or blistered, hives that do not itch. Liquid products or chewable tablets may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, or confusion. These side effects can increase the risk of falling. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this drug. This medication passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.