allergy medication, over the counter

What is Loratadine?

It is a second generation antihistamine, and for most people does not cause drowsiness.  It relieves allergy and hay fevers symptoms including itchy nose and throat, runny nose, sneezing and watery/itchy eyes.  It is also use to treat hives.

In the United States it is sold as: Alavert®, Claritin®, Dimetapp® ND Childrens, Loradamed, Tavits® ND Allergy and many store brands.

In Canada, it is sold as: Apo-Loratadine® and Claritin®

Side Effects

People generally tolerated loratadine very well.  However, side effects can include: low blood pressure, high blood pressure, headache, drowsiness, nervousness and agitation.  Contact your Doctor or Pharmacist if you believe you are having side effects.

Avoid alcohol as it can increase drowsiness.

Avoid using loratadine if you are taking any of the following medications: ketoconazole, itraconazole, cimetidine and erythromycin.


Loratadine 10mg is the most common dosage for adults and children down to age 6.  Children 2 to 5 years old usually take 5mg once a day.  Talk to you Doctor before starting children younger than six on this medication.

Doses need to be reduced if you have poor liver or kidney function.

It has not been shown to cause any problems during pregnancy, however you should talk with your doctor before taking during pregnancy.

Loratadine is excreted in the breast milk

Other ways to reduce allergy symptoms

Keep your windows closed during the allergy season, this will reduce the amount of pollen in your home.

Pollen is highest from about 5am to 10am, avoid going outside if possible.

Dry and windy days kick up more pollen in the air, stay inside if possible.

Go to low pollen places, like the beach, to reduce exposure.

Try a sinus rinse kit, they look intimidating – but the results can be pretty great.  I use mine after being outdoors, or after dusty work.  I like the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit.

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The pharmaceutical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
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