Loratadine is a second-generation antihistamine. Another example of second generation antihistamine is cetirizine. These drugs usually do not cause drowsiness like first-generation antihistamines. Loratadine is available on prescription but it can also be bought over the counter. This drug comes in 2 forms, tablet and syrup. The syrup form is usually reserved for children or adults who find it difficult to swallow pills.
Just like any other drug, taking Loratadine can cause some side effects. These side effects are usually minor and don’t need medical help. Those include :
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Stomach ache
- Blurring of vision
- Dry mouth
Although second generation antihistamines do not cause drowsiness, some people have reported they do feel sleepy after taking this medication. If your symptoms worsen after taking Loratadine, you should seek medical help right away.
What are the uses of Loratadine?
Generally, antihistamines are used to treat symptoms of allergies. It works by blocking the action of histamines which are released by the body’s immune system in response to an infection. Usually, histamines help protect our body from infections, but sometimes histamine can be released when the immune system mistakenly fights off harmless substances (allergens) such as dust and pollen.
The general uses of Loratadine comprise of :
- Allergic rhinitis (nose inflammation due to allergens such as pollen)
- Allergic skin reactions such as urticaria or eczema
- Allergic conjunctivitis (eye inflammation)
- Allergic fever, also known as hay fever
However, Loratadine cannot be used to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical intervention.
What is the dosage for Loratadine?
Generally, Loratidine comes as a 10mg tablet or 5mg/5ml syrup. It is recommended for adults to take a 10mg tablet once a day or 5mg twice a day. In children above 2 years of age, the recommended dosage is 5mg once daily for those under 12 years of age and weigh less than 30kgs and 10mg for children above the age of 12 or weigh more than 30kgs. Children below the age of 2 should not be given this medication without a doctor’s consultation. Nevertheless, you should always follow the advice given by your doctor or the pharmacist before taking this drug. If you are buying this drug over the counter, please take a look at the recommended dosage instructions provided in the leaflet.
Antihistamines, in this case, Loratadine, are generally safe to use, but some pre-existing medical conditions might interfere with the action of antihistamines or may reduce their efficacy. If you are under other medications especially fluconazole, ketoconazole, erythromycin or clarithromycin, you should seek a doctor’s opinion before self-administering Loratadine. It is a general rule of thumb to always consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication. There are certain groups of people who are advised against taking this medication. Those include individuals with impaired hepatic or renal function or those who have a history of allergy towards loratadine. Loratadine is generally safe to use in pregnant and lactating women but its usage should be restricted.
When taking Loratadine, it is advisable to not take alcohol as this can make you feel drowsy or sleepy. Loratadine is used as symptomatic relief and cannot be used to prevent allergic reactions. It should be only taken on days you have allergic symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, blocked nose, or itchiness.
In a nutshell, Loratadine can be an effective medication used to treat allergy symptoms. This medication can be easily bought in pharmacies. If your symptoms persist for 3 days even after taking this medication, please consult a doctor for further assistance.