Loratadine is an antihistamine medicine which treats the symptoms caused by hay fever or an allergic reaction.
Loratadine works by blocking the production of histamine within the body. When you come into contact with something you are allergic to, like pollen, dust or pet hair, histamine is produced by the immune system, causing symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing or rashes. An antihistamine stops this chemical from being released in order to ease or prevent symptoms.
Loratadine is the active ingredient, which comes as either a 5mg or 10mg dose.
The inactive ingredients in Loratadine are: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose (E460), maize starch and magnesium stearate.
Please Note: Different generic brands of Loratadine could contain different inactive ingredients than those stated above.
You should only take Loratadine when you come into contact with an allergen, or if you expect to, for example during pollen season. It is taken once a day during these periods in either tablet or liquid form. If you are taking the regular tablets, these should be swallowed whole with a drink of water or juice. Do not crush or chew them. The melt in the mouth tablets dissolve on the tongue without needing a drink. Care should be taken not to crush them as you take them out of the packet.
You can take Loratadine with additional hay fever treatments such as nasal sprays and eye drops. Do not take more than one type of antihistamine unless your doctor has advised that you can do so.
Loratadine is a non- drowsy antihistamine but it can cause drowsiness in some people. If you experience this then you may wish to try a different non-drowsy medicine. Ask your doctor for a suitable alternative. Keep drinking water and take painkillers if you get headaches, these should go away after the first week. If feelings of tiredness or nervousness persist then let your doctor know.
Loratadine does not have an effect on any method of contraception.
Common side effects include:
In children under 12:
Less common side effects include:
Signs of an allergic reaction include:
If this happens seek immediate medical attention.
Loratadine should not be taken by children under 2 years of age or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients within the medicine.
Consult your doctor if:
Loratadine is not known to interact with any other medicines. However, you should inform your doctor of any additional medications you are taking to ensure that the combination is safe.
Drinking alcohol while you are taking Loratadine is not recommended as it can make you feel sleepy.
You should avoid driving until you know how Loratadine will affect you. If you experience drowsiness after taking it then do not drive until you feel better.
Loratadine can be used for conjunctivitis, eczema, hives, insect bites, stings and some food allergies alongside treating hay fever.
You can take Loratadine with over the counter painkillers like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.
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