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.
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).
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.
Different brands/strengths of this medication may have different storage requirements. Read the package labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements for the product you are using. Protect from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Loratadine is very similar to desloratadine. Do not use medications containing desloratadine while using loratadine. This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin testing), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness.