Claritin (loratadine) is an antihistamine used to treat allergies.

When is Claritin used?

The medication used to treat seasonal (hay fever) and year-round allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis (sneezing, itching of the nasal mucosa, rhinorrhea, burning and itching sensations in the eyes, lacrimation), chronic idiopathic urticaria, allergic skin diseases.

How does it work?

Claritin reduces the intensity and eliminate the symptoms of allergies. The patient notes the first signs of improvement in well-being half an hour after taking a pill. The maximum effectiveness is achieved within 9-11 hours and the action lasts about a day.

In case of severe allergic reactions, patients can use a double dose of the drug, but this (instead of the desired relief of the condition) can lead to a drug overdose. Overdose is manifested by headaches, drowsiness, rapid heart rate (tachycardia).

The first help in this situation is gastric lavage, the intake of the required amount of activated carbon to absorb the drug (dosage – 1 tablet per 10 kilograms of patient weight).

An overdose can develop not only as a result of exceeding the dosage of loratadine but also when taking various antihistamines together. Therefore, it is possible to combine medicinal substances only after consultation with a doctor.

How to take Claritin?

The drug is taken orally, regardless of mealtime.

Adults, including the elderly, and adolescents over 12 years of age are recommended to take the drug at a dose of 10 mg (1 tablet) once a day.

When using the drug in elderly patients and in patients with chronic renal failure, dose adjustment is not required.

Children aged 3 to 12 years with a bodyweight of more than 30 kg – 10 mg (1 tablet) once a day.

For adults and children weighing more than 30 kg with severe liver dysfunction, the initial dose should be 10 mg (1 tablet) every other day.


Do not take Claritin if you have any of the following conditions:

  • age under 3 years;
  • lactation period (breastfeeding);
  • rare hereditary diseases (violations of galactose tolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption);
  • deficiency of sucrase/isomaltase, fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption;
  • hypersensitivity to drug components.

The drug is used with caution in patients with severe liver dysfunction, during pregnancy.

Can I take Claritin with alcohol?

Combining medications with alcoholic beverages has not benefited anyone yet. This medicine is no exception. In the process of research, the effect of the drug on the nervous system is not noted, but some inhibition is possible. And the additional effect of alcohol can lead to significant depression of the central nervous system.

Also, the dose of loratadine for liver disease should be reduced. Alcoholic drinks have a damaging effect on the liver. The combination of these two factors can provoke a decrease in the functional properties of the liver. In this regard, the simultaneous use of alcohol and Claritin is contraindicated.

Does Claritin cause drowsiness?

Loratadine, which is part of the medicine, has little effect on the central nervous system. After taking the medicine, the patient does not feel additional sleepiness.

If drowsiness is associated precisely with the use of the medicine, then this is considered a side effect, which is eliminated by replacing the drug with one of the analogues.

Side effects

In some cases, the medicine can cause side effects:

  • headache;
  • fatigue;
  • dry mouth;
  • sleepiness;
  • gastrointestinal disorders (gastritis, nausea, dyspepsia);
  • allergy (rash);
  • in rare cases: anaphylaxis, alopecia, tachycardia, violations of the liver and heart.

In children, adverse reactions were limited to sedation, headache, excitability or nervousness.


Symptoms of an overdose are drowsiness, tachycardia, headache. In case of overdose, consult a doctor immediately.

Treatment is symptomatic and supportive (eg. gastric lavage, intake of adsorbents). Loratadine is not excreted by hemodialysis. After providing emergency care, it is necessary to continue monitoring the patient’s condition.

Interaction with other drugs

Food intake does not affect the effectiveness of Claritin.

Potential interactions with all known CYP3A4 or CYP2D6 inhibitors may occur, resulting in increased plasma levels of loratadine and an increased risk of side effects.

When loratadine was taken together with ketoconazole and erythromycin (CYP3A4 isoenzyme inhibitors) or cimetidine (CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 isoenzymes inhibitors), an increase in the concentration of loratadine in plasma was noted, but this increase was not clinically significant, including according to electrocardiography.

When used simultaneously with drugs that inhibit hepatic metabolism, caution should be exercised.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The drug can only be prescribed to a pregnant woman by a doctor. Moreover, the instructions for use indicate that the drug must be used with caution and only in cases where the intended benefits of therapeutic treatment for the mother are higher than the risk for the unborn baby.

Using Claritin during breastfeeding is contraindicated since clinical studies have shown the penetration of the active substance into breast milk.

Special instructions

The drug should be discontinued 48 hours before the skin tests since antihistamines can distort the results of the diagnostic study.

The drug does not affect the ability to drive a car or perform other activities requiring an increased concentration of attention.

However, in very rare cases, some patients experience drowsiness while taking the drug, which can affect their ability to drive vehicles and operate machinery.