What is this medication for?
Loratadine belongs to the class of medications called second-generation antihistamines. These medications work by blocking the action of one of the body's natural chemicals known as histamine. Histamine is responsible for many of the symptoms caused by allergies. Loratadine is used for the relief of symptoms associated with seasonal and chronic allergies, including sneezing, itchy and runny nose, tearing and redness of the eyes, as well as itching and hives. It starts working within 1-2 hours and lasts for 24 hours.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Alavert® by Wyeth Cons is available as:
- orally disintegrating tablets
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
Tablets: For adults and children 12 years of age and older, the recommended dose of loratadine tablets is 10 mg once daily taken with a full glass of water. The regular tablets may be taken with or without food. The orally disintegrating tablets can be taken by adults and children 6 years of age and older. Water or other liquids are not necessary with the orally disintegrating tablets.
Syrup: A liquid form of loratadine is available for children 2 years of age and older, as well as adults who are unable to swallow tablets. The recommended dose of loratadine syrup for adults and children over 6 years of age (weighing more than 30 kg) is 10 mL (10 mg) once daily. The recommended dose for younger children (2 to 6 years of age) weighing 30 kg or less is 5 mL (5 mg) once daily. Loratadine should not be used by children less than 2 years of age.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Who should NOT take this medication?
This medication should not be used by anyone who:
- is allergic to loratadine, any other antihistamines, or any ingredients of the medication
- is younger than 2 years of age