Common brand names:
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 (e.g., 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.)
Do not use this medication in children younger than 6 years unless directed by the doctor. If you are using the chewable tablets, do not use in children younger than 2 years unless directed by your doctor.
How to Use This Medication
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. 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. Seek immediate medical attention if your condition worsens or you think you have a serious medical problem (e.g., very serious allergic reaction/anaphylaxis).
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Information expires June 2015.