Loratadine is a drug that belongs to the anti-histamine family of medicines, which are mostly used to treat the symptoms of hay fever and other different allergies. These symptoms usually include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, itching of throat, eyes, nose, etc. Sometimes, this medicine is also used to treat skin hives and itching, in people having chronic skin reactions. However, a very important thing to remember while using loratadine is that this drug can only treat certain symptoms of hay fever or an allergy, but it cannot altogether prevent an allergy, fever, or any other skin reaction from taking place in a person’s body.
Medicines containing loratadine can readily qualify themselves as belonging to the anti-histamine family, as loratadine works by blocking the histamine production in the body. Essentially, the human body comprises of several minute histamine receptor cells, which are continually engaged in producing histamine, the chemical component that the allergens use to establish a connection with the body. The histamine receptors not only act as the first point of contact for the invading allergens, but also provide them the means, i.e. histamine, to trigger off allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itching, etc.
Loratadine comes in to the picture at the point where these symptoms have started to take their toll on the body. On consuming loratadine, the drug carries out its primary function of entering into the blood stream of the person, so that it can reach all histamine cell destinations. Once loratadine is effective in the body, it debilitates the histamine cells by stalling their production of histamine. After this, the body alters its chemical processes in such a manner that the allergens have no point of interaction, thereby ensuring their deflection away from the body.
• Please be advised that only your doctor or general physician would be the most eligible and qualified person to prescribe you the dosage of a medicine containing loratadine. It is highly recommended that you do not make by self, any amendments whatsoever in the dosage of this drug, because doing so can cause an overdose of it resulting in some serious health complications. If you feel that the initial dosage is insufficient, or more than necessary, please approach your doctor regarding the same.
• If you’re consuming loratadine tablets, consume them orally, only with a glass full of water.
• In case of dissolvable tablets, place a tablet on your tongue and let it disintegrate gradually. You may drink a glass of water if the tablet hasn’t dissolved properly.
• Do not cut, chew, or suck on loratadine tablets, except the chewable tablet version of this drug.
• For consuming loratadine syrup, make sure that you have the medicine cup issued with the syrup, or any other measurable medicine cup with you, so that you take the medicine only in its prescribed amount.
• Inform your doctor duly if your health conditions haven’t improved even after 3 days of consuming this medicine.
The side effects caused by the consumption of loratadine drugs are mostly benevolent in nature, as these are harmless and tend to fade away pretty easily too. Instances of some serious side effects being caused by this medicine have occurred, but such occurrences have been far too rare to be alarmed or anxious about them. Some of the common side effects of loratadine include: rashes, itching/swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, nosebleed, diarrhea, headache, nervousness, dryness of throat and mouth, etc. Whereas, the serious side effects of this drug include: jaundice, sensation of passing out, seizures, irregular heartbeats, etc.
• Pregnant women must consult their doctors before taking this medicine.
• Though loratadine is understood as being safe for consumption by breastfeeding women, it is recommendable that such women ask their doctors about the same, as this drug is known to enter breast milk.
• Please inform your doctor about all your medical conditions of the present, as well as your medical history, so that he/she observes necessary caution while prescribing you this drug.
• The chewable tablets of this drug contain a component called aspartame. If you have a condition that prevents you from aspartame, or if you have phenylketonuria (PKU), please abstain from drugs containing aspartame or phenylalanine.
• If the nature of your job is such that you have to stay alert for long periods of time, please don’t consume loratadine before commencing work, as it can cause severe drowsiness.
Therefore, the above was a short monograph on loratadine and its essential information.