IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

LORATADINE - ORAL

(lor-AT-uh-deen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Claritin

USES: Loratadine is an antihistamine that provides relief of seasonal allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose (rhinitis), itching eyes, and sneezing. It is also used for hives.

HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth once a day or as directed. Do not increase your dose or take this more often than directed. Do not take this medication for several days before allergy testing since test results can be affected.

SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, fatigue, dry mouth, thirst, dry nose or hoarseness may occur. These effects should lessen as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: nervousness, rapid or pounding heartbeat, unusual weakness, stomach pain, dizziness, diarrhea, wheezing, increased physical activity. Loratadine does not usually cause drowsiness when used at recommended doses and under normal circumstances. However, be sure of the drug's effects before engaging in activities that require alertness such as driving or using machinery. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, any allergies. Limit alcohol intake, as it may intensify drug side effects. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain additional antihistamines that could increase your risk for side effects. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: unusual drowsiness, severe headache, fast heartbeat, and unusual muscle movements.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store between 36-86 degrees F (2-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

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