Last Updated on June 3, 2023
Loratadine is a popular antihistamine medication used to relieve symptoms like sneezing, itching, and a runny nose caused by allergies. It does not cause drowsiness like some other over-the-counter allergy medications. Loratadine is available over the counter in the UK, which means you don’t need a prescription to purchase it.
You can buy loratadine in any pharmacy or shop that sells over-the-counter medications. You can also find it online at reputable retailers like Boots, Superdrug, and Lloyds Pharmacy. Prices may vary depending on the brand and the amount of loratadine in each tablet.
It is important to always read and follow the directions on the package carefully when taking any medication, including loratadine over the counter. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking it. If you experience any severe side effects or an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.
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What is loratadine?
Loratadine is one of the most important drugs for allergies. As a so-called second-generation antihistamine of it – unlike its predecessors – with the same effectiveness practically does not tire. Due to the good tolerability of the active ingredient, it is also used by pregnant and breastfeeding women as the treatment of choice for allergic reactions. Here you can read all about Loratadine.
How does loratadine work?
An allergic reaction is an overreaction of the immune system. Upon contact with a truly harmless allergy triggers (allergens such as pollen, house dust or pet dander), the body suddenly releases an excessive amount of the neurotransmitter histamine to fight the allergen, which it recognizes as “foreign”. When histamine binds to its docking site (receptor), it causes the typical symptoms of allergy, such as increased tissue perfusion (redness, swelling, hives), watery eyes, runny nose, and even spasm of the muscles of the respiratory tract (bronchospasm).
As a so-called anti-histamine inhibits Loratadine by blocking the histamine receptor (H 1receptor) the effects of histamine and thus relieves the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of loratadine
When taken orally, the active ingredient is rapidly and completely absorbed from the intestines into the blood. It is then distributed throughout the body and metabolized in the liver. The breakdown products are then excreted by the kidneys.
When should you use loratadine?
The uses (indications) for loratadine include:
- allergic rhinitis
- allergic skin reactions like hives (or urticaria)
How is loratadine used?
Loratadine is usually taken in the form of tablets. Normally, allergy tablets should be taken in the evening because they make the most tired. For medications with Loratadine however, this is practically not the case.
The loratadine dosage is usually ten milligrams daily. Infants and people with liver dysfunction receive a reduced dose.
The tablets can be taken with or without food (best with a large glass of tap water).
What are the side effects of loratadine?
Frequently, that is in one to ten percent of those treated, Loratadine may cause side effects such as fatigue and cause.
In rare cases, the intake of the drug may lead to an increased appetite and gastrointestinal complaints.
What should I watch for while taking loratadine?
Patients with severe liver impairment should be used cautiously with drugs containing loratadine because it may cause a delayed breakdown to an increased effect.What should I watch for while taking loratadine?
Unlike other allergy medications, there is no known potentiating effect when taken with alcohol.
There is also no known interaction with other medications that could lead to increased side effects.
Driving and using machines
Loratadine may rarely cause fatigue as a side effect. Therefore, it should be taken only at the beginning of treatment to monitor individual response to the drug. If you are unsure should be decided in conjunction with a doctor if you actively participate in traffic or allowed to operate heavy machinery.
Loratadine should be used in children as young as two years of age (or 30 kilograms of body weight). Children who are younger or lighter should always consult a doctor with an allergic reaction.
Pregnancy and lactation
The effect of Loratadine on unborn babies and is very well studied. No harmful effects have been found under the administration, even though the drug is excreted in human breast milk. Therefore, medications containing Loratadine are considered drugs of choice against allergic reactions in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
How to get loratadine
Loratadine is considered to be very well tolerated and is therefore suitable for self-medication. You can get them for this reason can be sold in pharmacies.
How long has loratadine been in the market?
Loratadine was patented in 1980 and became available in 1988. Loratadine is a relatively new medication. As a so-called second-generation antihistamine, its mode of action is much more specific than that of its predecessors and has significantly fewer side effects with equal effectiveness.
Unlike other allergy medications (such as newer) Loratadine by its very specific attack practically does not make tired, which is a clear advantage over the other members of this drug class.
More interesting facts about loratadine
Loratadine also suppresses allergic skin reactions. Therefore, they should always be discontinued at least two days before an allergy skin test. This is a test that is applied directly to the skin with the allergens to find out which allergen the treated responds to (certain pollens, house dust, animal dander, etc.). If you do not take the allergy pills with loratadine first, a truly positive test may be falsely negative and an existing allergy may not be detected.