Claritin is an antihistamine drug that reduces the chemical, histamine, in the body. The active ingredient in Claritin is loratadine which is formulated as 10mg oral tablets. Claritin is also available as a syrup containing 1mg/ml of micronized loratadine, and rapidly-disintegrating tablets (RediTabs) containing 10mg of micronized loratadine.

Drug Uses

Claritin is available by prescription only. Claritin is an effective treatment for seasonal allergies that cause watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose and irritated throat. Claritin also relieves the symptoms of skin hives and skin reactions. Claritin is used to treat other conditions as determined by a doctor.


Claritin should be taken as prescribed by a doctor.

ADULTS AND CHILDREN OVER THE AGE OF 6: The usual dose is one 10mg tablet or RediTab, or 10mg (2 teaspoons) of syrup once a day.

CHILDREN 2-5 YEARS: The usual dose of syrup is 5mg (1 teaspoon) once a day. Claritin should be used with extreme caution in this age-group.

Children and adults with liver or kidney impairment should take an adjusted dose. Refer to your doctor.

When using Claritin RediTabs do not swallow the tablet whole. Let is dissolve in your mouth without chewing, then swallow the dissolved tablet with some water.

Missed Dose

If a dose is missed, it can be taken as soon as you remember, as long as it does not clash with the next scheduled dose. In this case, rather skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose.


Do not take Claritin if you are allergic to any ingredient in this drug.

Claritin is not likely to harm an unborn fetus so pregnant women may use Claritin as directed by a doctor. Claritin passes into breast milk so women who are breast-feeding should discuss the risks of using Claritin with a doctor.

Claritin RediTabs contain phenylalanine. Patients with phenylketonuria (a genetic metabolism disorder) should us Claritin with caution.

While using Claritin your doctor may instruct you to make certain changes to your diet.

Before using Claritin ensure that your doctor has a full knowledge of your medical history as well as any other medications you are using. These include vitamin supplements, herbal medications and over-the-counter remedies. Claritin can react badly with certain medications.


Call for emergency medical assistance if any of the following allergic symptoms occur: difficulty in breathing, hives, or swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat.

Contact a doctor immediately if any of the following serious side-effects occur: fast or irregular heartbeat, fainting, jaundice, or convulsions.

Less serious side-effects include fatigue, drowsiness, headache, diarrhea, stomach pain, dry mouth, nervousness, vision problems, hoarseness, red eyes, nosebleed, or skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects. If any other uncomfortable symptoms occur and persist, contact your doctor.


If overdose with Claritin is suspected, get emergency assistance immediately. Symptoms of overdose include drowsiness, headache, fast heartbeat, or pounding of the heart.


Claritin should be kept in a cool, dry place away from sun and moisture. Keep this medication out of children's reach.