Claritin Side Effects

by on March 6, 2012


Most individuals do not experience Claritin side effects when they take the medication as directed.   While it is a safe medication that is sold over the counter, patients should be aware of all of the possible side effects they may experience during treatment, including dry mouth, drowsiness, jaundice or seizures.  Loratidine is considered to be a non-sedating antihistamine, but may still cause drowsiness in some individuals. Be sure you know how Claritin will affect you before driving or operating machinery.

Common Claritin Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects of claritin that will usually get better over time include:

  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Tired or drowsy feelings
  • Diarrhea that may or may not be accompanied by stomach and intestinal pain
  • Hoarseness, sore throat or dry throat
  • Reddened eyes and blurred vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Minor skin rashes
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Nervousness
  • Weakness
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Sore throat
  • Red or itchy eyes

While these side effects are mild and do not occur extremely frequently, they should be reported to a physician if they persist or become increasingly bothersome. Most of these side effects will resolve on their own during treatment.

Serious Claritin Side Effects

claritin There are a few serious Claritin side effects that patients should be monitored for, including:

  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Fainting or a feeling of imminent fainting
  • Jaundice—yellowing of the skin and/or eyes
  • Seizures
  • Unexplained chronic fatigue
  • Extremely dry mouth that persists
  • Inability to sweat or cry

These side effects are very serious. Patients who experience these should immediately stop taking the medication and seek emergency medical treatment. Severe allergic reactions to Claritin are extremely rare and characterized by

  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling, especially in the face, throat, or tongue
  • Itching
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness

If an allergic reaction is suspected, patients should call 911 or contact an ambulance for help.

Claritin in Children

Children with allergies, as well as cold and flu symptoms, can often get relief from Loratadine. The manufacturer has created oral suspensions and chewable tablets with children in mind, but caregivers should exercise great caution in making sure that they are providing the correct dosage.

Claritin is approved in children ages two and older by the FDA, though it can be prescribed to younger children if the need exists. Children aged two to five can take up to 5mg of Claritin per day; children over the age of five through adulthood are generally administered 10mg per day. This dosage should never be exceeded except under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Most children do not experience any adverse side effects of Claritin, but a small number may suffer from the symptoms below.

  • Nervousness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tiredness
  • Wheezing
  • Upper respiratory tract infections or symptoms of a cold
  • Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye
  • Feeling bad or ill
  • Hoarseness or voice changes

If any of these conditions persist or become severe, contact your child’s doctor.

Claritin in the Elderly

Elderly patients who suffer from seasonal allergies, hay fever and respiratory symptoms of the flu and common cold can also get adequate relief from Loratadine.

No dosage adjustments are needed based upon the age of the patient as long as the patient is over the age of five. Elderly patients may experience the more common side effects of Claritin more often than other age groups, however, and should be closely monitored for serious side effects like seizures and jaundice. Elderly patients, like adults and children ages five and over, should take a dosage of 10mg of Claritin per day unless otherwise instructed by a physician.

Side Effects of Claritin D

A combination of loratadine and pseudoephedrine can effectively treat allergy symptoms that also include congestion or a stuffy nose. Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant that can have additional side effects, particularly on the nervous system and heart. Individuals who take Claritin D may experience:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset stomach
  • Excessive thirst
  • Coughing
  • Sleep difficulties

These Claritin side effects are typically mild. If they are severe or don’t subside, contact your doctor. Changes in behavior, abnormal thoughts, a fast or irregular heartbeat, tremors, or any other unusual symptoms should be reported to a professional immediately.

Undesirable Side Effects and Disorders

Although they are very, very rare and occur in less than one percent of the people who take Claritin daily, the following conditions have been reported since Claritin was made available over-the-counter. Ongoing studies are underway in order to determine whether or not these disorders were caused by Loratadine:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Tachycardia
  • Immune disorders
  • Skin and tissue disorders
  • Rashes and alopecia (unexplained hair loss)
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Reaction at the administration site if medication was given via injection

Although these are very rare, patients who experience them after taking Loratadine are encouraged to contact the FDA with information as well as their physicians. A decision will be made whether to continue to take the medication in lieu of the symptoms.

With very few side effects and the convenience of being purchased without a prescription, Claritin is used by millions of allergy sufferers for reliable relief that doesn’t interfere with their daily activities. Claritin side effects are rare and generally mild, but it is still important to start this medication when you have the time to see how it may affect you. Don’t drive or perform tasks that require concentration or skill until you are sure of how you will react.