What is loratadine?
Claritin (loratadine), and the version with added decongestant (Claritin D), are antihistamines that reduce the histamine, or mild allergic reactions, in the body. Claritin’s ingredients allow for relief of seasonal allergies as well as other minor allergic reactions to the environment. Claritin (loratadine) can help to reduce the symptoms including sneezing, itching, runny nose, watery eyes, and itching of the throat. Proper use of Claritin (D) requires you to understand how the medication interacts with your body and other medications that you may be taking. Talking to your physician and/or pharmacist can be the best way to make sure that this medication is right for you and your individual situation, even if it is available over the counter.
Claritin’s ingredients can interact with other medications, and taking Claritin (D) if you have liver or kidney disorders is not recommended without doctor approval. Children under the age of six are also not approved to take loratadine. Ask your doctor if you are pregnant or can become pregnant while taking Claritin to avoid any complications. The active ingredient in Claritin, loratadine, can also be passed to the baby through breast milk; determining if this is the safest and the most effective treatment is a determination that is best made with the guidance of your physician.
Claritin vs. Claritin D
The main difference between these two medications is that Claritin only contains loratadine, whereas Claritin D contains loratadine and a decongestant called pseudoephedrine. The combination of medications in Claritin D provides relief from the both allergic reactions and sinus congestion, without making you sleepy. There are restrictions that have been placed on Claritin D, as the decongestant is used in the production of crystal meth. Talk with your pharmacist and/or doctor before taking either of these medications to determine the best treatment for your particular situation.
Many people have seasonal allergies and successfully take both Claritin (loratadine) and Claritin D for relief. Taking the correct amount for the correct duration will make sure that the medications can work effectively, with limited side effects. Reading the instructions on the box and discussing your options with your medical health care professional(s) will ensure that you are taking the medication that is right for you. Often times, people think that just because a medication is available over the counter that they should not discuss it with their doctor, but it is always advised to let them know what you are taking and proceed based on their professional opinion.