Loratadine for allergy symptoms
This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
Name of medicine
Loratadine is available as many common brands, including: Clarityn Allergy or Clarityn Rapide Allergy.
Why is it important for my child to take Loratadine?
Loratadine is a medicine known as an antihistamine. When the body comes into contact with something it is allergic to, such as pollen, animal hair or fur, house dust or insect bites, it produces a chemical called histamine. This causes itchy, watery eyes, running or blocked nose, sneezing and rashes. Loratadine blocks the effects of histamine and so reduces these symptoms.
Most children only need to take an antihistamine for a short while when they have symptoms of allergy.
What is Loratadine available as?
- Tablets: 10 mg
- Liquid medicine: 5 mg in 5 mL
When should I give Loratadine
In some children, Loratadine is used only when it is needed (e.g. when they are exposed to a trigger such as animal hair). In other children, it is used regularly (e.g. for hay fever during spring or summer). Loratadine should be stopped once it is no longer needed.
- Loratadine is usually given once each day. This is usually in the morning but can depend on the timing of the symptoms and whether the medication has any sedating effect on the individual.
- Your doctor may have told you to give Loratadine when your child’s symptoms are usually worse e.g. give in the morning if symptoms are worse in the day or in the evening if symptoms are worse then. You should follow your doctor’s instructions on when to give Loratadine.
Give the medicine at about the same time each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.
How much should I give?
Your doctor will work out the amount of Loratadine (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
If you have bought your medicine over the counter, follow the instructions on the packaging. If you are not sure how much to give, contact your pharmacist or doctor.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
How should I give Loratadine?
- Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, squash or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.
- Shake the medicine well. Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or a medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
When should the medicine start working?
Loratadine starts working straight away. If your child has been in contact with something that they are allergic to and has symptoms, the symptoms should go away in 30 to 60 minutes, but if the medicine is being used to prevent an allergic reaction you may not see much difference in your child.
What if my child is sick (vomits)?
- If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of Loratadine, give them the same dose again.
- If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of Loratadine, do not give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.
If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.
What if I forget to give it?
If you usually give it once a day in the morning: Give the missed dose when you remember during the day, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due.
What if I give too much?
You are unlikely to cause harm if you give an extra dose of Loratadine by mistake. If you are concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or local NHS services (details at end of leaflet). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.
Are there any possible side effects?
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side effects).
Other side-effects you need to know about
Your child may get some of the following side effects when they first start taking Loratadine. These usually wear off after a few days as your child gets used to the medicine. If they are still a problem after a week, or you are worried, contact your doctor but continue to give Loratadine.
Your child may be drowsy (feel sleepy) for a few hours after each dose.
Your child may get a headache, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or they may feel restless or agitated.
Your child may have a dry mouth. Eating citrus fruits (e.g. oranges) and sipping water may help.
Your child’s eyesight may be blurred (fuzzy).
Your child may have an upset tummy (stomach ache).
There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
Can other medicines be given at the same time as Loratadine?
- You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
- Loratadine should not be taken with some medicines. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before giving Loratadine.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.
Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?
If your child has epilepsy, check with your doctor before you give them Loratadine as it may increase the chance of your child having a seizure (fit).
- Loratadine can affect the ability to do skilled tasks such as riding a bicycle, playing sports or driving. Your child should take care when doing tasks that require co-ordination until they get used to the medicine.
General advice about medicines
- Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
- Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
- If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
- Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
- Make sure that the medicines you have at home have not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.
- If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses, as you may do harm.
Where should I keep this medicine?
- Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
- It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
- Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in the container it came in.
Who to contact for more information?
Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about Loratadine and about other medicines used to treat allergies.
Version . © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by July 2019.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk.
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.