What Is Loratadine Used For?
Loratadine is used for treating common allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. It can also help relieve itching due to hives. The medication works by blocking histamine receptors in the body. This prevents the immune system from reacting to triggers that often cause allergy symptoms, such as pollen or certain foods. There are no off-label loratadine uses at this time.
Loratadine (Claritin®) is a non-prescription medication approved to treat allergies in adults and children as young as two years old. It belongs to a group of medications known as non-sedating antihistamines (which means that it is less likely to cause drowsiness). Loratadine is approved to treat the following allergy symptoms:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Itchy nose or throat
- Runny nose
Loratadine is also approved to treat itching due to hives, which may or may not be caused by allergies.
Why Is Loratadine Used for Allergies?
Allergies are the immune system's specific reaction to normally harmless substances, such as pollens, certain foods, or medicines. Allergies can either be seasonal or perennial. Seasonal allergies (such as hay fever) occur at specific times of the year, while perennial allergies can occur throughout the year.
Allergies can affect various parts of the body, and allergy symptoms are particularly common in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Nasal allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis) mostly affect the nose and eyes. Symptoms of nasal allergies may include:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itching nose, eyes, ears, or throat.
Combined with strategies to minimize a person's contact with allergens, allergy treatment can make life bearable for even the worst allergy sufferer. Treatment often includes allergy shots or medications. Loratadine is a particularly useful allergy medicine, as it usually does not cause drowsiness, like many other non-prescription allergy products.