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When you come into contact with something you're allergic to, a chain reaction begins inside your body. During this chain reaction, special cells release powerful chemicals. Some of these chemicals can trigger swelling of the nasal passages, leading to nasal congestion (a "stuffy" nose). Other chemicals, such as histamine, can cause sneezing, itching, and irritation.
Clarinex is part of a class of drugs called antihistamines. As the name implies, the drug blocks the effects of histamine. This can help with relief of allergy symptoms. However, since histamine is not involved with nasal congestion, Clarinex will not help open the nasal passages.
Prior to the approval of Clarinex in the United States, numerous clinical studies were conducted in over 4,000 adults and children. This included studies looking at the effects of Clarinex on seasonal allergy symptoms, perennial allergy symptoms, and chronic urticaria. In these studies, people taking the drug had improved relief, compared to the group of people not taking the medicine. For allergy relief, this improvement was measured based on a symptom score that looked at changes in the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose and throat
- Itchy, watery, and red eyes.
For chronic hives, the symptom score measured changes in itching and number of hives.
Some general guidelines regarding when and how to take Clarinex include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken once a day.
- You should take your Clarinex dose with a glass of water, with or without food.
- Clarinex also comes in an orally disintegrating tablet or syrup. These forms may be taken with or without water and with or without food.
- The medication should be taken at the same time every day to help maintain an even level in the blood. Do not take it more often than directed.
- For Clarinex to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.