Claritin-D and Insomnia

There are many possible side effects of Claritin-D, and insomnia appears to be one of the most common. In clinical trials, up to 16 percent of people experienced insomnia while taking Claritin-D 12 Hour tablets. If you are taking Claritin-D and insomnia occurs, you can either try switching to regular Claritin or improving your sleep habits.

Does Claritin-D Cause Insomnia?

Claritin-D® (loratadine and pseudoephedrine sulfate), like all medications, can cause side effects. Insomnia is one of the most common side effects of Claritin-D. In clinical studies, up to 16 percent of people taking Claritin-D 12 Hour tablets experienced insomnia, compared to just 3 percent of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient). However, insomnia was less common in people taking Claritin-D 24 Hour tablets (which are taken just once a day), occurring in only 5 percent of people.
 

What Is Insomnia?

People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:
 
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Non-refreshing sleep.
     

Claritin-D and Insomnia: Suggestions

Often, insomnia (no matter what the cause) can be improved with better sleep habits. Some tips for better sleep include the following:
 
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet room with a comfortable temperature.
  • Keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the four to six hours before bedtime.
  • Don't exercise within two hours of bedtime. Exercising five or six hours before bedtime, however, may help you sleep more soundly.
  • Don't eat large meals within two hours of bedtime.
  • Don't nap later than 3 p.m.
  • If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, do a quiet activity somewhere else and return to bed when you're sleepy.
  • Wind down in the 30 minutes before bedtime with a relaxing pre-sleep ritual, such as a warm bath, soft music, or reading.
     
(Click Good Sleep Habits for more suggestions.)
 
Almost all cases of insomnia with Claritin-D are due to the pseudoephedrine component of the medication. Many people have difficulty sleeping while taking pseudoephedrine. You may want to consider taking Claritin instead, which does not contain pseudoephedrine. Also, taking Claritin-D 24 Hour once daily seems less likely to cause insomnia, compared to taking Claritin-D 12 Hour twice a day.
 
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