Claritin® (loratadine) is a medication often used to treat itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms. It is also approved for the treatment of itching due to hives, which may or may not be caused by allergies.
Although the drug was once available by prescription only, there is now over-the-counter (OTC) Claritin. OTC antihistamines often cause drowsiness, but Claritin is less likely to cause this side effect.
This medicine comes in several different forms, including tablets, chewable tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, liquid-filled capsules, and syrup. It is typically taken by mouth once daily, although one product (Claritin 12-Hour RediTabs®) is taken twice a day.
You should talk to your healthcare provider before buying Claritin OTC if you are pregnant or have kidney disease, liver disease, or any allergies (including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives).
(Click Claritin to learn more about the uses, effects, and potential side effects of this medication.)