In both human and animal studies Claritin did not appear to cause any problems during pregnancy, even when given to animals in high doses. Therefore, it is likely safe for use in pregnant women, although the possibility of problems should not be ruled out. If you are taking Claritin and pregnancy occurs, your healthcare provider will consider the benefits and risks in your particular situation before making a recommendation.
Is Claritin Safe While Pregnant?
Claritin® (loratadine) is an antihistamine approved to treat allergies and hives. It is available without a prescription. Claritin appears to be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known.
Claritin and Pregnancy Category B
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been extensively studied in pregnant humans but that do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. It is also given to medications that seem to cause problems in pregnant animals but that have been shown to be safe in human studies.
Claritin was given a pregnancy Category B classification because the drug did not cause any problems when given to pregnant animals, even at very high doses. A few studies on humans have suggested that Claritin does not increase the risk of birth defects or miscarriages, although more thorough studies are necessary.
It is important to note that while human studies did not suggest problems with Claritin, these studies could not completely rule out the possibility of problems. Therefore, a pregnancy Category B medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
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