Over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines are the first line of treatment when it comes to treating allergy symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, a runny nose, skin rashes, and itching. Generic Loratadine (Claritin) is one of the most popular antihistamines prescribed by primary care physicians (PCPs).
Antihistamines such as Generic Loratadine are commonly found in OTC medications. It works by blocking the secretion or production of histamine, a chemical that our body makes when we get exposed to an allergen, causing an inflammation. Histamine is responsible for causing symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, stuffy nose, itching, and rashes.
Basically, there are different types of antihistamines. Older antihistamines are called first-generation and the newer ones are called second- and third-generation antihistamines.
First-generation antihistamines are quite notorious for producing drowsiness and having sedative-like effects. They have been around for more than 60 years. Second- and third-generation antihistamines are known to cause less drowsiness and they should be taken 1 or 2 times daily, while first-generation antihistamines should be taken 4 to 6 times daily.
And Generic Loratadine is the second-generation antihistamine. If you suffer from hay fever or seasonal allergies, OTC antihistamine such as Generic Loratadine can offer you a great relief without even visiting a PCP. However, you should still check with your pharmacist if you are not sure about taking Generic Loratadine.
Why should I choose Generic Loratadine over the first-generation histamines?
First-generation antihistamines are to be takenwith great caution and only after consulting a PCP. You cannot use them if you are above 65 years of age due to increased risks for falling caused by dizziness produced by the first-generation antihistamines. Generic Loratadine is an OTC antihistamine that can be used without a prescription and it does not produce as much dizziness as older antihistamines do.
First-generation antihistamines can also cause urinary troubles, which is again more likely in elder people. Typically, antihistamines act by drying you up, so anything that your body needs in terms of fluid is decreased, including urine. Scanty urination can be one of the problems for many elder patients who are on older antihistamines, specifically those who already have pre-existing issues such as urinary incontinence or prostate issues.
Precautions to be taken
Before taking Generic Loratadine, inform your pharmacist or PCP if you are allergic to Loratadine itself, or Desloratadine. The medicine may contain some inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, it is always advised seeking help from a pharmacist before using this OTC antihistamine.
Prior to using Generic Loratadine, inform pharmacist or PCP about your medical history. It is not recommended if you have certain medical conditions, especially liver dysfunction or chronic kidney disease.
Generic Loratadine does not usually cause dizziness or drowsiness when used at a recommended dose. However, you are advised not to drive, ride, use machinery, or do any activity that requires mental alertness. It is best to avoid alcohol during the course of therapy because it can increase the risk of drowsiness.
Although the above information covers most part of Generic Loratadine, you are advised to see your PCP or pharmacist to know more about this allergy medication.
Generic Loratadine is a second-generation OTC antihistamine that helps relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, stuffy nose, urticarial rash (hives). It is sold under the brand name Claritin. Generic Loratadine is one of the most popular antihistamines prescribed by PCPs for seasonal allergies.