Loratadine, which is a commonly prescribed and over-the-counter antihistamine, is generally considered to be safe if used as directed. While it is uncommon to experience severe side effects while taking this drug, reactions can occur in some individuals. The most notable side effects are dry mouth and excessive thirst. When taking a sustained-release form of his drug, these side effects may not occur for several hours after the initial dose. Some individuals may also experience headaches or digestive problems, such as nausea or, more rarely, allergic reactions.
Individuals who have known sensitivity to loratadine or who have experienced allergic reactions to loratadine in the past should not use this drug. The side effects of loratadine rarely include life-threatening allergic reactions, although cases have been reported. This is why it is vital for individuals to seek out prompt medical attention if the experience any signs of an allergic reaction after using this drug.
Some of the most obvious signs of an allergic reaction to loratadine include rash or hives. Shortness of breath may also occur. Some individuals may also experience swelling of the lips and tongue, which can be life threatening if not treated quickly.
Other known side effects of loratadine are a cough and sore throat. These symptoms are generally mild and may disappear after a few days of using loratadine. Although uncommon, a fast or irregular heartbeat may also occur. Typically, this only happens when high doses are taken for a long period of time.
Drowsiness may also occur after taking loratadine as well. Excessive sleepiness generally occurs in individuals who take more than the recommended dosage. Difficulty concentrating is another complaint in some individuals who have used this medication. While motor skill impairment is an uncommon side effect, anyone experiencing confusion or extreme drowsiness while using the drug should not operate machinery or drive a car.
Other side effects of loratadine include high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, and low blood pressure, or hypotension. Inflammation of the liver is a very rare side effect of this medication, having only been reported in two cases.