Why is this medication prescribed?
Desloratadine is used in adults and children to relieve hay fever and allergy symptoms, including sneezing; runny nose; and red, itchy, tearing eyes. It is also used to relieve symptoms of urticaria (hives; red, itchy raised areas of the skin), including itching and rash. Desloratadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.
How should this medicine be used?
Desloratadine comes as a tablet, oral solution (liquid), and an orally disintegrating tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take desloratadine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
It is important to use a measuring device (dropper or an oral syringe) to accurately measure the correct amount of solution for each dose; do not use a household spoon.
To take the orally disintegrating tablet, use dry hands to peel back the foil packaging. Immediately take out the tablet and place it on your tongue. The tablet will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. Orally disintegrating tablets may be taken with or without water.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking desloratadine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to desloratadine, loratadine (Alavert, Claritin), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in desloratadine tablets, oral solution, or orally disintegrating tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax), cimetidine (Tagamet), erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, Eryped, others), fluoxetine (Prozac, Rapiflux, Sarafem, others), and ketoconazole (Nizoral). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking desloratadine, call your doctor.
- if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), you should know that the orally disintegrating tablets may contain aspartame that forms phenylalanine.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Desloratadine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- sore throat
- dry mouth
- muscle pain
- extreme tiredness
- painful menstruation
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking desloratadine and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Desloratadine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
- Clarinex® Reditabs®
Brand names of combination products
- Clarinex-D® (containing Desloratadine, Pseudoephedrine)