Loratadine, sold under the brand name claritine among others, is a medication used to treat allergies. This includes allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and hives. It is also available in combination with pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, known as loratadine/pseudoephedrine. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, and headache. Serious side effects are rare and include allergic reactions, seizures, and liver problems. Use during pregnancy appears to be safe but has not been well studied. It is not recommended in children less than two years old.It is in the second-generation antihistamine family of medication.
Loratadine was patented in 1980 and came to market in 1988. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. Loratadine is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing worldis about US$0.01 to 0.06 per dose as of 2015. In the United States, claritine is available over the counter.
Cetirizine, sold under the brand name Zyrtec among others, is a second-generation antihistamine used to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever), dermatitis, and urticaria. It is taken by mouth. Effects generally begin within an hour and last for about a day. The degree of benefit is similar to other antihistamines such as diphenhydramine.
Common side effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, headache, and abdominal pain. The degree of sleepiness that occurs is generally less than with first generation antihistamines. Serious side effects may include aggression and angioedema. Use in pregnancy appears safe, but use during breastfeeding is not recommended. The medication works by blocking histamine H1 receptors, mostly outside the brain.
It was patented in 1981 and came into medical use in 1987. It is available as a generic medication. A month’s supply in the United Kingdom costs the NHS about £0.70 as of 2019. In the United States the wholesale cost of this amount is about US$2.50. In 2016 it was the 74th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 10 million prescriptions