Skip to content
Ophthalmology at OT&P
Perfecting sight, enhancing vision.
Urology at OT&P
Leading the way in urological health.
Cardiology at OT&P
Guarding hearts, enhancing lives.


Loratadine is an over-the-counter antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Last Modified: 10 May 2024

Jump to section:


What is Loratadine? 

Loratadine is an over-the-counter antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. 

Loratadine is a synthetic, non-sedating antihistamine (second generation) with a chemical structure designed not to cross the blood-brain barrier, hence prevent drowsiness. It selectively inhibits peripheral histamine H1 receptors. 

Global Name

Generic name: Loratadine
Brand names: Claritin, Alavert, AllergyX, Clarityn, Lorfast


What is Loratadine used for? 

Loratadine treats various allergic symptoms, including those related to hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and hives (chronic urticaria). 

How do you use Loratadine? 


Loratadine is available in tablets, chewable tablets, and syrup. 

Dosage information: 

  • Adults and children 6 years and older: 10 mg once daily 
  • Children 2 to 5 years: 5 mg once daily (syrup) 
  • Elderly: No dosage adjustment necessary 


  • Children: Suitable for children 2 years and older. 
  • Adults: Suitable for adults. 
  • Elderlies: Suitable for elderly without dosage adjustment. 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Consult a healthcare provider before use. 


Is there anyone who can’t take Loratadine? 

  • Children: Not recommended for children under 2 years of age. 
  • Individuals with known allergy or hypersensitivity to loratadine or its components 


Any warnings and precautions: 

Though non-sedating, caution is advised when driving or operating machinery until you know how Loratadine affects you. 


Loratadine should be used with caution when taken with other central nervous system depressants or alcohol. 

Side Effects

Side effects are rare but may include headache, drowsiness, and fatigue. 

Pharmacist Tips

When using Loratadine, there are several important points to consider for safe and effective treatment. Here are some detailed tips: 

  • Consistency in Timing: To maintain stable levels in your body, take Loratadine at the same time each day. Consistent timing helps manage symptoms more effectively. 
  • Food Interactions: Loratadine can be taken with or without food, so it's flexible according to your schedule. However, if you experience stomach upset, try taking it with food. 
  • Alcohol Consumption: It's advisable to avoid alcohol while taking Loratadine, as it can enhance side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness, even though Loratadine is less sedating than other antihistamines. 
  • Monitoring Effectiveness: Keep track of your symptoms. If Loratadine doesn't seem to alleviate your allergy symptoms after a few days, consult with a healthcare provider. Do not increase the dose without professional advice. 
  • Dealing with Missed Doses: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed one and continue as normal. Do not double up doses. 
  • Drug Interactions: Be cautious about taking other medications concurrently with Loratadine. Always check with a pharmacist or healthcare provider before starting new medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. 
  • Use in Children: For children ages 2 and above, always use the correct formulation and dose according to their age and weight. Use the measuring device that comes with the syrup to ensure accuracy. 
  • Pregnancy and Nursing: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss with your healthcare provider before taking Loratadine to ensure it is safe for you and your baby. 
  • Storage Information: Store Loratadine in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Ensure the medicine bottle is tightly closed. 
  • Handling Instructions: Handle the medication with clean, dry hands. For syrups, use the dosing cup or spoon provided and wash it after each use. 
  • Traveling with Medication: When traveling, keep Loratadine in its original packaging, clearly labeled, and carry a copy of your prescription if applicable, even though it's an over-the-counter medicine. 
  • Disposal of Medication: If you have expired or unused Loratadine, do not flush it down the toilet or throw it into the trash. Instead, look for drug take-back programs or consult with your pharmacist on how to dispose of it properly. 
  • Safety First: Never share your medication with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it may not be appropriate for them. 


Where is Loratadine available in Hong Kong?

Loratadine is an over the counter (OTC) medication that can be sold without a prescription. It is found in all chain drug stores, including Mannings and Watsons. 


Does Loratadine make you drowsy?

Loratadine is less likely to cause drowsiness compared to first-generation antihistamines. 

Can I take Loratadine with food?

Yes, Loratadine can be taken with or without food. 

Is Loratadine available for purchase over the counter?

Yes, Loratadine is available over the counter without a prescription. 

How long does Loratadine take to work?

Loratadine typically starts working within 1 to 3 hours after taking the medication. However, the exact onset of action can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience relief from allergy symptoms sooner, while others may take longer to notice the effects. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

Back to all drugs

Download the OT&P Digital App

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Our Awards & Accreditations

Happy Company 2024
Caring company logo
Mental Health Logo 1
Good MPF Employer 2022-23_Single Colour