Patients with allergic rhinitis and urticaria are treated with medications that include antihistamines. Loratadine, is a preferred choice due to the lower effects linked to the medication – it presents relatively lesser sedative effects and CNS effects. Claritin D, as a second-generation antihistamine, is preferred over the first-generation antihistamines, due to the presence of lesser effects. However, this does not translate into an absence of adverse or undesirable effects. The medication comes with the possibility of unwanted outcomes; as the following sub sections will highlight, in addition to other important information about the medication such as the mechanism of action and precautions.

Overview and mechanism of action of Claritin D

Also known as pseudoephedrine, Claritin D is essentially a combination decongestant and antihistamine. This delivers relief from conditions such as sneezing, running nose and congestion in the nasal passage. In addition to the above, it is also used in the treatment of various conditions that trigger seasonal symptoms from allergic rhinitis, such as allergies. The medication is known to possess long-acting action, and this helps relieve allergies. Typically, histamine triggers the release of chemicals that are responsible for the allergies. The medication works by blocking a specific histamine receptor, and this blocking action prevents the receptor from activating and releasing the chemicals that cause the allergies.

Many antihistamines are known to enter the brain from the blood, and this is responsible for the drowsy feelings from certain antihistamines. Claritin D does not have this mechanism of action, and hence does not trigger drowsy feelings. This is especially when the medication is taken as per the recommended doses. Additionally, the medication brings about a constriction in the blood vessels and this offers relieve from congestion.

Commonly reported interactions of Claritin D

Medications, without exception are known to trigger drug interactions when taken along with other medications. This is primarily the result of the conflicting mechanism of action, or the properties of the compounds/ingredients in the two formulations. This includes prescription medications, OTC medications, herbal products, supplements, and alternative remedies. Drug interactions could result in reduction of efficacy of either of the medications, or it could also cause one of the medications to deliver more than desired outcomes. The consequences of interactions could also be an increase in the side effects of either or both of the medications.

Patients on medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, also known as MAOIs are likely to experience some kind of interaction when Claritin D and MAOIs are taken together. Similarly certain medications are known to prevent the elimination of loratadine from the blood, and this could cause an increase in the concentration levels of the medication. Thereby the results could be stronger outcomes, or the undesirable effects of the medication may be experienced strongly as a result of the medication levels in the blood. In a contrary action, certain medications are known to bring down the concentration levels of loratadine in the blood, and this may result in lesser than desired outcomes from the medication. Medications of the latter category include rifampin and carbamazepine. It is therefore necessary for patients on either of the two medications to take suitable remedial measures to prevent drug interactions.

General precautions for patients to avoid Claritin d side effects

A significant portion of side effects of medications can be avoided when suitable precautions are taken and instructions are followed diligently. Most undesirable effects are mainly due to incorrect dosage or intake of medicines. Additionally, there are certain categories of individuals who are labelled as unsuitable to take the medications. These individuals are to either avoid the medicines, or take altered dosages under the guidance of specialists. For instance, women who are either pregnant or intending to get pregnant are to avoid the medication as there is every possibility of the medicine causing serious risk to the fetus. There are exceptional conditions that necessitate the use of medicines, despite the known risks. For instance, it may be absolutely necessary for patients to take the medication to prevent a serious condition or to treat a serious condition.

Other categories of individuals who need to take precautions include women with suckling infants. The medication is known to secrete in breast milk and this is likely to cause undesirable effects in infants. It is therefore necessary for women to seek medical advice before taking the medication when breastfeeding infant.

Commonly reported undesirable effects of Claritin D

As mentioned earlier, side effects of medications are common and there are no exceptions. The actual intensity of side effects or the duration of the effects may differ from person to person. Some may experience mild or moderate effects while others may end up with serious or adverse effects. The mild effects are known to resolve naturally without the need for medical intervention. Serious or adverse effects may require medical attention at the earliest, depending on the nature of effects, and the intensity. It is also pertinent to bear in mind that there is a section of users who may not experience any kind of side effects whatsoever. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that side effects of medications will be experienced by all users of the medication.

Here is a compilation of commonly reported effects of Claritin D. The medication is known to cause stimulation of the nervous system and consequently, with certain tell-tale symptoms, such as unusual nervousness and a state of excitement not seen earlier. The patient may also appear restless all the time, in addition to feeling dizzy and anxious. There is the likelihood of the patient experiencing abnormal fear, apart from ending up with bouts of headache. These effects are relatively common and mild in nature and may not be a cause for concern, unless the effects are persistent and intensifying over time.

Undesirable effects of Claritin D that are a cause for concern

Apart from the above, there is also the possibility of patients experiencing effects that are serious in nature and a cause for concern. In such instances it is necessary to seek immediate medical intervention and prevent the condition from going out of hand. For instance, the patient may experience tremors, and may begin to hallucinate. There is also the possibility of the patient experiencing seizures, or convulsions and it is necessary for the patient to receive treatment at the earliest for such effects.

Effects that are not necessarily addictive but appear similar

Though the medication is not known to be addictive, there is every possibility of it triggering conduct that appears similar to addiction. For instance, the medication can cause certain effects at high dosages such as euphoria, and feelings of increased strength, abilities and higher energy levels. The patients may be more alert than usual, and may also experience a decrease in appetite. These changes may be mistaken as effects that could cause addiction later. Another reason for apprehensions of addiction is the gradual increase in dosage of the medication. As the tolerance levels to the medicine increase, the patient is most likely to increase the dose and consequently, the undesirable effects and its symptoms may aggravate. The medication, though not classified as addictive, can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as depression. It is therefore necessary to seek medical advice on abrupt discontinuation or tapered dosages to cope with the problem of withdrawal symptoms.

Other symptoms commonly reported

In addition to the above, the patient may also experience certain symptoms such as dry mouth, and difficulty in falling asleep. There is also the possibility of the patient experiencing an upset stomach, that is generally mild but may aggravate slowly. Thirst is another commonly reported effect, that is also not a serious condition or a cause for concern. Patients experiencing any of these effects may easily cope by handling the symptoms. When the conditions or the symptoms are persistent in nature or intensifying, it may be necessary to seek medical intervention.

Allergies are not usually observed or experienced by patients on Claritin D. However, in the event of any symptoms of allergy being observed, the patient is to seek immediate attention. For instance, symptoms such as rashes, or abnormal swelling in the face, in the throat or the tongue are all indications of allergies that are serious in nature. Similarly, any itching sensation is to be reported and suitable treatment taken to mitigate and prevent it from turning into a serious allergic reaction. Certain symptoms are serious, and need urgent medical attention such as any difficulty in breathing. While most of these allergy related symptoms are not likely to be experienced when on the medication, it is necessary to stay aware and on guard.

Studies that looked into side effects

Multiple studies have been conducted in the past to ascertain and determine side effects of the medication. Studies typically involved the use of groups of participants on the medication, while other groups were on placebo, to compare the outcomes of the medication. One study looked at the results of the medication on patients who received Claritin D for one month with a daily dosage of two tablets. The findings reported that patients on the medication suffered from conditions such as dry mouth and insomnia, whereas patients on placebo did not experience these effects.

Studies also looked into the possible effects on participants who received delayed release formulations. The findings reported that patients experienced the following effects, with a very low rate of occurrence. Symptoms and conditions included hypoesthesia, mydriasis, and dehydration apart from abnormal sweating. Other symptoms were also reported, although the rate of occurrence was low, which makes the effects rare side effects. Patients reported tinnitus, sudden increase in body weight, hypertension, peripheral edema, and palpitations. It is necessary to add that these effects are not exactly linked to the medication, but have been reported by patients on the medication. Further evaluation is necessary to conclusively link the conditions to the medication.

Studies have also been conducted on patients who were given twenty-four hours extended-release tablets for a period of two weeks. Some of the effects reported by the group were similar to that of the effects reported by patients who received a double dose of 12 hours extended-release formulation. This more or less corroborates the possibility of the common side effects, making it necessary for health care providers to factor in the side effects and the interactions before prescribing dosages and schedule.

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