Sounds like 'lor-AT-a-deen'

Loratadine is an antihistamine used to treat and prevent allergies such as hay fever. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as antihistamine (allergy treatment)
  • Non-sedating antihistamine
  • Lorafix®
  • Lora-tabs®
  • Loraclear®
  • Claramax®
  • Claratyne®
  • Childrens Claratyne®
  • Claratyne®
  • RediTabs®
  • Lorfast®
  • LoraPaed®
  • Haylor®
In New Zealand, loratadine is available as tablets, chewable and disintegrating tablets or as a liquid. 

What is loratadine?

Loratadine is used to treat and prevent allergies such as hay fever (sneezing, runny or itchy nose, itchy eyes) and skin allergies (itching, redness, lumps on your skin called hives). It works by blocking a chemical in your body called histamine, which is released during an allergic reaction. 

Loratadine belongs to a group of medicines known as antihistamines. Loratadine is a non-sedating antihistamine, which means that it is less likely to cause drowsiness or make you feel sleepy. In New Zealand, loratadine is available as tablets, chewable and disintegrating tablets or as a liquid. Read more about antihistamines


  • The usual dose of loratadine for adults and children over 12 years is 1 tablet (10 milligrams) once a day.
  • The dose for children under 12 years depends on their age and weight.
  • Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on the correct dose for your child.
  • You can just take loratadine on the days you need it. It can be restarted if the symptoms come back.
  • Some people take loratadine for a few weeks when their allergies are a problem, such as in spring. Others take it long term to help control allergy symptoms.

How to take loratadine

  • Timing: Take loratadine once a day at the same time each day, either in the morning OR in the evening. You can take loratadine with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole, with a glass of water. Children's Claratyne® is tablets that may be chewed. Claratyne RediTabs® can be taken without water as they dissolve or melt in your mouth. 
  • Limit drinking alcohol while you are taking loratadine: It may increase your chance of side effects such as sleepiness.  
  • Missed dose: It is not harmful if you miss your loratadine dose. If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But if it is less than 12 hours for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

Precautions before starting loratadine

  • Are you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Do you have epilepsy?
  • Do you have problems with your liver?
  • Are you taking or using any other medicines? This includes any medicines available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start loratadine. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

What are the side effects of loratadine?

Like all medicines, loratadine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Tiredness
  • Sleepiness
  • Try taking loratadine at night.
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Limit drinking alcohol – it makes these symptoms worse.
  • Changes in eyesight
  • Dry mouth
  • Problems passing urine (peeing)
  • Constipation (hard poos)
  • Headache
  •  Tell your doctor.
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product


Loratadine may interact with some medicines, so check with your pharmacist before starting loratadine and before starting any new medicines. If taken with other antihistamines (such as some cough and cold medicines) it may make you even more sleepy.

Learn more

Patient information
Loratadine patient information NZ Formulary 
Lora-tab allergy and hayfever Medsafe NZ


  1. loratadine NZ Formulary
  2. Antihistmaines NZ Formulary

Additional resources for healthcare professionals

Diagnosis and treatment of urticaria BPAC, NZ, 2012

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist.. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 22 Dec 2020