How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This medication contains 2 active ingredients, loratadine and pseudoephedrine. Together, loratadine and pseudoephedrine work to relieve the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, including nasal and sinus congestion, sneezing, postnasal discharge, and tearing and redness of the eyes.

During an allergic reaction, the body produces a chemical called histamine, which causes allergy symptoms such as hives, runny nose, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes. Loratadine belongs to a group of medications known as antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine in the body.

Pseudoephedrine belongs to a group of medications called decongestants. It works by narrowing the blood vessels. This helps to clear and prevent the symptoms of congestion.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each white, oval, biconvex, coated extended-release caplet contains loratadine 10 mg in the caplet coating and pseudoephedrine sulfate 240 mg in the extended-release core. Nonmedicinal ingredients: caplet coating: carnauba wax, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 2910, Opaspray White, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyethylene glycol 400, sucrose and white wax; caplet core: dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, ethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 2208, magnesium stearate, povidone, and silicon dioxide.

How should I use this medication?

For adults and children 12 years of age and over, the recommended dose of this combination of loratadine and pseudoephedrine is one tablet twice daily taken with a glass of water. This medication should be swallowed whole and may be taken with or without meals.

Some forms of this combination medication are available as an extended-release pill. For these, the recommended dose is one extended release caplet taken once daily with a glass of water, preferably first thing in the morning. This medication should be swallowed whole and may be taken with or without meals.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is very important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use loratadine-pseudophedrine if you:

  • are allergic to loratadine, pseudoephedrine, or any ingredients of the medication
  • are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor within the past 14 days
  • have high blood pressure
  • have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • have narrow-angle glaucoma
  • have severe coronary artery disease
  • have urinary retention

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 5% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth, nose, or throat
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • sleepiness
  • trouble sleeping

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • back, leg or stomach pain
  • black, sticky stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood, cloudy or dark urine, or sudden decrease in amount of urine
  • blood pressure increased
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or painful urination
  • faintness or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • fever or chills
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • mood or mental changes
  • nosebleeds
  • ringing or buzzing in ears
  • pounding heartbeat
  • sore throat and fever
  • skin rash or hives
  • sudden sweating
  • sudden weight gain
  • swollen mouth, throat, face, fingers, feet, glands, or lower legs
  • tightness in chest
  • tongue discoloration
  • troubled breathing
  • twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of face
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting blood
  • yellow or pale eyes or skin

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as swelling of the mouth or throat, chest tightness, or shortness of breath

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Medical conditions: Discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed if you have or have had any of the following conditions:

  • diabetes
  • enlarged prostate
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • overactive thyroid
  • peptic ulcer
  • urinary tract blockage

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: Loratadine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children less than 12 years of age.

Seniors: Seniors should use this medication with caution, and should not exceed the recommended dose. Side effects such as confusion, hallucinations, and convulsions are more likely to occur in people over the age of 60. If you are over 60, speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between loratadine-pseudoephedrine and any of the following:

  • amantadine
  • amphetamines
  • antacids (e.g. aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate)
  • appetite suppressants (diet pills)
  • beta-blockers (e.g. atenolol, bisoprolol)
  • cimetidine
  • digoxin
  • erythromycin
  • furazolidone
  • kaolin
  • ketoconazole
  • maprotiline
  • mecamylamine
  • methyldopa
  • methylphenidate
  • MAO inhibitors (e.g. phenelzine, methylene blue)
  • nabilone
  • reserpine
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, imipramine)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.