Desloratadine is called a non-drowsy antihistamine; however, it can still cause drowsiness in a few people. Make sure your reactions are normal before you drive and before you use tools or machines.
Take one dose a day.
|Type of medicine||A non-drowsy antihistamine|
|Used for||Allergic rhinitis; hives (urticaria)|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid medicine|
Exposure to substances such as pollen, animal fur or house dust mite can cause your body to produce allergic symptoms. Cells in the lining of your nose release a chemical called histamine when they come into contact with these substances. This leads to inflammation (rhinitis), which produces symptoms such as sneezing and a runny or blocked nose. Desloratadine, an antihistamine, stops the effects of histamine and this helps to relieve these symptoms.
Urticaria is a condition where an itchy skin rash develops. The rash may be triggered by an allergy, or by another factor such as heat or exercise. Desloratadine eases the symptoms until the rash clears.
Before taking desloratadine
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you (or your child) start taking desloratadine it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding.
- If you have problems with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have epilepsy or there is a family history of fits (seizures).
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to another antihistamine, or to any other medicine.
How to take desloratadine
- Before you start treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. It will give you more information about desloratadine and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Recommended doses of desloratadine are:
- For adults and for children aged over 12 years: 5 mg taken once a day.
- For children aged 6-12 years: 2.5 mg taken once a day. This is 5 ml of the liquid medicine.
- For children aged 1-6 years: 1.25 mg taken once a day. This is 2.5 ml of the liquid medicine.
- If you are giving desloratadine liquid medicine to a child, make sure you follow the dosing instructions on the bottle carefully so that you measure out the correct dose.
- You can take desloratadine before or after meals. Some people find it helps to swallow the tablets with a drink of water.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Most people only need to take an antihistamine for a short while when they have symptoms. You should stop taking desloratadine once your symptoms have eased.
- Although desloratadine is classed as a non-drowsy antihistamine, it can still cause drowsiness in a few people. If this happens to you, do not drive and do not use tools or machines.
- If you drink alcohol while you are on desloratadine, be aware of its effects on you and do not drink more than moderate amounts. Alcohol can increase the risk of side-effects from antihistamines.
- If you are having an operation, or any treatment or tests (particularly if it is to test for an allergy), make sure you say that you are taking an antihistamine.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with an antihistamine. This is because a number of other medicines can increase the risk of side-effects.
Can desloratadine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains the most common ones associated with desloratadine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any continue or become troublesome.
|Desloratadine side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling tired or sleepy||If this happens, do not drive and do not use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Headache||Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know|
If you experience any other symptoms that you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store desloratadine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
Manufacturer's PIL, Neoclarityn® 5 mg film-coated tablets; Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2018.
Manufacturer's PIL, Neoclarityn® Oral Solution; Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2018.
British National Formulary, 79th Edition (Mar 2020); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.