Desloratadine for Allergies

Image for clarinex Desloratadine is approved for the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis and long term hives in people aged 6 months and older. For those who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), the medication can be used at age 2 years and up.

Defining Allergic Rhinitis

SAR (or hay fever) occurs during specific times of the year when allergens (things you are allergic to) are in the air. Seasonal allergies are usually at their peak during spring or fall. Perennial allergic rhinitis is related to allergies present year-round, such as cat, dog, or dust mite.

When you breathe in an allergen, cells in your nasal passages release a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes your nose to feel itchy and increases swelling and mucus production in the nasal passages.

The following are symptoms of allergic rhinitis:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching in the nose, eyes, throat, and ears
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Runny nose, nasal congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Postnasal drip and cough
  • Headache
  • Dark circles under your eyes

About Desloratadine

Desloratadine is taken once per day. It is described as a non-sedating antihistamine, which means it blocks the action of the released histamine with less risk of making you feel drowsy.

Some of the most common side effects experienced by those taking desloratadine are:

  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Sore muscles

General Precautions

Desloratadine is not for everyone. Safety in children younger than 6 months has not been established. In addition, there have been no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women, and desloratadine passes into breast milk. So, if you are pregnant or nursing, talk with your doctor about possible alternative options for treating SAR.

If you cannot take desloratadine, you do have options for relief.

Alternatives

Other antihistamines or treatments may help you manage your allergies. Options include:

Talk to your doctor about the alternatives and what may work best for you.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
http://www.aaaai.org
US Food and Drug Administration
http://www.fda.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
http://www.csaci.ca

References:

Allergic rhinitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116217/Allergic-rhinitis. Updated November 22, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Desloratadine. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T232863/Desloratadine. Updated November 15, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Last reviewed November 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 10/25/2016

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