Pros: Extremely effective decongestant and antihistamine combination.
Cons: Side effect of dry mouth.
So I've already written about Claritin and told you what a wonderful antihistamine it is. On occasion, I have a need to use Claritin-D. By far, it is the best combination of antihistamine/decongestant that I have ever used.
The History of Claritin - What It Is, How It Came To Be
Once upon a time, in a far away land, a pharmaceutical company by the name of Schering-Plough created a non-sedating adult antihistamine. Initially formulated as a prescription allergy drug, Claritin soon expanded into many more variations and could be prescribed to children as young as two.
Sales for the Claritin family have netted Schering-Plough and its shareholders, billions of dollars. It is predicted that sales will reach approximately 1.75 billion dollars for 2002.
On December 10, 2002, the Claritin family, in full prescription strength, was placed on the shelves of grocery and drugstores all over the U.S. and marketed as an over the counter drug. Did Schering-Plough suddenly become good corporate citizens? Was world order reversed? Although the public relations people within Schering-Plough would like you to believe that they were being good corporate citizens, the fact is that they were pushed into a corner by WellPointe HealthWorks due to the cost of prescription drugs in California. They asked the FDA to force the makers of Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec to sell their medications over the counter.
Schering-Plough was originally going to fight this but because their patent on the Claritin family was running out, they decided to jump on the bandwagon, hoping to capture the over the counter market before their Allegra and Zyrtec friends did.
These are things you find out when you work in a pharmaceutical company people. Isn't it exciting?!?!
Details About Claritin
Claritin is offered in the following formula - tablets, syrup, redi-tabs, 12 hour decongestant, and 24 hour decongestant pills.
This particular review covers the 24-hour, decongestant pill.
The pill is white, and is HUGE by my usual pill standards. There seems to be some type of protective coating over it which is good because I don't enjoy a bitter taste on the way down. Like many other pills, ya gotta swallow it to get it to start working. It's recommended that you take it with a full glass of water on an empty stomach.
If you are over twelve years old, you should take one pill, every 24 hours, to relieve symptoms associated to allergies and/or hay fever.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are usually given the okay to take this but again, consult your physician.
Symptoms It Relieves
As it applies to allergies, you can look forward to relief of sneezing, runny nose, itchy/watery Eyes, itchy throat or nose. The decongestant part helps to thin out your mucous thus unplugging things like your ears and nasal cavities.
Side Effects, Interactions, Precautions
Claritin-D has two main, active ingredients: Loratadine 10 mg (Antihistamine) and Pseudoephedrine Sulfate 240 mg (Nasal Decongestant). Inactive ingredients include Corn Starch, Lactose Monohydrate, Magnesium Stearate.
Side effects may include nervousness, dry mouth, or difficulty falling asleep.
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to loratadine or pseudoephedrine, have glaucoma, problems urinating, severe high blood pressure, or heart disease. Those individuals who take MAO inhibitor medications like Nardil or Parnate, should not take Claritin-D.
I've suffered from seasonal allergies almost all of my life. Most of the year, I take the small Claritin 10mg tablet but every once in awhile, I have to switch to the full blown Claritin-D in order to address my congestion.
Before I even tried Claritin-D, my doctor had previously prescribed other decongestants. They were GIGANTIC horse pills and I found that I was constantly thirsty after taking them AND all I wanted to do was to crawl up with my blankie and fall asleep. Sure, those other prescription medications always unplugged me but it wasn't like I was able to function in the real world while under their influence.
Over the counter decongestant/antihistamine medications also made me lethargic but most of the time didn't cause the dry mouth issue.
The first time I tried Claritin-D, I did have issues with having a dry mouth. But the great thing was that it lifted the stuffiness, kept my eyes clear, and I was able to go to work and be productive.
Since that initial side-effect, I haven't had any other issues. I make sure, because it is a decongestant/antihistamine combination, to take in plenty of water throughout the day.
My chief periods of time to take Claritin-D are during the months of September and April. I don't take one every day. It ends up being 4-5 times during those months.
Generally, it takes only a few minutes for Claritin-D to kick in and it will last me the entire day and night. I can definitely tell when I need to take another. My ears start popping :).
You can purchase Claritin-D 24 hour in boxes of 5 and 10. If you had a pretty good prescription health care plan then chances are, you're probably paying more for this over the counter then what your co-pay was as a prescription. For me, it's about $25 more a month for a thirty-day supply. Am I thrilled? Of course not however, Claritin-D has been such a godsend for me and if I have to pay an extra $25 a year, it's still worth it.