Loratadine and pseudoephedrine are two medications that are combined into one drug that is used to treat symptoms of the common cold and seasonal allergies. Together, loratadine and pseudoephedrine can help relieve sneezing, hay fever, congestion, hives and watery eyes. The combination of the two medicines is effective since loratadine is an antihistamine, a kind of drug that minimizes allergic reactions, and pseudoephedrine is a decongestant, a kind of drug that shrinks blood vessels.
Doctors prescribe loratadine and pseudoephedrine for people who suffer from common cold symptoms, including congestion and sneezing. The medication is also prescribed for people who experience seasonal allergy symptoms like watery eyes and hives. The medicine can also be helpful in treating conditions like bronchitis or inflamed sinuses.
Loratadine and pseudoephedrine should be taken exactly as directed by a medical professional. Dosing should last only as long as symptoms persist. The medication is available by prescription in extended release tablets that deliver medicine for either 12 or 24 hour periods. These extended release tablets should always be swallowed whole, not chewed or crushed. Patients should talk to their doctors about which type of extended release tablet would be right for their particular medical condition.
The combination of loratadine and pseudoephedrine should not be given to children who are four years old or younger. Loratadine and pseudoephedrine should also be avoided by patients who have taken monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors of any kind within 14 days. MAO inhibitors can interact dangerously with loratadine and pseudoephedrine.
Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctors before taking loratadine and pseudoephedrine. Other conditions that patients should mention first include diabetes, kidney or prostate disease, high blood pressure or heart disease. The medicine should not be taken for longer than seven days. If symptoms do not improve, patients should see their doctors.
Since taking loratadine and pseudoephedrine can result in slowed thinking and impaired vision, patients should exercise caution in driving or engaging in other activities that require alertness. The medication should not be combined with drugs such as stimulants or sleep aids. Side effects could be exacerbated by such combinations.
Possible side effects of loratadine and pseudoephedrine include upset stomach, sleepiness, memory problems and dryness of the mouth. An allergic reaction to the medication, such as swelling, hives, or problems with breathing, constitutes a severe side effect and requires immediate medical attention. Other problematic side effects that require swift consultation with a doctor include an irregular heartbeat, hallucinations and difficulties with urination.