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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Claritin
These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as
recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is
always advised to consult their own physician.
Question: I am currently using Claritin D 12 hour for seasonal allergies. It has been years since I have taken a drink. Just recently I had a drink, 15 hours after taking this drug. Although I only had a couple of drinks (the same amount as friends) I responded quite strongly to the alcohol. My behavior and physical symptoms resembled someone who had a .30 blood alcohol level. However, my friends seemed just fine. Needless to say, I do not plan on drinking another alcoholic beverage again. Is is possible the claritin stayed in my system, causing such a reaction?
Answer: There is often a reaction between antihistamines and alcohol and they should generally be avoided concurrently.
Claritin dosage around the world
Question: It has recently been brought to my attention that
Claritin dosages vary in other countries. I have heard of regular doses in the 20-40
mg/day range as the standard in many other nations. Would you please shed some light on
this subject (i.e. dosages, side effects, sedation rates). Also, if you know of any other
publications, which discuss this dosage difference, I would love to know about it.
Answer: I don't have a clue about doses in other
countries, you might check with the company, Schering 908-298-8000.
& Claritin [posted 12/02/98]
Question: I have been taking Claritin_D for 6 days and have
experienced some alarming things. I cannot sleep at night. One night I slept 1-2 hours
only and last night 2 hours. I was awakened slightly during the two hours and was plunged
into severe nightmare experiences. They were so realistic that I could not shake the
experience for several hours. I was hysterical, had a hallucination, and believed
that if I went back to sleep I would die. I wrote eleven pages describing the experience
and called the poison control number in my state to report the incident. They told me that
there have been reports of psychotic episodes for some people who take this drug. Have you
ever heard of this? They said it has been reported in children several times and one case
where the patient had a previous mental condition. I rarely take medications and am
allergic to several antibiotics. Could this also be an allergic reaction? The experience
was so horrific, almost maniaical in nature. I will never take this drug again
and am concerned for others who may not recover from such an experience. Please respond if
you have any information. Thank you.
Answer: Well, it could be the Claritin or the D
part. Probably the D part, although some patients will have this type of dream with
antihistamines. I'd separate off the D(pseudoephedrine) and see what happens. You may be
find on Claritin by itself.
Claritin and Claritin-D [posted
Question: I've been on Claritin for about two months because of fluid in my ears
due to allergies (I was having ear aches, headaches, and dizziness). My doctor put me on
Claritin D when I started getting ear aches again and I felt this weird pulsing hum in my
right ear after the 2 months. I took the Claritin D for 3 days and I started having minor
anxiety attacks and trouble breathing (it felt like my throat was swollen). I went to my
doctor and he said the breathing problem could be attributed to my allergies (I've never
been to any allergist), my birth control pills (trilevlen), or the heart murmur they found
a year ago. So he put me on amoxil 500 mg capsules for the cold I have, told me to take
Claritin D 12 hour in the morning, then Claritin at night. I'm still having trouble
breathing, though it comes and goes, I'm still anxious, I can't smell anything, sometimes
food tastes weird, my fingers feel senseless, but they aren't. Today my jaw started to
hurt when I swallowed and I felt lightheaded when I moved quickly. I think its due to the
medications, but who knows? With all the problems I seem to be having this year I just
don't know what to do. The doctor told me after my EKG, that my heart murmur wasn't
anything to worry about. I'm 26, in excellent shape and tired of not feeling normal.
Answer: I'd stop the Claritin-D and see if the problems abate. If they do, try
just the Claritin to see if the decongestant part (the D part) is the cause. This drug is
similar to having some adrenaline on board or lots of extra coffee. If you've ever had a
caffeine buzz, double it and this is what some patients experience on this drug.
Claritin-D [posted 7/27/98]
Question: I've been taking Claritin-d on and off for the past year or so (for what
I've been told are allergies) and its great. I feel like I can breathe better and I am
focused (it is as if it opens up my nostrils or because they always feel closed). The
problem is, I dont think I have an "allergy season", no matter what time
of the year. If I get off the claritin for a while, I eventually get that closed nose,
itchy throat feeling. I've never noticed or experienced this as a child, but now I'm 24
and am afraid I might need claritin-d indefinitely. Is there a way to take claritin-d
without becoming permanently immune to it? I also take nasonex nasal spray because the
combo really opens me up and I actually sound much less nasal when I speak as a result of
Answer: First, you won't become immune to the effects since it affects histamine
release from mast cells and not how the mast cells react to immunogens. However, patients
with nasal congestion due to allergies usually respond extremely well to immune therapy.
That is, an allergist doing skin tests, identifying the allergens and providing ongoing
shots. This is probably a lifetime process, but can be extremely effective with rhinitis.
Lastly, if you haven't tried cromolyn sulfate or something equivalent along with the nasal
steroid I would. This, in addition to the steroid, can be very helpful. I am assuming the
nasonex is a steroid. If it is an OTC medication, it may be the cause of your problem - a
condition called rhinitis medicosium. That is runny nose due to using vasodilator
medications - experiencing a rebound effect.
Claritin-D and Mental Clarity
Question: For years I have felt foggy-headed and have had some minor difficulty
with concentration and short-term memory. I accepted this as normal. I have had sinusitis
in the past but not in the past year. One evening, I began taking Claritin-D (12 hour)
that my doctor had given me as samples for no particular reason other than that I was
feeling a little under the weather. At the time I began taking Claritin, I did not have a
runny nose or any other of the other normal allergic symptoms. I took another pill the
following morning and one more later that evening. That evening I felt great. It was like
a cloud had been lifted from my head. I could think clearly and it seemed that my IQ had
been boosted by twenty points. I can not stress enough how much better I felt that
evening. This was not a delusional feeling associated with illicit drugs - I just felt
clear-headed for a change. This feeling continued for about 24 hours, but then gradually
subsided until I was back to feeling the way that I normally do, even as I continued to
take the medication. I have discussed this with several doctors but none of them can
explain what has happened and they have never heard of this ever happening to anyone else.
After being off the drug for a couple of months, I began taking it again and had the same
temporary relief. Can anyone explain why I temporarily feel this way? Could food or its
chemical additives have canceled the effectiveness of the Claritin-D?
Answer: This unexpected, but serendipity occurs in unexpected situations. If it
helps keep at it. Since, I'm not sure what is causing the improvement, I can't speculate
on the remission.
Question: I take claritin for hay fever. Is Claritin friendly to ones
Answer: Claritin has a mild anti-cholingeric effect which can cause difficulty
with urination, especially if one has an enlarged prostate. It is not as marked as
"traditional" antihistamines, but still has some effect.
Claritin and decreased libido
Question: In the past, I have taken Claritin and noticed a drop in libido. I
mentioned this to my physician and he told me that this was indeed a low frequency side
effect of Claritin. He changed my prescription to Seldane - but that of course is no
longer available. After a period of several months without taking any medication, and with
improved libido, I again started taking Claritin, and again the libido has diminished. Are
there other medications that I could substitute for Claritin? Is the loss of libido truly
connected to Claritin? My age is 46 and my health is otherwise good, but I am 20-25 lbs.
overweight. I do not take any other prescription medications.
Answer: Allegra is similar to seldane, so I'd try it. Also, why are you taking
antihistamines? If it is just nasal symptoms Nasalcrom, Nasal steroids etc., may be just
as effective without the sexual disturbance. If for systemic allergies, try Allegra.
Long Term use of Claritin
Question: I have been prescribed Claritin for chronic allergies. The drug is
recommended for seasonal allergies, but I have not been able to find any information on
its use for more than 6 months. In the research I've done there appears to be very few
side affects for this drug, I'm interested in the safety and possible side effects of long
term use. Also, does Claritin remain effective for continuous use? Are there any other
concerns with using this drug for extended periods of time?
Answer: There doesn't seem to be any or many. However, it has only been
available here for about 6-8 years and in Europe for 12-15, so the use is fairly limited.
Keep an eye on the press, but so far there has been nothing of any concern.
Claritin Side Effects
Question: I had been taking Claritin-D for several months and noticed a progressive
set of depressive characteristics. In the past, I had a similar reaction to
over-the-counter medications, such as Contac. Can you tell me what class of medications
these belong to and if there are any alternative types of medication which might not cause
the side effect of depression? I had excellent results from the Claritin D with regard to
my allergy symptoms. I also take Pravachol and Cozaar. My physician was extremely
surprised that my depressive symptoms disappeared within a couple of days when I
discontinued the drug.
Answer: All the antihistamines have an anticholingeric effect. This is why you
get sleepy, even on relatively selective ones like Claritin. Many people ill experience
depression with any anticholingeric drug.
Question: I get spring time allergies and I have heard good things about using
Claritin from friends and family. I have to have an annual drug test at my place of
employment. Will Claritin cause my drug test to come back positive?
Answer: Only for Claritin.
Claritin & Diabetes
Question: A friend tells me there is some contraindication to using Claritin in a
patient with diabetes. I'm a Type 2 non insulin dependent who takes Claritin for allergies
on a continuous basis. Any comment?
Answer: No problem that I am aware of you can check with the company, Schering
at 800-222-7579. This drug needs to be decreased in patients in patients with renal
insufficiency(which some diabetics have) and with other medications. Otherwise, I am not
aware of any problem with diabetic patients.
Question: I have been given Claritin for allergies - it has worked but now with
whatever is blooming it does not seem to work as well? I can not find out what would be
causing the allergy at this time of year - Late July/Aug/Sep in Central Florida.
Answer: Seasonal allergies, which may be what you are describing, are extremely
common, and are becoming more common in the ignited States. As you may already know, there
are many different substances that can cause a given patient to experience an allergic
reaction. In addition, these reactions can vary with respect to what part of the body is
affected, and how severe the reaction is. Seasonal allergies are usually caused by the
seasonal changes in the environment, thus accounting for why some people have worsening
symptoms, or all of their symptoms, during a particular time of the year. In the summer
and fall, pollens from weeds (especially ragweeds), trees, grass, and a variety of
flowering plants would come into play. It is important! However, to exclude other
non-seasonal factors that can cause a change in your allergy symptoms, and a lack of
relief from a medication that at one time was effective. Have you moved recently? Acquired
any new pets, changed carpeting, air conditioners, heaters, job locations, or changed your
day to day activities in any way? A visit to your health care provider can provide him or
her with the answers to these and other important questions, so as to determine why your
symptoms are occurring. Perhaps testing for what specific substances cause you symptoms,
is in order. Once you know what types of agents you need to avoid, you can do so, thus
decreasing the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Your health care provider can also
give you information on simple things you can do around the house to help with your
Claritin & Hemophelia
Question: My son, 6 1/2 years old was diagnosed with allergies recently. For years,
we were told not to give him any antihistamines due to the factor eight deficiency and the
effect that it has on the platelets. At this time, the doctor is recommending Claritin for
his allergies to be used (1-1 1/2 tsp. daily). I am concerned and need to know if Claritin
could possibly have any serious side effects, i.e. drying up the nasal passages or airways
and possibly creating bleeding. My son gets a lot of sinus/respiratory infections and is
on antibiotics seldomly. Could there be any interactions with the antibiotics and the
claritin together? Could those medicines together create any bleeding episodes? I thank
you for your time and anxiously await your opinion.
Answer: Claritin doesn't dry as much as the "older"
antihistamines;but, it does some. As to the Factor VIII , you are out of my league. I'd
discuss it with his hematologist.
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