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Desloratadine (anti-allergy, antihistamine)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jul 01, 2021

Desloratadine is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, sneezing, hives, and itching. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.


Know the basics

What is desloratadine used for?

It reduces and prevents symptoms of allergies and allergic reactions.

How should I take desloratadine?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral tablets, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid. Take it with or without meals. Oral syrups are also available. Use a medical-grade measuring cup for each dose, not a household spoon.

How do I store desloratadine?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using desloratadine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions, especially:
  • Kidney impairment

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it is likely safe to take. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A= No risk
  • B= No risk in some studies
  • C= There may be some risk
  • D= Positive evidence of risk
  • X= Contraindicated
  • N= Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of desloratadine?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Dry mouth, sore throat, cough
  • Muscle pain
  • Drowsiness, tired feeling
  • Nausea, diarrhea
  • Headache

Seek medical attention if you experience the following effects:

  • Fast, pounding heartbeat
  • Arrhythmia
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with desloratadine?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. 

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. 

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Azole antifungals
  • Azithromycin, erythromycin
  • Cimetidine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Sedative-hypnotics
  • Other antihistamines
  • Preparations that contain alcohol

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with desloratadine?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Do not take this drug with alcohol as it may induce excessive drowsiness. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with desloratadine?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Slow metabolizers of desloratadine

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Take 1 tablet (5 mg) once a day.

For renal impairment: take 5 mg every other day, if needed.

What is the dose for a child?

Based on age:

  • 6 to 11 months: Give 1 mg once a day.
  • 1 to 5 years: 1.25 mg once a day.
  • 6 to 11 years: 2.5 mg once a day.

How is desloratadine available?

Desloratadine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet: 5 mg
  • Syrup: 2.5 mg/5mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of desloratadine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Jul 01, 2021

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