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Alavert (Loratadine): Non-Prescription Treatment of Hives
What is it?

There are several nonprescription medications for treating hives; Alavert (which is loratadine) is one of them. Loratadine is an antihistamine that is used for reducing different symptoms of allergies, and belongs to the second-generation medications of antihistamines. Active ingredients reduce the histamine in the body that naturally defenses it from the substances that are identified as harmful. Allergy symptoms (of different types) are how the defense mechanism is seen. Loratadine reduces these symptoms:

  • watery eyes
  • eyes redness
  • itching (especially in case of chronic skin reactions)
  • hives (itching and redness caused by hives)
  • sneezing
  • runny nose

Loratadine is the most standard treatment for hives (among several other medications as clematine, diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine). Do not use Alavert for treating hives of unusual color, condition (hives that is bruised) or with unusual symptoms (for example hives that do not itch).

While using Alavert your hives will theoretically improve in 3-5 days. If it is not or if your hives last longer than 6 weeks, consult your doctor.

Available forms

Loratadine is available in different forms in the market in various brand names. It comes as:

  • a tablet
  • fast dissolving tablet
  • in liquid form (syrup)

For every other form there is a certain dosage instruction that should be proscribed better by your doctor. It is different for each case and depends on your hives symptoms. The dose also depends on your body weight and other medical conditions that you may have. Generally it is taken once a day. The effect is seen in 2 hours and lasts up to 12 hours.

How to use it?

Loratadine in various forms are taken either with or without food (preferably with a glass of water). If you are taking Alavert in tablet form the usual dose is 10 mg (less for children under 12). Fast dissolving tablet after removing from the package should be immediately swallowed, or placed on your tongue; it can be used from 6 years old. As for the syrup, it is used by anyone who has some difficulty with swallowing the tablet and by children from 2 years of old. The usual dose of liquid loratadine is 10 mg daily and 5 mg for children from 2 to 6 years.

The medication should be stored at room temperature, not higher than 25 degrees C.

Once you doctor proscribes you the proper dose, take it according to the schedule. Do not exceed the dose. If you miss taking Alavert, take it as soon as you remember (but if it is already another day – do not double the dose). Do not stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor first. And, of course, do not give Alavert to others, even if both of you have common symptoms.

Generally, taking Alavert is rather safe and effective, thought you should call your doctor and stop using it if any of the following occur:

  • it is difficult for you to speak
  • difficult to swallow or even to breathe
  • wheezing
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth or throat
  • you feel fainting or even lose your consciousness
Side effects and precautions

Loratadine is one of antihistamines that don’t cause drowsiness (as other antihistamines). Still, some mild or severe side effects may occur. Your doctor should know, in case you have any of these possible side effects: headaches, abdominal pain, dry mouth, sore or mouth throat, red eyes or nosebleed, rash, swelling of any part of your face and body, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and nervousness (especially in children).

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You should find another option for treating hives with your doctor in case you are pregnant, breastfeeding, allergic to loratadine or have liver dysfunction. Alavert should not be taken by children less than 2 years of age (and even for children from 2 to 12 the period of taking medication should be necessarily proscribed by your doctor only, as it can’t be long). In some cases your doctor may change the medication for treating hives, as you may need another option for the progress to be seen.

Valentyna Ant.

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