Children’s claritin comes in 3 different flavors, grape flavored chewable tablet, bubblegum flavored chewable tablet, and grape flavored syrup. All three of these claritin products work in the same way to help relieve your child of any symptoms of allergy.
Claritin is available both as an over-the-counter and a prescription medicine used to relieve symptoms of hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies such as runny nose, sneezing, itching, and watery eyes. It is available in 2 forms: Claritin and Claritin-D and although both forms are safe to be used in kids, most kids often prefer the 2 forms of claritin labeled ‘for children’.
Children’s claritin is recommended by pediatricians to be safe for kids. It is dye-free, sugar-free, and alcohol-free. it offers 24-hour relief from symptoms of allergies, however, if your child’s doctor has prescribed epinephrine to be used to treat allergies, don’t use children’s claritin in place of the epinephrine.
CHILDREN’S CLARITIN INGREDIENTS
Generally, the active ingredient in all forms of claritin is loratadine, an antihistamine, but the 3 flavors of children’s Claritin contain different inactive ingredients. For instance, the grape flavored children’s claritin syrup contains purified water, edetate disodium, flavor, glycerin, maltitol, monobasic sodium phosphate, phosphoric acid, propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, sorbitol, and sucralose.
And the Bubblegum Flavored Chewable Children’s Claritin contains aspartame, carmine, citric acid, colloidal silicon dioxide, flavor, magnesium stearate, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, and stearic acid.
Meanwhile, the Grape Flavored Chewable Children’s Claritin is made up of aspartame, citric acid anhydrous, colloidal silicon dioxide, flavor, magnesium stearate, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, stearic acid, D&C red No. 27 aluminum lake and FD&C blue No. 2 aluminum lake.
HOW DOES CHILDREN’S CLARITIN WORK?
As we’ve said, all forms of Claritin contain loratadine, which is an antihistamine and antihistamines work by blocking the release of a chemical –histamine, in the body whenever you’re exposed to an allergen or things your body is sensitive to. When histamine is blocked, symptoms of allergy won’t occur.
However, if the children’s Claritin you’re using is in the form of Claritin-D, it not only relieves allergy symptoms. It can also reduce congestion and pressure in your child’s sinuses and help drain the secretions from their sinuses. That is because Claritin-D contains both loratadine and pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, as its active ingredients.
Pseudoephedrine works by narrowing the blood vessels of the nasal passages so that the sinuses are drained, and the nasal passages cleared. So if your child has an allergy and a sinus infection as well, Claritin-D is a good choice.
HOW TO USE CHILDREN’S CLARITIN
Your child’s pediatrician would give directions and instructions on how to administer Claritin to your child, however, if you got the children’s Claritin as an OTC medicine, then read and follow carefully all the instructions written on the product’s package before using it. All forms of children’s Claritin are oral medicines and can be taken with or without food, usually once daily, unless told otherwise by your doctor or pharmacist.
If you’re using the liquid form, the medicine usually comes with a dosing cup measured in milliliter (ml). depending on the recommended dosage, carefully measure out the dose using the dosage cup. Don’t use your household spoon because you may get the wrong measurements. If you’re using the chewable tablets, make sure your child chews properly and swallows.
The dosage depends on your child’s age, condition, and response to treatment. For children who are 6 years and over, taking the liquid form of Claritin, it is recommended that they take 10ml daily, while for children between the age of 2-6, they’re recommended to take 5ml daily, they should not take more than what is recommended. If your child is under the age of 2, get a proper prescription from their pediatrician.
However, for children who are 6 years and over, using the chewable tablets, not more than 2 chewable tablets should be taken within 24 hours, while children between the age of 2-6 should only chew 1 tablet within 24 hours. If your child is under 2 years, get a proper prescription from their pediatrician.
Don’t increase your child’s dosage or administer the drug more frequently than you should. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. If symptoms of allergy don’t improve after 3 days of treating your child with this medicine or if hives last for more than 6 weeks, let the pediatrician know.
CHILDREN’S CLARITIN SIDE EFFECTS
Like most drugs, there are side effects to using Claritin, no matter what form you may be using.
Some of the common side effects of children’s Claritin you may notice are:
- Difficulty sleeping
However, you may also notice symptoms of allergy such as:
- Swelling, especially in the face, tongue, or throat
- Severe dizziness
- Shortage of breath
Seek medical assistance immediately if your child has any of these serious side effects. Also, speak with your doctor about other possible side effects before you begin giving the drug to your kids and if you notice any discomfort while they’re taking it, let their pediatrician know immediately, as these are not all the possible side effects of children’s Claritin.
Claritin has shown to interact with many drugs. Before you begin giving your child Claritin, let the pediatrician know of any medication your child is on.
Some drugs that can interact with Claritin include:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Opiates (e.g hydrocodone or oxycodone)
- Thiazide diuretics (e.g hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, or other blood pressure medication)
- Sedatives (e.g zolpidem, temazepam, or any medication that causes drowsiness)
- Other antihistamines (e.g dimenhydrinate, doxylamine, or centrizine)
Not only do drugs interact with how efficient children’s Claritin could be, but under certain medical conditions, children’s Claritin shouldn’t be used as that could result in worsening the condition.
Also, let the pediatrician know if your child has:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart problems
- Thyroid problem
- Before using children’s Claritin, let the pediatrician or pharmacist know if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to products containing loratadine. Don’t give your kids the drug if they have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
- Although Claritin is available as an OTC medicine, it is best to get a doctor’s prescription when dealing with drugs to be used by kids.
- Children’s Claritin is made with aspartame, therefore if your child has diabetes or any other condition that would require less sugar intake in their diet, such as phenylketonuria (PKA), it’ll be safe to confirm from a doctor or pharmacist about the safety of this drug under such condition.
- If your child’s pediatrician has prescribed children’s Claritin and your child has hives, let the pediatrician know if the hives appear bruised or blistered and don’t itch, as that may be a sign of a more serious condition.
- Children’s Claritin can interfere with the results of certain laboratory tests, possibly making them false. Therefore, make sure laboratory personnel and all your child’s doctors, including the dentist, knows that they’re using this drug, so the effect could be considered before conducting a test.
- If you miss giving your child their daily dose, give it to them as soon as you remember, but if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosing schedule. Don’t double dose as that could be overdosing and may cause serious side effects such as passing out severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
- In the case of an overdose, call your child’s doctor or a poison control center immediately. If you’re in the US call 800-222-1222.
- If your child has a liver or kidney disease, get the drug’s prescription from their pediatrician, they may recommend that your child takes a different dose from what’s recommended.
- If symptoms of allergy persist weeks after your child started using the drug, let the pediatrician know.
CLARITIN VS BENADRYL
Benadryl is also an OTC medicine used to treat symptoms of allergy. Benadryl and Claritin are both antihistamines and though they may work in similar ways, they’re different in other ways. For starters, Benadryl uses the active ingredient diphenhydramine, while loratadine is the active ingredient in Claritin.
The standard dosage for Benadryl is 25mg-50mg every 4-6 hours, whereas for Claritin it is 1 dose per day. Both Benadryl and Claritin are similarly effective, however, Benadryl causes more drowsiness than Claritin, other than that, they both cause the same side effects.
You could get these product as an OTC medicine as well as by prescription by a doctor, you should get it by prescription, then the doctor can consider your child’s age and condition before prescribing the proper dosage for your child. However, it is safe for kids and even recommended by pediatricians, as it contains no dye, no sugar, and no alcohol.