Can You Overdose On Claritin (Loratadine)?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is possible to overdose on Claritin (loratadine).

Question

Is it possible to overdose on Claritin? I accidentally took 3 tablets and wanted to know if I should be concerned.

Asked by Betsy On Jul 30, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jul 30, 2018

Yes, like any medication, you can overdose on Claritin (loratadine) if you take too much. However, Claritin has a very wide dosage range when it comes to adverse effects and is, overall, a relatively safe medication. Accidentally taking too much should not cause significant side effects for most individuals.


The prescribing information for Claritin notes the possible side effects of an over-dosage, which include:

  • Somnolence (i.e. sleepiness)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache


The prescribing information also notes that a single acute ingestion of 160 mg (16 adult strength tablets) produced no adverse effects in one adult case. Nevertheless, it offers the following recommendations in the case where an overdose occurs:

"In the event of overdosage, treatment, which should be started immediately, is symptomatic and supportive. Consider standard measures to remove any unabsorbed drug in the stomach, such as adsorption by activated charcoal administered as a slurry with water. The administration of gastric lavage should be considered. Physiologic saline solution is the lavage solution of choice, particularly in children. In adults, tap water can be used; however, as much as possible of the amount administered should be removed before the next instillation."

There have been no cases of death with a Claritin overdose. In fact, one case report of a 6 year-old child who ingested 300mg of Claritin (30 tablets) resulted in only a minor elevation of blood pressure and heart rate.


Although data suggests that accidental overdoses will cause only mild, if any, side effects, there could certainly be factors that increase the risk of adverse events such as concomitant medications and disease states.


Lastly, it is important to know that assistance is available if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or has spoken about overdosing on medication. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

About Claritin (Loratadine)

Claritin (loratadine) is an non-sedating, "second-generation" antihistamine (H1-blocker). Unlike "first-generation" antihistamines, Claritin doesn't penetrate the central nervous system in high concentrations an therefore, does not cause significant sedation. Claritin was first approved by the FDA in April 1993 as a prescription medication and was approved for over the counter sale in December 2002. Claritin may be taken with or without food, with the onset of action occurring within 1 to 3 hours. Peak effects are generally seen in 8 to 12 hours. Claritin has a long duration of action and is therefore dosed once daily.

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