Taking Claritin With NyQuil

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Claritin (loratadine) can be taken with NyQuil.

Question

Can you take Claritin With NyQuil?

Asked by Mica On Feb 13, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Feb 17, 2018

It is not recommended to use both NyQuil and Claritin (loratadine) together due to a duplication of therapy between the two medications and the possibility of increased side effects. Claritin is an antihistamine and NyQuil contains doxylamine, a sedating antihistamine. In most situations, it is not recommend to take two medications from the same class at the same time.


Taking NyQuil With Claritin

NyQuil is a combination medication that is used to treat both cold and flu symptoms.  NyQuil contains the following medications:

  • Acetaminophen for reducing fevers, headache, aches and pain
  • Dextromethorphan is an oral antitussive used to control a cough
  • Doxylamine is a first generation antihistamine used primarily as a sleeping aid in the treatment of insomnia due to the side effect of sedation or drowsiness


Claritin (loratadine) is a second generation non-sedating antihistamine used in the treatment of seasonal allergies.  It typically does not cause drowsiness in most patients.


Claritin (loratadine) and the doxylamine in the NyQuil are both antihistamines that work on the allergy symptoms of itching, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Taking them together would be a duplication in therapy and, more importantly, increase the potential of side effects.  Taking both medications together potentially increases the likelihood of central nervous system side effects of drowsiness, confusion, problems with coordination and respiratory depression (problems breathing).  


While on NyQuil, it is better to not take Claritin (loratadine) due to possibility of increasing the likelihood of side effects. The doxylamine in NyQuil will still provide some relief from allergy symptoms.


There may be situations where it is okay to dose Claritin in the morning and NyQuil at night only as needed, but you should be sure to speak with you doctor first to ensure the combination is safe for you. There may be better options to effectively treat your allergies and problems with insomnia.

About the Pharmacist

Ms. Jennifer Hauder RPh

Jennifer Hauder is a registered pharmacist in the state of Illinois. She has over 10 years experience as a pharmacist in the retail and pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) settings. She became a pharmacist due to her interest in healthcare and the opportunity to help others with their healthcare needs. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and two black labs Lucky and Charms.

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