Desloratadine (Clarinex) is approved for the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis and long term hives in people aged 6 months and older. For those who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), the medicine can be used at age 2 years and up.
Defining Allergic Rhinitis
SAR (or hay fever) occurs during specific times of the year when allergens (things you are allergic to) are in the air. Seasonal allergies are usually at their peak during spring or fall. Perennial allergic rhinitis is related to allergies present year-round, such as cat, dog, or dustmite.
When you breathe in an allergen, cells in your nasal passages release a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes your nose to feel itchy and increases swelling and mucus production in the nasal passages.
The following are symptoms of allergic rhinitis:
- Itching in the nose, eyes, throat, and ears
- Red, watery eyes
- Runny nose, nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure
- Postnasal drip and cough
- Dark circles under your eyes
Desloratadine is taken once daily. It is a nonsedating antihistamine, which means it blocks the action of the released histamine without making you feel drowsy.
Some of the most common side effects experienced by those taking desloratadine are:
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Sore muscles
Desloratadine is not for everyone. Safety in children younger than 6 months has not been established. In addition, there have been no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women, and desloratadine passes into breast milk. So, if you are pregnant or nursing, talk with your doctor about possible alternative options for treating SAR.
If you cannot take desloratadine, you do have options for relief.
Research is ongoing to develop effective treatments for seasonal allergies. Other antihistamines may help you manage your allergies. Options include:
- Other oral antihistamines (eg, fexofenadine [Allegra], cetirizine [Zyrtec])
- Intranasal steroid sprays (eg, fluticasone [Flonase], triamcinolone [Nasocort])
- Intranasal antihistamines sprays (eg, azelastine [Astelin], olopatadine [Patanase])
- Immunotherapy ( sublingual pill or allergy shots )
Talk to your doctor about the alternatives and what may work best for you.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 12/2012 -
- Update Date: 12/11/2012 -