​​Desloratadine is an anti-allergy medicine that does not tend to make you drowsy. It belongs to the group of drugs called antihistamines. Antihistamines work by blocking the effect of a substance called histamine in your body. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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​​Allergies are very common, especially in children and although some children grow out of their allergies others don’t. Adults can also develop allergies to something they weren’t previously allergic to in childhood. Most allergic reactions happen quickly, but on the whole, they are mild and can be kept under control with medication: without medication, your daily life and activities may be affected. Common allergies include allergic rhinitis (grass and tree pollen), dust mite, animal skin and hair, food, insect bites and stings, latex, household chemicals, mould and latex. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, itchiness, rashes, a runny or blocked nose and worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms. A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylactic shock.​ 

What is ​Desloratadine​? 

​​Desloratadine is an anti-allergy medicine that does not tend to make you drowsy. It belongs to the group of drugs called antihistamines. Antihistamines work by blocking the effect of a substance called histamine in your body. Histamine is the body’s response to a harmful situation. 

​Desloratadine is available as both an oral solution and a film-coated tablet. 

​Desloratadine solution contains 0.5mg of the active ingredient, desloratadine, in every 1ml of solution. 

Desloratadine tablets contain  5mg of the active ingredient, desloratadine, in every tablet and are available in packs of 7 to 100. 

Desloratadine tablets are only suitable for adults and children over the age of 12. 

When is Desloratadine used? 

Desloratadine is used to relieve the symptoms of mild to moderate allergic reactions in both children and adults. These include: 

  • Allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages caused by an allergy – e.g. hayfever, dust mites etc.) Symptoms include: 
    • Runny or blocked nose 
    • Sneezing 
    • Itchy, red or watery eyes 
    • Itchy palate 
  • Urticaria  - a skin condition caused by an allergy. Symptoms include: 
    • Itching and hives 
  • Allergic conjunctivitis. 

How do you use Desloratadine? 

As with all medicines, always follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist when it comes to taking them. Allergic reactions usually happen very quickly so it is important to treat them quickly wherever possible. Most allergic reactions aren’t serious and can be easily controlled with medication. 

To take Desloratadine tablets: 

  • Only take the tablet from the blister pack when you are ready to take it; 
  • Swallow the tablet whole with water; 
  • You can take the tablet with or without food. 

To take Desloratadine solution: 

  • Measure the correct amount of the solution, according to your prescription, using the device given to you in the pack, do not be tempted to use a household spoon as you won’t be precise; 
  • Swallow the correct amount of the solution; 
  • Follow with a glass of water. 
  • You can take this medicine with or without food. 

What dosages are there? 

Once again it’s important to follow the advice of your doctor when it comes to the right dose for you. As a general rule, the doses are as follows: 

  • For children aged 1-5 -1.25mg once a day 
  • For children aged 6-11 – 2.5mg once a day 
  • For children aged 12-17 – 5 mg once a day 
  • For adults, 5mg once a day 

Children under the age of 12 should only be given Desloratadine solution as the tablets contain 5mg of desloratadine so that is the lowest possible dose when taking the tablets. 

How long you take the medication for on a regular basis will depend on the reason you are taking Desloratadine.  

Do you have allergic rhinitis or urticaria? How severe are your symptoms? How frequently do the symptoms occur and how long do they last? These are all questions your doctor may ask when trying to work out the right dose and treatment length for you. As a general guide: 

  • If you experience symptoms more than four days of the week you are likely to need treatment over a longer period of time than if you have symptoms for just a few days each week; 
  • If you have symptoms for more than 4 days a week you are likely to need to take Desloratadine for more than 4 weeks; 
  • If you have symptoms for less than 4 days a week you will be taking Desloratadine for less than 4 weeks, unless you have a history of allergic rhinitis; 
  • If you forget to take your tablet on time, take it as soon as you remember and then return to your usual timings. Do not take a double dose to make up for missing a tablet. 
  • While there are no serious complications expected if you accidentally take more Desloratadine than you should, you should always seek immediate medical assistance. 

What are the side effects of Desloratadine? 

All medicines come with a risk of side effects and Desloratadine is no exception. Of course, not everyone who takes Desloratadine will experience them. 

If you are prescribed Desloratadine it’s because your doctor believes that the benefits will outweigh the risks for you. However, if you are suffering from side effects it is always worth getting in touch with your doctor again, even if the side effects are different from those listed. There may be a different type of medication out there that suits you better. 

Severe allergic reactions are rare, affecting up to 1 person in every 10,000 people. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include: 

  • Difficulty breathing; 
  • Wheezing; 
  • Itching; 
  • Hives; 
  • Swelling around the face, nose, eyes, throat or lips. 

If you think you are having a serious allergic reaction seek immediate medical assistance. 

The most common side effects, that may affect up to 1 in 10 people are: 

  • Dry mouth; 
  • Headaches; 
  • Fatigue. 

The following are side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people. These side effects reported for adults, not children: 

  • Rash; 
  • Stomach ache; 
  • Diarrhoea; 
  • Nausea; 
  • Vomiting; 
  • Severe allergic reaction; 
  • Accelerated heartbeat; 
  • Pounding or irregular heartbeat; 
  • Drowsiness; 
  • Sleeplessness; 
  • Seizures; 
  • Muscle pain; 
  • Liver inflammation; 
  • Hallucinations; 
  • Abnormal liver function tests. 

These side effects were also reported but there is not enough data to know how often they occur: 

  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes; 
  • Changes in the way the heart beats; 
  • Aggression; 
  • Abnormal behaviour; 
  • Increased weight; 
  • Increased appetite; 
  • Unusual weakness; 
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight and UV light. 

Side effects for children are slightly different, and the following may occur, although there is not enough data to know how often: 

  • Abnormal behaviour; 
  • Aggression; 
  • Slow heartbeat; 
  • Other changes to the way the heart beats. 

When shouldn’t you use Desloratadine? 

Desloratadine is not suitable for everyone, in certain circumstances a different allergy medicine may be suitable. 

Do not take Desloratadine if you are allergic to desloratadine, loratadine or any of the other ingredients listed on the packet. 

Do not give Desloratadine tablets to children under the age of 12, children should be treated with Desloratadine solution. 

Take special care with Desloratadine if any of the following apply: 

  • You are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy; 
  • You are driving or operating heavy machinery (although the recommended dose should not cause drowsiness it can be a side effect so you need to ensure you are not drowsy when taking this medicine before you drive or operate heavy machinery); 
  • You have poor kidney function; 
  • You have a family history or medical history of seizures; 
  • You have a history of liver disease. 

Does Desloratadine interact with other medications? 

Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medication you are taking for any reason, including herbal medicines, vitamins and supplements as these can interact with your medication other and cause problems or lessen the effectiveness of the medicine you are using. This includes medicines or treatments that you have taken in the last few weeks even if you’ve now stopped taking them. 

  • Desloratadine is not known to interact with any other medication; 
  • Be wary of drinking too much alcohol while taking Desloratadine; 
  • Desloratadine is very similar to loratadine, do not take products containing loratadine while taking Desloratadine. 

Where can you buy Desloratadine? 

You can buy Desloratadine from any reputable pharmacy. You will only be able to buy Desloratadine in a pharmacy as a pharmacist will need to approve the sale. 

Allergies usually respond best to quick treatment so it’s a good idea to pick the pharmacy option which means you have your medication as quickly as possible. If you require long-term treatment you may need several prescriptions filled over time so picking a convenient pharmacy is a good idea. 

Can I get Desloratadine without a prescription? 

No, you cannot buy Desloratadine without a prescription, it is a prescription-only medication, which means you need a consultation with a doctor to get it. This is so a professional can check that it’s the right medication for you and your symptoms, taking into account your medical history. You can visit your local GP or arrange an online consultation to find out if Desloratadine may work for you. 

You doctor will then monitor your treatment to see how it is working and whether you need to continue with treatment on a long-term basis or whether the dosage can be reduced. You don't want to be taking a high dose of medication or using medication long-term unless it is absolutely necessary. 


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Actavis, 2017. Desloratadine Actavis 5 Mg Film-Coated Tablets - Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) - (Emc). Retrieved 20 March 2020 from: <>  

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NICE Excellence, 2020. DESLORATADINE | Drug | BNF Content Published By NICE. retrieved 20 March 2020 from: <>  

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.