Desloratadine and Pseudoephedrine (oral)

Desloratadine works to prevent the generation of histamine in an allergic reaction, and pseudoephedrine acts to relieve the stuffiness in the nose by narrowing the nasal blood vessels; together these two medications can provide significant relief from the symptoms of allergies.

Overview

During an allergic reaction, your body typically manufactures histamine, a natural substance that contributes to the traditional symptoms caused by allergies. This production of this substance is blocked by desloratadine, because it is by nature an antihistamine, so there is less histamine available in the body to cause those symptoms. Pseudoephedrine helps to relieve the stuffiness typically caused during an allergic reaction, by constricting the blood vessels in the nose, so that swelling subsides, and congestion is relieved.

This medication is generally made available in a single combination tablet, which has extended release capabilities to provide up to 24 hours of relief from the nagging symptoms associated with allergic reactions, typically the seasonal ones triggered by excess pollen in the environment. The tablet should be swallowed whole with water, and can be taken with a meal or without, at the user's preference.

One thing which should not be done however, is to chew the tablet or crush it and swallow it in a beverage. That causes all the medication to be disseminated immediately, rather than over a longer period of time, so there will be a brief, concentrated period of relief, and then it will wear off, and the allergy sufferer will be obliged to take another tablet.

Condition Treated

  • Symptoms of allergies' runny nose, stuffy feeling, sneezing, itching around the nose and eyes

Type Of Medicine

  • Desloratadine¬†' antihistamine, Pseudoephedrine - decongestant

Side Effects

Besides the relief it brings, this combination medication may also impart some unwanted side effects to the user. Some of these can be fairly serious in nature, requiring medical attention at the earliest opportunity.

One of the worst of these would be an allergic reaction to the medication, and that would be similar to the symptoms which the medication is intended to alleviate' you could experience severe swelling in the facial area or in the lips, tongue, and throat. Hives and or rashes might develop on the skin quickly, and you could also experience sudden difficulty with your breathing.

If any of these things happen, it could cause a serious medical condition, especially if symptoms continue to worsen, so you should contact your doctor immediately if you suspect you're having an allergic reaction to the medication. The first couple times that you take this medication, this kind of reaction should be looked for, and after the first few times if nothing has happened, you are probably not going to have an allergic reaction to the medication.

Some other serious side effects which may occur, and which you should contact your doctor about immediately, are the following:

  • Irregular heartbeat, sometimes accompanied by a pounding sensation or a rhythm which is much faster than normal for you
  • Shakes and tremors
  • Sudden mood changes or behavioral changes such as nervousness, confusion, disorientation, anxiety, or severe agitation
  • Problems with normal urination
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Severe dizziness or disorientation
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Problems with sleeping, such as insomnia
  • Dry mouth, or difficulty swallowing
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdominal area
  • Chills and or fever
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Dark colored urine after ingestion
  • Headaches
  • Elevated liver enzyme levels
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and or vomiting
  • Puffiness around the eyes and eyelids
  • Unpleasant odor on the breath
  • Welts appearing on the skin at various body locations
  • Yellowish tinge to the skin or around the eyes
  • A feeling of temporary weakness or fatigue.

It is possible for a patient to overdose on desloratadine/pseudoephedrine, and when this happens, immediate medical attention should be sought. To identify the symptoms of an overdose, look for a sudden increase in heart rate that does not return to normal after a few minutes, and a powerful urge toward sleepiness, regardless of the circumstances.

There are also a number of side effects which may occur in patients that do not require medical attention, and which will typically subside all on their own, as the body adjusts itself to the medication. Side effects in this category include all the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Body aches and pains, similar to what you might feel at the onset of a cold or the flu
  • Congested feeling
  • Dry mouth and or sore throat, accompanied by difficulty with swallowing
  • Hoarseness, sometimes with difficulty speaking
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in the sound of your voice
  • Neck glands swelling up and becoming tender to the touch
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation over small things
  • Unusual drowsiness during the daytime.

Dosage

The dosages listed below are intended to be understood as standardized dosages which are fairly typical of patients using this medication. Your own dosage is likely to be different, based on your doctor's recommendation after considering a number of factors. For instance, your doctor will probably take into account your current medical condition, the situation which you are being treated for, your chronological age, the strength of the medication, the frequency of ingestion, and other considerations.

This medication will be prescribed by your doctor, because he/she has made a professional judgment that the benefits obtained by using it outweigh any risks or side effects which might obtain in your case.

A typical adult dosage when treating allergic rhinitis would be one extended release tablet taken orally, twice in a 24-hour period, with the two tablets spaced apart by 12 hours. The dosage involved in this medication schedule is generally a 120 mg oral tablet, but your doctor may also recommend a 240 mg oral tablet which would then be taken once daily.

For children aged at least 12 years old, the same dosages and the same ingestion schedule can be followed, with either the 120 mg tablet being taken twice daily, or the 240 mg tablet being taken once daily. Children who experience strong allergies and are below the age of 12 would have to have their individual cases reviewed by a doctor to determine whether or not it is safe to administer the medication to them.

Children who are aged 2 years or less should not be given this medication, because the FDA has not approved this medication for treatment to that age group. There are no studies which can provide reliable information about how youngsters of this age tolerate the medication, so the prudent course is to assume the worst kind of reaction, and that treatment for this age group should be completely avoided.

Interactions

There are times when desloratadine and pseudoephedrine will react with other medications and produce unwanted side effects or medical conditions in the consumer. Since some of these reactions can be severe, drug interactions are always to be avoided. For this reason, your doctor will want to review all medications which you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, vitamins, and all other prescription medications.

Before visiting your doctor for a consultation about your allergies, it would be a good idea to prepare an all-inclusive list which itemizes all these other drugs and medications, as well as the dosages taken daily of each. This is also a very handy thing to have if you ever need to visit an emergency room or a healthcare clinic where your primary doctor will not be in attendance. Any doctor there can review your medication list and will then be able to safely prescribe medication for whatever condition you need to be treated for.

A partial list of some of the most common drugs which are known to interact with desloratadine and pseudoephedrine are the following:

  • Requip (ropinirole), Euthyrox (levothyroxine), Flonase (fluticasone nasal), Nexium (esomeprazole), Tessalon Perles (benzonatate), Ritalin (methylphenidate), potassium chloride in solution with sodium chloride (potassium with lvp solution), Imitrex (sumatriptan), Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Spiriva (tiotropium), omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, Neurobion (multivitamin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Klonopin (clonazepam), MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol 3350), Norvasc (amlodipine).

There are also several medical conditions which are known to cause fairly serious issues for a patient taking desloratadine and pseudoephedrine:

  • Diabetes,
  • Bph
  • Glaucoma
  • G.I. narrowing
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pku.

Warnings

There are number of precautions or warnings which should be observed by patients who are considering a program of treatment with desloratadine and pseudoephedrine. If you know that you are allergic to either of these two medications or any ingredients used in their manufacture, be sure to make your doctor aware of this during the initial consultation about allergies.

In addition, you should also make your doctor aware of the fact, if you have experienced serious side effects from any other kind of medications which are similar to these two, e.g. decongestants or antihistamines.

One of the important topics which will be addressed during consultation with your doctor is your medical history. When considering treatment with this medication, it's important to make your doctor aware of any past history you have had with the following medical conditions:

  • Any kind of heart disease or blood vessel disease such as with coronary arteries
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Difficulty with urination such as you might experience with an enlarged prostate
  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease or any kind of problems with the kidneys.

When this medication is used at prescribed dosages, it does not generally make you drowsy, but it may still not be safe for you to be operating a motor vehicle or any kind of machinery. Some patients have reported feeling slightly dizzy after ingestion, and that makes it very important that you do not drink alcohol before or after taking this drug.

If you have any kind of surgery scheduled, including oral surgery, make sure to notify your doctor and/or your dentist that you are currently taking desloratadine and pseudoephedrine. Your doctor or dentist may ask you to temporarily discontinue usage of this medication during the period before and after surgery.

Women who are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant should discuss this situation with their doctor thoroughly. In most cases it is considered inadvisable for a woman to be taking this medication while pregnant, although there is not a great deal of research which can point to any harmful effects passed on to an unborn infant.

However, it is known that desloratadine and pseudoephedrine are passed through breastmilk to a nursing infant, and that makes it likewise inadvisable for a woman to be breast-feeding while also being treated with this medication. Again, there is not a large body of research evidence which points to harmful effects incurred by the nursing infant, but it is always best to err on the side of safety when infants are considered.

Storage

Desloratadine and pseudoephedrine should be stored in a location away from direct light, and in a room not subject to high temperatures or possible freezing. There should also not be any excessive humidity in the room where this medication is stored, and that makes bathrooms a poor choice (for instance, the bathroom medicine cabinet), because bathing requirements often cause considerable moisture in the air.

This medication should not be used beyond its expiration date, but it also should not be discarded by flushing down the sink or toilet. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for proper disposal methods, or check the FDA website which is maintained to provide guidance for the safe disposal of medicinces.

Your medication should be stored well out of the reach of pets and young children, preferably in a location which is so high up that it cannot be reached, even if a child were to stand on furniture. It should also not be stored in a weekly pill reminder, because these are generally not equipped with safety locks which prevent access.

Summary

The combination medication of desloratadine and pseudoephedrine is very effective at treating the symptoms produced during an allergic reaction to pollen, pets, fabrics, or foods. The desloratadine acts as an antihistamine, i.e. it blocks the production of histamine in the body, and histamine is responsible for many of the classic symptoms of allergies: runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, sneezing, coughing, etc.

The pseudoephedrine part of the medication works as a decongestant, to relieve the swelling of nasal passages so the stuffy sensation can be allowed to subside. Together, these two medications tackle the symptoms of allergies well, and for most patients, they don't have serious side effects or warnings which must be observed.