When You Take Too Much Claritin, This Is What Happens

It's a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming — and you're inside with a running nose, puffy eyes, and an itchy throat. It might be the dog in your yard, or it might be the pollen in the air. Whatever the cause, your allergies have taken over your day.

There are, thankfully, a range of antihistamines on the market under both generic and brand names. Claritin, for example, is 1 of 5 brands that has loratadine as an active ingredient, according to MedlinePlus. Others are likely to be less familiar, as they don't have the same marketing range as Claritin. They all share the same active ingredient, however.

MedlinePlus, a site run by the National Library of Medicine, states that while loratadine is used to treat the most unpleasant allergy symptoms, it can cause some side effects of its own. Dry mouth, sore throat, and nervousness are among the symptoms on the list, though they're usually only a problem if they become severe. The real question, however, is what happens if your allergies are so bad you take more than you should.

It's a grey area

MedlinePlus recommends only taking loratadine at the recommended doses. In the case of loratadine tablets, this means one tablet every 24 hours. If you accidentally take too much, however, there are a few things to look out for. These symptoms include a pounding or racing heart, sleepiness, odd body movements, and a headache. Some of these symptoms, such as the headache, may occur even after taking the recommended dosage. When the sensation becomes severe or starts after taking too many pills, MedlinePlus recommends calling a poison control hotline.

The exact number of tablets to trigger an overdose is a bit of a grey area, however. As the insurance provider Walrus explains, Claritin ran a trial in which an adult ingested 16 adult-strength tablets. The results, surprisingly, were that the test subject suffered absolutely no adverse reaction. That is not to say that people should regularly take 16 loratadine tablets, but it does raise the question of how many tablets would be necessary to set off overdose symptoms. It's not something to test at home, however. If you feel one tablet is not enough, it is still best to talk to a doctor rather than increase the dosage on your own.