Desloratadine (Neoclarityn)

How does it work?

Neoclarityn tablets and oral solution contain the active ingredient desloratadine, which is a type of medicine called a non-sedating antihistamine. It works by preventing the actions of histamine.

Histamine is a substance produced by the body as part of its defence mechanisms. It is stored in cells called mast cells, in almost all tissues of the body. When the body reacts to a foreign substance (known as an allergen, eg flower pollen, dust mites), the mast cells stimulated by the allergen release their stores of histamine.

The released histamine then binds to its receptors (H1 receptors), causing a chain reaction that results in allergic symptoms. It causes an increase in blood flow to the area of the allergy, and the release of other chemicals that add to the allergic response.

All this results in the symptoms of an allergic reaction. In hay fever and other nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis), histamine causes inflammation of the nose, eyes, skin or airways and results in itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion. In skin allergies, histamine causes inflammation of the skin and results in an itchy rash, swelling and hives, called nettle rash or urticaria.

Desloratadine works by blocking histamine receptors. It doesn't prevent the actual release of histamine from mast cells, but prevents it binding to its receptors. This in turn prevents the release of other allergy chemicals and increased blood supply to the area, and provides relief from the typical symptoms of hay fever and nettle rash.

Desloratadine is called a non-sedating antihistamine as it doesn't enter the brain and is therefore unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, people react differently to medicines and some people may experience some drowsiness.

What is it used for?

  • Relieving symptoms of nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever, pet allergies or dust mite allergies.
  • Relieving symptoms of nettle rash (urticaria).

Neoclarityn tablets may be used for adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over.

Neoclarityn oral solution may be used for adults, adolescents and children aged one year and over.

How do I take it?

  • Adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over should take one Neoclarityn tablet OR two 5ml spoonfuls Neoclarityn solution once a day, when needed to relieve symptoms of the allergy.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 years should be given one 5ml spoonful Neoclarityn solution once a day, when needed to relieve symptoms of the allergy.
  • Children aged 1 to 5 years should be given one 2.5ml spoonful (the small end of a measuring spoon) Neoclarityn solution once a day, when needed to relieve symptoms of the allergy.
  • You can continue to use this medicine daily to relieve symptoms for as long as you are exposed to the allergen, for example throughout the pollen season. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
  • Neoclarityn tablets and oral solution can be taken either with or without food.


  • Although desloratadine is a non-sedating antihistamine, some people may experience drowsiness, which may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. You should make sure you know how this medicine affects you before you perform potentially hazardous activites. If you do find this medicine makes you sleepy you should avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medicines that cause drowsiness with it, as this could make any sleepiness or reduced alertness worse.
  • If you are due to have any skin prick or patch tests to diagnose allergies you should stop taking your antihistamines at least 48 hours before the tests. This is because antihistamines can prevent or reduce the skin reactions that indicate an allergy, and so can make the test results unreliable.

Use with caution in

  • People with severely decreased kidney function.

Not to be used in

  • Peopel who are allergic to the related antihistamine, loratadine.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • Neoclarityn oral solution is not recommended for children under one year of age.
  • Neoclarityn tablets are not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
  • Neoclarityn oral solution contains sorbitol. As a result, it is not suitable for people with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency.
  • Neoclarityn tablets contain lactose and as a result are not suitable for people with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
  • This medicine passes into breast milk. It is not recommended for use by women who are breastfeeding. Seek medical advice from your doctor.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Fatigue.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Fever (in infants and toddlers).
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Dizziness.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Disturbances of the gut such as nausea, vomiting, indigestion or abdominal pain.
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia).
  • Awareness of your heartbeat (palpitations).
  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
  • Muscle pain.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Seizures.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

No significant interactions have been reported with this medicine. However, you should always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any medicines, including over-the-counter medicines and herbal medicines, before you start taking this one. Likewise, it is important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines once you have started this one, so they can make sure that the combination is safe.

Antihistamines may oppose the effect of histamine (used to treat leukaemia) and are not recommended for people having this treatment.

Antihistamines may also oppose the effect of betahistine (used to treat Ménière's disease).

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Desloratadine tablets are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.