Can I Take Claritin While Breastfeeding Without Problems?

  • Claritin is a type of antihistamine used to treat allergies
  •  Effects of Claritin include drowsiness and stomach issues
  •  Claritin may affect nursing babies, too, through breast milk
  •  Bonus video: The Dos and Don’ts of Medicine While Breastfeeding

Are you suffering from allergies, a cold, or some other similar problem?

Do you want to know if you can take an antihistamine to help combat this while you’re nursing your little one?

Have you ever caught yourself wondering, “Can I take Claritin while breastfeeding?”

In this article, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about whether or not it’s safe for you to take Claritin while you’re nursing your baby. You’ll find out what Claritin is, what it does, and what you can expect from using it while you’re breastfeeding your child.

The next time you find yourself wondering whether or not you can get some relief for your allergy symptoms by taking Claritin, you should be ready to do just what you need to do without having to worry about whether or not it’s going to cause any harm to your baby.

Read on to find out more information.

What is Claritin?

Claritin is a type of antihistamine that is used for treating allergies and their symptoms. Medically speaking, it helps cut back on the natural reaction your body has to the presence of the chemical histamine, which is related to allergies and their symptoms.

Histamine is what causes sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and other similar allergy symptoms in the human body. By taking an antihistamine like Claritin, you can cut back on those symptoms as well as deal with hives and itching when they’re a result of an allergic reaction, too.

Now you know a little bit more about what Claritin is, what it does, and why you may want to use it. But if you’re still wondering, “Can I take Claritin D while breastfeeding?” then read on.

Antihistamines and Mom

Your baby isn’t the only one who may have potential side effects from you taking Claritin. While your baby’s health should be first and foremost in your list of concerns, you should also take into consideration anything your body may go through when you take Claritin while you’re nursing your child. Here are some of the side effects that you may experience.

potential side effects
  • Drowsiness: This is a very common side effect of Claritin, and it’s one that a lot of new moms just don’t have time to deal with. You’re probably very busy, and feeling groggy from your allergy medication may be too much for you to handle while you’re also trying to take care of a new baby.
  • Stomach issues: You may find yourself experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps while you’re taking Claritin. This is also something that’s bound to get in the way of taking care of your little one, so you may want to skip this medication and try something else.
  • Nervousness: A lot of moms have reported Claritin making them feel antsy or nervous while they’re taking it. If this happens to you, it’s best to discontinue use of it for the time being.

Note that Claritin does not have any ill effects on your milk production or ability to nurse your child.

Antihistamines and Baby

Many studies have been conducted to determine what the effects may be for babies who nurse while their mothers are taking antihistamines. For the most part, it’s generally considered okay to take one or two doses by following the packaging directions, but there are still some side effects that you should be prepared to deal with if you plan to take Claritin while breastfeeding your baby.

taking Claritin while breastfeeding
  • During some studies, mothers reported noticing some slight sedative reactions in their babies after taking Claritin for about a week.
  • During other studies, the level of sedation in babies who had been breastfeeding while their mothers were taking Claritin was no different from the control group.
  • There’s always a chance that your baby could become drowsier than usual when you’re taking Claritin and nursing your child. If you notice this happening, you should discontinue the use of the Claritin and bring it up with your child’s pediatrician next time you have a chance. This isn’t a cause for alarm, but it is a sign that your baby isn’t going to be able to handle the amount of loratadine present in Claritin, so it’s a good indicator that you shouldn’t continue using this medication while nursing.

Why is Claritin Different?

So if it’s usually a bad idea to take antihistamines while you’re nursing, what makes Claritin so different? Shouldn’t it be avoided too? While you can certainly choose to continue avoiding Claritin while nursing your baby, you should understand that there are a few differences between it and most other types of antihistamines that are worth mentioning.

  • Loratadine itself is not known to have a significant effect on breastfeeding babies, but it may have a slight effect. However, the real cause for concern with antihistamines is the presence of both loratadine and pseudoephedrine at the same time. Since Claritin only contains one of these, it’s less of a worry.
  • Loratadine peaks in the body at about two hours after taking the medication, so it is possible that you can plan taking it around the time when you’ll be nursing your child. That way, you’ll be better able to tell whether or not he or she is having an adverse reaction and you’ll also be able to help prevent any possible negative outcomes, too.
  • There have been no noticeable effects shown on the production of milk through these studies. However, when mothers take an antihistamine with both loratadine and pseudoephedrine present, there have been some studies that show a negative effect on the production of milk.

As you can see, there is a difference in taking Claritin and other types of antihistamines. Because of this, it’s always important to make sure you fully understand what’s present in the different types of medication you may be considering taking, even if they’re over-the-counter.

Conclusions

So can you take Claritin while breastfeeding? Generally speaking, you can. Most types of Claritin should be the same, but always make sure you check the list of ingredients on the back of the label to make sure you’re not taking something that contains both loratadine and pseudoephedrine. Also be sure that you follow the directions on the package when it comes to your dosage amounts—though you should do this anyway, even if you’re not breastfeeding currently.

If you have any further concerns, it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor, your baby’s pediatrician, or even your pharmacist about the possible risks and concerns you may have when you take Claritin while you’re breastfeeding. Many moms choose to simply forego this particular allergy medication while nursing their babies, and you may decide to be one of those moms. If so, there’s no harm in avoiding Claritin until your baby is no longer nursing.

The decision is entirely up to you, so don’t worry if you hear from your sister or your friend that she took Claritin while nursing and didn’t notice anything wrong. This is a personal choice for you and your baby, so make sure you take the time to educate yourself and get informed about any possible risks you may have to deal with. Making the right choice for your baby’s health should be your number one concern.

BONUS VIDEO

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