Find out how mixing Claritin and alcohol can affect your health.

Article at a Glance:

Using Claritin and alcohol together may be relatively safe compared to using alcohol with other medications, but there are still some side effects that should be considered.

These side effects include:

  • Increased dizziness or sleepiness
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Risk of overdose
  • Risk of increased intoxication from each drink

If you are using Claritin and drink alcohol, or are planning on drinking alcohol, discuss the risks with your physician and decide together if this mixture is safe for you.

Alcohol & Claritin

Mixing alcohol and Claritin is not safe or advisable because when these substances are mixed, the side effects of each substance is worsened.

Alcohol can create many different types of side effects when mixed with other medications. Some of these side effects can be dangerous or even potentially deadly. Claritin, also called by its generic name loratadine, is an allergy medication that people sometimes take at the same time as alcohol.

Related Topic: Alcohol allergy rash treatment

Claritin works by blocking the body’s response to a type of chemicals called histamines. These chemicals cause the immune system response that triggers allergies. Suppressing these chemicals leads to decreased allergy symptoms. The main side effects caused by mixing Claritin and alcohol exist because both substances create sleepiness or fatigue.

Side Effects of Mixing Claritin and Alcohol

While the side effects of mixing Claritin with alcohol may not be as serious as mixing alcohol with many other medications, there are still some negative side effects that can occur.

Some of the side effects of mixing alcohol and Claritin may include:

  • Increased drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Increased risk of overdose

Drowsiness and Dizziness

Claritin and alcohol both cause a sedative effect, leading to sleepiness, fatigue, and dizziness. While the sleepiness that Claritin causes is not particularly noticeable for most people by itself, it becomes more of a factor when Claritin and alcohol are mixed. Both substances contribute to the effects of the other, making dizziness and sleepiness worse.

Increased Risk of Injury

Alcohol impairs judgment, frequently making people overestimate their abilities while their abilities are, in reality, impaired from alcohol use. When alcohol and Claritin are mixed, people’s abilities become even more impaired due to the increased sleepiness and dizziness. This effect can increase the danger of ordinary activities such as driving, riding a bicycle or swimming.

Increased Risk of Overdose

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that using Claritin and alcohol together may increase the risk of an overdose on alcohol because the liver works harder to process both alcohol and Claritin together than it would to process just alcohol.

The combination of substances is thought to cause the liver to process alcohol slowly, allowing it to build up in the bloodstream and increase the risk of overdose. As the liver struggles to process these substances, a person’s risk of intoxication could also rise, which also increase the risks of driving or other activities requiring concentration.

If you or a loved one struggle with alcohol addiction and are considering stopping alcohol use, there is hope. The Recovery Village has a proven track record of helping those with alcohol addictions to obtain a full recovery. Reach out to one of our understanding team members to learn how your road to recovery can start today.

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Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN
Benjamin Caleb Williams is a board-certified Emergency Nurse with several years of clinical experience, including supervisory roles within the ICU and ER settings. Read more

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Harmful Interactions.” 2014. Accessed April 23, 2019.

Medscape. “Loratadine (OTC).” March 2019, Accessed April 23, 2019. “Loratadine (Clarityn).” Oct 19, 2018. Accessed April 23, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.