For couples having trouble getting pregnant, information on Loratadine and fertility may hold the answer they are looking for.
Loratadine as an Antihistamine
Loratadine, which is also sold under the brand name Claritin, was originally introduced in Begium in 1988 and approved to be sold as a prescription drug in the United States in 1993. It offered relief for seasonal allergic rhinitis and other nasal and non-nasal symptoms. In 2002, the drug's status changed from prescription to over-the-counter for hay fever and respiratory allergy sufferers. However, even though it is labeled over the counter, it is sold from behind the counter and still dispensed by a pharmacist. Over the years, allergy sufferers using Loratadine have found relief from seasonal allergy symptoms including:
- Watery and itching eyes
- Runny nose
Patients enjoy the long-lasting effect of Loratadine and the freedom it offers from allergy symptoms. However, just like every drug, possible side effects lurk in each dosage. Some of these side effects are more serious and should be reported to your health care providers. These include things like:
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Difficulty urinating
- Enlarged tongue
- Fainting spells
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Rectal bleeding
- Severe persistent headache
- Muscle contractions
- Visual changes
Other more common side effect that do not usually require medical attention include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Mild headache
- Loss of appetite
Loratadine and Fertility
One side effect that manufacturers do not list is a connection between Loratadine and fertility. Loratadine contains mast cell blocking antihistamines. Studies in animals have shown that antihistamines that block mast cells may be of assistance for men experiencing low sperm counts. Mast cells, found in connective tissue, releases substances in response to injury or inflammation of body tissues. It's the inflammatory immune factor that some think plays a beneficial a role in men with lower sperm quality. These findings on Loratadine and fertility are based on studies conducted overseas with improved pregnancy rate results in couples whose men took similar antihistamines.
The connection between Loratadine and fertility is linked to its effect on testicular mast cells. It has been proven that testicular dysfunction and lack of male fertility correlates with increased testicular mast cells. Because Loratadine's antihistamines block mast cells, the result is improved sperm quality and increased viability in fathering a child.
Women, Antihistamines, and Fertility
On the other side of the gender equation, women who are trying to get pregnant may find that taking Loratadine dries cervical mucus, which will inhibit chances of conception. For those trying to have a baby, monitoring cervical mucus changes is one way to determine when ovulation takes place. These changes include increases in mucus volume and a difference in texture due to hormonal fluctuations in a woman's cycle. This type of fertility monitoring shows when a woman is most fertile: when the mucus is clear and slippery. However, the condition of cervical mucus can be influenced by outside factors such as drugs like Loratadine, which may dry up most bodily fluids, including cervical mucus.
When naturally unhindered, cervical mucus will steadily increase until a woman reaches her mucus peak and the chance of conception is high. One of the reasons for this increased possibility of conception is that a sperm's survival rate is increased since it can live in the cervical mucus for up to 72 hours. This, along with the fact that this mucus peak is tied to ovulation in the woman's cycle, pulls together all the right ingredients for conception.