13 answers

Claritin Side Effects with Toddlers

Has anyone given claritin to a toddler and experience behavioral side-effects? My 2.5 year old has been taking Claritin for a little over a week and has been acting up much more than usual (e.g., throwing things and hitting). I realize that some of his behaviors are typical 2 year old behaviors, but his behavior definitely seems to have changed since starting the allergy medicine.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for everyone's feedback -- particularly from the person who said that it might take 2 weeks for my son to get adjusted to the medicine. His doctor also said to see how he does after 2 weeks and if it wasn't right for him that we would need to try a different drug. His behavior seems to be improving during the second week on the prescription drug and I think some of his behavior is because his dad is getting ready for deployment and that's always a little added stressor in our house. The one day I skipped the medicine my son was a basket case rubbing his nose, screaming in frustration, and having his face break out in a bad eczema rash from rubbing his sleeve across it. When I started the medicine again the next day he didn't have the problem with his nose. He also only took a 50 minute nap and woke up all annoyed that his nose was bothering him. While on the medicine he's been sleeping his normal 9-10 hours at night, with a 1-2 hour nap (and, no, his behavior isn't related to lack of sleep since he's never slept much and has always been a well behaved child). Thus, for now, the medicine seems to be the best choice. I will follow up with my doctor and try a different one if his behavior seems to be because of the medicine.

Featured Answers

D.,
YES! My son has done the same stuff which was unusual behavior for him. I even tried it and OMG I couldn't believe how strange I felt and that was a child's dosage. I took him off it immediately and went to see an ENT/allergy specialist. He prescribed Zyrtec 10mg which is now available OTC in two child dosages, the 10mg and a lower one for younger children. Available at Costco. He also prescribed and eye drop for his eyes because his eyes bulge when his allergies are really bad.
Since going with the Zyrtec a year ago, we haven't had any behavioral issues.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

D.,
YES! My son has done the same stuff which was unusual behavior for him. I even tried it and OMG I couldn't believe how strange I felt and that was a child's dosage. I took him off it immediately and went to see an ENT/allergy specialist. He prescribed Zyrtec 10mg which is now available OTC in two child dosages, the 10mg and a lower one for younger children. Available at Costco. He also prescribed and eye drop for his eyes because his eyes bulge when his allergies are really bad.
Since going with the Zyrtec a year ago, we haven't had any behavioral issues.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My son (28 months) became very wired and hyper while taking Claritin. Also he could not sleep even 6-8 hours after a single does. I have since switched to Zyrtec and he has calmed down and has no adverse side effects. He loves taking it, and it seems to take care of our allergy issues the same as Claritin. It is worth a try and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't give a child Claritin. I would try something else for allergies. There is a good homeopathic medicine for allergies I think it is called Sabadil...or something like that. Homeopathic medicine (like the teething pills) are much safer for a baby, but ask your doctor what is alright.

My granddaughter has taken Clariton and I don't remember that she had a change in her behavior specifically to Clariton. Both her pediatrician and her allergist said that some children do react to these meds by becoming "hyper" but once their system gets used to it they'll slow down.

From my experience over several years I've noticed that I feel tense and somewhat agitated for the first week or two. After that life goes back to normal and I continue to take the meds.
I can understand that a toddler could respond to this feeling of tension by hitting and throwing. But his system should get used to it and he'll be alright.

Hitting, throwing is also common at this age. I suggest that his behavior could be a combination of both. If Clariton relieves his symptoms I'd stick with it for a couple of weeks and see if he does adjust.

My son has been taking claritan for over 2 years. He has a perscription that I fill at the pharmacy. They change the dosage each time. do to the hight and wieght changes. I only give it to him once a day and in the morning. I have not seen any changes in his behavior. This stuff helps him breath, he is hight alergic to the Pine (fur) trees.

YOu might talk to your sons doctor and let them know what is happening. They may give him something else.

You should always consult a doctor when giving a young child any over the counter meds.

Did his doctor recommend Claritin? All those types of drugs have an adverse affect on my heartbeat and makes me act abnormally and I'm mid-30's.

My daughter had a similar reaction to her SECOND dose of any cold medicine, and I have been told that's an allergic reaction (a reaction significantly different from what's expected). She could have one dose and be fine, but the second made her hyperactive and agitated. Maybe this gives you some direction. Nutritional supplements help me with my allergies so I don't need to take as much medicine. Good luck!

I haven't had experience with a toddler, but I personally nearly died from taking it. I say this only as a warning to everyone considering it please make sure the first dose is taken in the presence of a medical professional and remains there for at least 30 minutes to check for side effects.

As for your son I recommend checking his Potassium level, give him a banana. Sometimes medications leech potassium from the body, a lack of potassium can cause violent mood swings. My great grandmother's potassium level dropped low and she started swearing so badly that a sailor would've blushed. She also started hitting and spitting. A banana a day later she was back to her sweet self, turned out her potassium level was low.

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