Loratadine is a derivative of azatadine and a second-generation histamine H1 receptor antagonist used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and urticaria. Unlike most classical antihistamines (histamine H1 antagonists) it lacks central nervous system depressing effects such as drowsiness. Loratadine competes with free histamine and exhibits specific, selective peripheral H1 antagonistic activity. This blocks the action of endogenous histamine, which subsequently leads to temporary relief of the negative symptoms (eg. nasal congestion, watery eyes) brought on by histamine. Loratadine has low affinity for cholinergic receptors and does not exhibit any appreciable alpha-adrenergic blocking activity in-vitro. Loratadine also appears to suppress the release of histamine and leukotrienes from animal mast cells, and the release of leukotrienes from human lung fragments, although the clinical importance of this is unknown. NCATS
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