Put a stop to the symptoms of hay fever quickly and effectively.

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from £15.00

Product details

Desloratadine is an antihistamine you take daily for hay fever. It relieves symptoms like sneezing, running and itchy nose, and watering itchy eyes. It starts working within 3 hours of taking it, and its effects should last for up to 24 hours, keeping you protected. It’s safe to take throughout the hay fever season and is a non-drowsy medication, so you shouldn’t feel tired while taking it. You can get Desloratadine delivered to your door or collect it from your nearest Superdrug pharmacy after a short online consultation with our doctors.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 23 Apr 2024

Desloratadine prices

Pack Size Price
5 mg - 30 tablet(s) £15.00
5 mg - 60 tablet(s) £24.00
5 mg - 90 tablet(s) £35.00

How it Works

About desloratadine

What is desloratadine?

Desloratadine 5mg is a daily hay fever medication that belongs to a group of medications called antihistamines. It helps to control your symptoms by relieving inflammation caused by hay fever.

Delsoratadine is a generic tablet that contains the active ingredient desloratadine. It’s a non-drowsy antihistamine, so isn’t as likely to make you feel drowsy compared to drowsy antihistamines.

How does desloratadine work?

Desloratadine is an antihistamine, so it works by limiting your immune response to pollen. When you have hay fever, your body is having an allergic reaction to pollen that you’ve inhaled from the air. Pollen is a plant substance that has the highest counts during spring and summer in the UK. As your body tries to get rid of the substance, it releases a chemical called histamine.

Histamine causes inflammation and this is what gives you hay fever symptoms like itchy eyes or a runny nose. Taking desloratadine during hay fever season blocks the action of histamine, so you’re less likely to get symptoms, if at all.

How long does desloratadine last?

Desloratadine 5mg is a daily tablet that lasts around 24 hours. Taking desloratadine at around the same time every day will keep the medication at a steady level in your body and will give you the most relief from your symptoms.

How long does desloratadine take to work?

Desloratadine should start to relieve your hay fever symptoms within 3 hours of taking it but works best when taken daily during hay fever season. You should continue taking desloratadine even if you feel better rather than just when you get symptoms.

How effective is desloratadine?

According to a clinical study, patients taking daily desloratadine for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) reported effective relief from the following symptoms:

  • sneezing
  • runny and itchy nose
  • itching, watering, and redness in the eyes
  • itching of the mouth palate

They also reported effective symptom control for 24 hours.

How to take desloratadine

It is taken once a day with water, with or without food. It’s best to take desloratadine around the same time every day to manage your symptoms effectively. Always swallow your desloratadine tablets whole without breaking or crushing them.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless your next dose is due. Don’t take a double dose of desloratadine to make up for a missed one, as this won’t make it more effective. If you take too much desloratadine, this isn’t likely to be harmful, but speak to your doctor if you get any side effects that bother you.

When to take desloratadine

You should take desloratadine a few days before you usually get hay fever symptoms. For most people in the UK, this is sometime around March-April but can be different for everyone. If you already have hay fever symptoms, start taking it straight away.

How often to take desloratadine

Take desloratadine 5mg every day, even if you feel better. Stopping and starting your treatment will make your hay fever symptoms go back to how they were before.

How long do you need to take desloratadine for?

You only need to take desloratadine up until your hay fever symptoms usually stop. In the UK, pollen counts usually drop around mid-September.

Where can I buy desloratadine?

You can buy desloratadine online with a prescription or at your local pharmacy with a GP prescription. You can’t get desloratadine over the counter.

Can I buy desloratadine online?

Yes, you can buy desloratadine online with a prescription from a doctor. Superdrug Online Doctor offers desloratadine and one of our doctors can prescribe it to you.

Start by completing a brief medical questionnaire about your symptoms. Once a doctor has checked your questionnaire and approved the treatment, your order will be processed. Your desloratadine tablets can be sent to your home, or you can collect them from a local Superdrug pharmacy.

Can I buy desloratadine over the counter?

Desloratadine 5mg isn’t available over the counter because you need a prescription. You can get some hay fever treatments over the counter, but you may need a prescription treatment like desloratadine if these don’t manage your symptoms.

Can I get desloratadine on the NHS?

Yes, desloratadine is available on the NHS, but you’ll need to make an appointment with your GP first. They can prescribe desloratadine or another suitable hay fever medication.

Side effects of desloratadine

Desloratadine, like all medications, has a chance of side effects. Not everyone will get them, and if you do, they are more likely to be mild and should go away on their own. Speak to a doctor if your side effects aren’t going away after several weeks of taking desloratadine.

Common side effects of desloratadine include:

  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • fatigue (tiredness)

Very rare side effects of desloratadine include:

  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat – if this doesn’t go away or comes with other symptoms, speak to a doctor straight away
  • stomach ache or an upset stomach
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • being sick (vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • trouble sleeping
  • muscle pain
  • hallucinations
  • restlessness with increased body movement
  • rash
  • abnormal liver function tests

Desloratadine also has some very rare but serious side effects that require immediate medical attention. Call 999 or get someone to take you to A&E straight away if you have:

  • a severe allergic reaction – symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheeziness, and swelling in the face and mouth area
  • seizures (fits)
  • liver inflammation – symptoms include nausea and vomiting, itchy skin, yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), and loss of appetite

There are also other side effects of desloratadine that have not been reported enough to determine how often they occur. Speak to your doctor straight if you get:

  • unusual weakness
  • an increased skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • a change in the way your heart beats
  • abnormal behaviour, such as aggression
  • an increased appetite, which may cause weight gain

How long do desloratadine side effects last?

Desloratadine side effects should only last a few days to a few weeks. If you keep getting side effects, you may need to try a different hay fever treatment instead.

What to do if you get desloratadine side effects

How you manage desloratadine side effects depends on the side effects you’re getting. If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, try eating small meals and staying hydrated. If you have a headache, you can take over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol. Serious or long-lasting side effects should be discussed with a doctor straight away.

Desloratadine warnings

Don’t take desloratadine 5mg if you’ve got an allergy to desloratadine or any non-active ingredients in desloratadine tablets. Desloratadine also contains lactose, so may be unsuitable if you’re lactose intolerant. Speak to your doctor before taking desloratadine 5mg if you have:

  • a medical or family history of seizures
  • poor kidney function

There are no known interactions between desloratadine and other medicines, but let your doctor know if you take any. You can take desloratadine with or without food, but use caution if drinking alcohol. This could increase the risk of drowsiness and other side effects.

Desloratadine isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, so speak to your doctor about an alternative.

Desloratadine alternatives

If desloratadine is not suitable for you or doesn’t work, there are alternative hay fever treatments available. Superdrug Online Doctor can prescribe both hay fever tablets and nasal sprays for symptom relief. You can speak to one of our doctors if you’re not sure what treatment option is best.

Desloratadine alternatives include:

  • Neoclarityn, a branded tablet that contains desloratadine 5mg and works in the same way. The only difference is the manufacturer and the price.
  • cetirizine, a generic non-drowsy antihistamine taken once a day. Contains the active ingredient cetirizine hydrochloride 10mg. This is an over the counter medication.
  • Telfast, a branded treatment containing fexofenadine. It’s also a non-drowsy antihistamine taken once per day. Telfast requires a prescription from a doctor and comes in 120mg tablets.
  • Nasonex, a branded nasal spray that can relieve nasal symptoms associated with hay fever. Nasonex should also be taken daily and contains the active ingredient mometasone furoate, a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation.
  • Avamys and Flixonase, branded nasal sprays made by different manufacturers that both contain the active ingredient fluticasone, a steroid. They can reduce inflammation in the nose caused by hay fever and should be taken daily.
  • Dymista, another nasal spray that contains fluticasone, as well as an antihistamine called azelastine. Dymista should be taken daily and can relieve most hay fever symptoms.
  • Ryaltris, a nasal spray with 2 active ingredients: olopatadine (antihistamine) and mometasone furoate (corticosteroid). It relieves hay fever symptoms in 2 ways: by blocking histamine and reducing inflammation. It should be taken daily.

Desloratadine vs Loratadine

Loratadine is a generic non-drowsy antihistamine like desloratadine. It contains the active ingredient loratadine. Unlike desloratadine, it can be bought over the counter or prescribed. Both are daily tablets that should be taken throughout hay fever season.


Desloratadine (2024) BNF (accessed 17 April 2024)

Desloratadine 5 mg film-coated tablets (patient information leaflet) (2023) EMC (accessed 17 April 2024)

Desloratadine 5 mg film-coated tablets (SmPC) (2023) EMC (accessed 17 April 2024)

Hay fever (2024) NHS (accessed 17 April 2024)

Patient Reviews