Ocular Drying Associated with Oral Antihistamines (Loratadine) in the Normal Population-an Evaluation of Exaggerated Dose Effect

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Many systemic medications adversely influence the eye by altering tear flow and production and natural tear substances, or by penetrating and combining with natural components of the tear film. Consequently, changes in tear film stability resulting from systemic medications lead to increased ocular discomfort. Oral antihistamines, anti-hypertensives (Accupril, Dyazide), antiemetics (Compazine, Dramamine), antidepressants (Celexa, Sinequan) and diuretics (Maxzide, Dyrenium) may cause dry eye syndromes. In particular, patients often complain of side effects associated with oral antihistamines such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin®. One common complaint is their “drying” effect.