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The excretion of loratadine, a new nonsedating antihistamine, into human breast milk was studied in six lactating nonpregnant volunteers. Each volunteer received one 40-mg loratadine capsule. Milk and blood were collected before and at specified times (to 48 hours) after dosing. Plasma and milk loratadine concentrations were determined by a specific radioimmunoassay, and those of an active but minor metabolite, descarboethoxyloratadine, by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Breast milk concentration-time curves of both loratadine and descarboethoxyloratadine paralleled the plasma concentration-time curves. For loratadine, the plasma Cmax was 30.5 ng/mL at 1.0 hour after dosing and the milk Cmax was 29.2 ng/mL in the 0 to 2 hour collection interval. Through 48 hours, the loratadine milk-plasma AUC ratio was 1.2 and 4.2 μg of loratadine was excreted in breast milk, which was 0.010% of the administered dose. For descarboethoxyloratadine, the plasma Cmax was 18.6 ng/mL at 2.2 hours after dosing, whereas the milk Cmax was 16.0 ng/mL, which was in the 4 to 8-hour collection interval. Through 48 hours, the mean milk-plasma descarboethoxyloratadine AUC ratio was 0.8 and a mean of 6.0 μg of descarboethoxyloratadine (7.5 μg loratadine equivalents) were excreted in the breast milk, or 0.019% of the administered loratadine dose. Thus, a total of 11.7 μg loratadine equivalents or 0.029% of the administered dose were excreted as loratadine and its active metabolite. A 4-kg infant ingesting the loratadine and descarboethoxyloratadine excreted would receive a dose equivalent to 0.46% of the loratadine dose received by the mother on a mg/kg basis. An estimated “worst-case” dose (i.e., the maximum dose that could be expected under any circumstances) of loratadine and descarboethoxyloratadine to an infant was calculated to be only 1.1% of the adult loratadine dose on a mg/kg basis. The adult dose has been reported to be safe and well tolerated, so it is unlikely that this dose presents a hazard to infants.