Experts warn that antihistamines in the allergy drug Claritin can dry up so much mucous in the body that the vocal cords can become damaged. This side effect can be devastating for people who rely on their voice professionally.

Claritin Class Action Lawsuit

The Prescription Access Litigation project, a Boston-based consumer advocacy group, filed a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of Claritin in 2001. Schering-Plough was accused of misleading customers by falsely suggesting that Claritin works for everyone. According to the complaint:

“In fact, medical research shows that Claritin fails to provide allergy relief about half the time, and performs only slightly better than a placebo.”

Just before the class action was filed, the FDA issued a warning letter (PDF) after finding that full-size print ads for Claritin omitted important risk information.

Voice Damage Linked to Antihistamines

There is no excuse for pharmaceutical companies that fail to provide customers or doctors with adequate information about side effects. Many experts warn that antihistamines can clear up so much mucous that the vocal folds dry out, resulting in abrasions and irritation. These side effects can seriously damage a person’s voice, which is especially serious for professionals like singers.