How to take Claritin (Loratadine). Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children. Claritin is usually taken once per day. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not crush, chew, or break the regular tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.