Loratadine for Paclitaxel-Induced Myalgias and Arthralgias

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2020 Mar;37(3):235-238. doi: 10.1177/1049909119864083. Epub 2019 Jul 17.


Background: Seventy percentage of patients who receive paclitaxel have diffuse, refractory myalgias, and arthralgias. Based on anecdotal reports, this study explored whether loratadine, an antihistamine, palliates these symptoms.

Methods: The medical records of postoperative ovarian and patients with endometrial cancer were studied, as these patients are routinely prescribed paclitaxel. Records were screened for patients who received paclitaxel and loratadine concurrently.

Results: Forty patients are the focus of this report. Eight had paclitaxel-induced myalgias and arthralgias and then took loratadine; of these, 6 (75%; 95% confidence interval: 35%, 97%) manifested evidence of symptom improvement: "She did experience some migrating generalized body aches and pains…but this has resolved." Of those already receiving loratadine but with no myalgias and arthralgias, only 11 of 32, or 34% (95% confidence interval: 19%, 53%), developed myalgias and arthralgias (in contrast to the previously reported symptom rate of 70%). No adverse events were clearly attributed to loratadine.

Conclusion: These preliminary data support further study of loratadine for paclitaxel-induced myalgias and arthralgias.

Keywords: antihistamines; arthralgias; loratadine; myalgias; paclitaxel.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Loratadine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myalgia / drug therapy*
  • Myalgia / etiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Loratadine
  • Paclitaxel