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Is Cetirizine Used For Allergy

Why Is This Medication Prescribed

Cetirizine (Zyrtec) Uses and Side Effects | How to take Cetirizine

Cetirizine is used to temporarily relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergy to other substances . These symptoms include sneezing runny nose itchy, red, watery eyes and itchy nose or throat. Cetirizine is also used to treat itching and redness caused by hives. However, cetirizine does not prevent hives or other allergic skin reactions. Cetirizine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.

Cetirizine is also available in combination with pseudoephedrine . This monograph only includes information about the use of cetirizine alone. If you are taking the cetirizine and pseudoephedrine combination product, read the information on the package label or ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Who Can And Can’t Take Cetirizine

Cetirizine tablets and liquid that you buy from pharmacies and supermarkets can be taken by adults and children aged 6 and older.

Children over the age of 2 can also take liquid cetirizine for hay fever and skin allergies.

Cetirizine can also be taken under medical supervision by children aged 1 year and older.

Cetirizine isn’t suitable for some people. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to cetirizine or any other medicines in the past
  • have an allergy to the food additives E218 or E216
  • have an intolerance to or can’t absorb some sugars, such as lactose or sorbitol
  • have liver or kidney failure
  • have epilepsy or another health problem that puts you at risk of fits
  • have a condition that means you have difficulty peeing
  • are booked to have an allergy test taking cetirizine may affect the results, so you might need to stop taking it a few days before the test

How Should I Take Cetirizine

Take cetirizine exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take cetirizine with or without food.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Oral doses: measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

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Zyrtec Vs Benadryl: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You

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Sneezing, runny eyes, feeling itchy all overthese are typical allergy symptoms that can make you feel miserable. If you suffer from allergy symptoms, youre not alone. Over 50 million Americans experience allergies throughout the year. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness every year.

There is no cure for allergies, but youll undoubtedly see plenty of allergy medications when visiting your local pharmacy. Zyrtec and Benadryl are two popular over-the-counter medications used to alleviate allergy symptoms. Both medicines are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration .

Zyrtec and Benadryl are antihistamines, or H1 receptor blockers. They work by blocking histamine. Histamine is a substance your body makes during an allergic reaction, causing those pesky symptoms. By blocking histamine, Zyrtec and Benadryl help relieve allergy symptoms.

Benadryl is a first-generation antihistamine. First-generation antihistamines tend to cause more sedation and drowsiness and can impair coordination and driving. Zyrtec is a second-generation antihistamine. Although Zyrtec can still cause drowsiness and other side effects, the drug tends to cause less drowsiness and fewer side effects in general and is safer if you need to drive or operate machinery.

Are Cetirizine And Loratadine Safe To Use While Pregnant And Breastfeeding



Cetirizine has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Available evidence suggests that risk to the developing fetus is low.

Cetirizine is excreted in human breast milk.


Loratadine is secreted in breast milk at levels similar to blood levels. Nursing mothers should decide whether to stop breastfeeding or discontinue loratadine.

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Some Side Effects Can Be Serious The Following Symptom Is Uncommon But If You Experience It Call Your Doctor Immediately:

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

Cetirizine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

Important Information About All Medicines

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

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What Is Cetirizine And How Does It Work

Cetirizine is a non-sedating antihistamine that works by blocking histamine receptors on cells. It is similar to the other second generation antihistaminesloratadine , fexofenadine and azelastine . Histamine is a chemical that is responsible for many of the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, for example, swelling of the lining of the nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells and then attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine. The attachment of the histamine to the receptors causes the cells to be “activated,” releasing other chemicals that produce the effects that we associate with allergy, for example, sneezing. Certirizine blocks one type of receptor for histamine and thus prevents activation of H1 receptor-containing cells by histamine. Unlike the first-generation antihistamines, cetirizine and other second-generation antihistamines do not readily enter the brain from the blood, and, therefore, they cause less drowsiness. Cetirizine may cause more drowsiness than other second-generation antihistamines. The FDA approved cetirizine in September 1996.

What brand names are available for cetirizine?

Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Zyrtec Hives Relief

Is cetirizine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for cetirizine?

Yes, OTC

Dosage Forms & Strengths

Dr. Karthik Talks About Cetirizine – Mechanism, Uses, Side-Effects, Dosage
  • Perennial and seasonal allergic and vasomotor rhinitis
  • < 2 years: Safety and efficacy not established
  • 2-6 years: 2.5 mg oral solution PO qDay can increase to 5 mg PO qDay or 2.5 mg PO twice daily not to exceed 5 mg qDay
  • > 6 years: 5-10 mg PO qDay, depending on severity of symptoms not to exceed 10 mg qDay


  • Indicated for acute urticaria in adults and children aged 6 months
  • 6 months to 5 years: 2.5 mg IV push q24hr PRN
  • 6 to < 12 years: 5 or 10 mg depending on symptom severity IV push q24hr PRN
  • 12 years: 10 mg IV push q24hr PRN

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What Are Cetirizine And Loratadine

Cetirizine is a non-sedating antihistamine. It is similar to other second-generation antihistamines including loratadine , fexofenadine and azelastine . Histamine is a chemical responsible for many of the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions such as swelling of the lining of the nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Certirizine blocks one type of receptor for histamine and prevents activation of H1 receptor-containing cells by histamine. Unlike first generation antihistamines, cetirizine and other second-generation antihistamines do not readily enter the brain from the blood so they cause less drowsiness though cetirizine may cause more drowsiness than other second-generation antihistamines.

Loratadine is a long-acting, non-sedating antihistamine used to treat allergies. Loratadine blocks one type of histamine receptor and thus prevents activation of cells with H1 receptors by histamine. Unlike some antihistamines, loratadine does not enter the brain from the blood and does not cause drowsiness when taken at recommended doses.

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    Is Zyrtec Or Benadryl More Effective

    There is very little data comparing the oral forms of Zyrtec and Benadryl. One study compared the two medications for food allergies. The study concluded that Zyrtec was similar to Benadryls effectiveness and took the same amount of time to start working. Zyrtec also had a longer duration of action .

    A literature review of Benadryl compared to non-sedating antihistamines concluded that all antihistamines were similarly effective, but that the newer antihistamines, like Zyrtec, caused less sedation.

    The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends that newer antihistamines like Zyrtec be used in favor of older antihistamines like Benadryl. The CSACI says that the newer antihistamines are safer, less-sedating, and more effective. They state that Benadryl is associated with significant side effects like sedation, poor sleep, and motor impairment, potentially leading to accidents and death, and should only be used as a last resort.

    Because both Zyrtec and Benadryl are OTC, the most effective medication for you can be determined by trial and error to see which medication helps your symptoms while causing the least side effects. Your healthcare provider can guide you with product selection as well.

    How Can I Be Sure Im Giving My Child The Proper Dose Of Childrens Zyrtec

    Zyrtec 24hr Allergy Relief 10mg Antihistamine Cetirizine ...

    Always follow the instructions that come with Childrens ZYRTEC®. When taking Childrens ZYRTEC® Allergy Syrup, be sure to use the dosing cup that comes in the package. Other items like kitchen teaspoons, droppers or measuring devices that come with other medicines may not be accurate. If you have any questions about treating your childs allergies, please speak with your doctor.

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    What Are The Side Effects Of Zyrtec

    With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.

    Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

    • Antihistamine overdose

    The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.

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    What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Using Cetirizine

    You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to cetirizine or levocetirizine.

    Cetirizine injection is not for use in children young than 6 years old who have liver or kidney disease.

    Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take cetirizine oral if you have any medical conditions.

    Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Before you are treated with cetirizine injection in an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you received this medicine.

    What Form Does This Medication Come In

    How to use Cetirizine? (Zyrtec, Reactine, Prevalin) – Doctor Explains

    10 mg Each white, ovoid, film-coated tablet, scored and engraved “10 mg” on one side and “APO” on the other, contains 10 mg of cetirizine HCl. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cornstarch, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.

    20 mg Each white-to-off-white, film-coated, rectangle-shaped, biconvex, tablet engraved “20” score “MG” on one side, and “APO” on the other side, contains 20 mg of cetirizine hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cornstarch, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.

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    What Can I Do To Help Relieve My Outdoor Allergies

    In addition to taking ZYRTEC®, you may want to:

    • Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning instead
    • Stay indoors during peak pollen hours
    • Change your clothes after youve been outside
    • Dont hang your laundry outside to dry
    • Avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves
    • Learn more outdoor allergy relief tips.

    Can I Use Zyrtec Or Benadryl While Pregnant

    In animal studies, Zyrtec did not cause congenital anomalies. However, there are no adequate studies performed in women. Therefore, Zyrtec should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed. Your healthcare provider can guide you in this situation.

    As for Benadryl, its also recommended that it should be used in pregnancy only if clearly needed. Consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

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    Safety Guide For Cetrizine

    Cetirizine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label directions.

    Ask a healthcare provider before use if:

    • You have liver or kidney disease. A healthcare provider may determine that you require a different dose.
    • You are taking tranquilizers or sedatives.
    • You are pregnant.
    • You are age 65 or older.
    • Before giving an OTC medicine containing cetirizine to a child under the age of 6.

    Do not use if:

    • You have ever had an allergic reaction to cetirizine or to an allergy medicine containing hydroxyzine.
    • You are breastfeeding.

    Cautions With Other Medicines

    Zyrtec Allergy, Tablets, 45 tablets

    Some medicines and cetirizine interfere with each other and increase the chances of you having side effects.

    Check with your pharmacist or doctor if you’re taking:

    • midodrine, a medicine used to treat low blood pressure
    • ritonavir, a medicine used to treat HIV infection
    • any medicine that makes you drowsy, gives you a dry mouth, or makes it difficult for you to pee taking cetirizine might make these side effects worse

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    How To Take It

    You can take cetirizine with or without food.

    Always take cetirizine tablets or capsules with a drink of water, milk or juice. Swallow them whole. Do not chew them.

    Cetirizine liquid may be easier for children to take than tablets or capsules. The liquid medicine will come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure out the right dose.

    If you don’t have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

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    What Other Drugs Interact With Cetirizine

    If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

    There are no severe Interactions of Cetirizine.

    Serious Interactions of Cetirizine include:

    • Isocarboxazid

    Moderate Interactions of Cetirizine include:

    • bosutinib

    Mild Interactions of Cetirizine include:

    This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

    How To Take Cetirizine

    Cetirizine ( Zyrtec 10 mg): What is Cetirizine Used For, Dosage, Side Effects & Precautions ?
    • Before starting the treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about cetirizine, and it will also provide you with a full list of side-effects which could be experienced from taking it.
    • Recommended doses of cetirizine are:
    • For adults and for children aged over 12 years: 10 mg taken once a day.
    • For children aged 6-11 years: 5 mg taken twice daily.
    • For children aged 2-5 years: 2.5 mg taken twice daily.
  • If you are giving cetirizine liquid medicine to a child, make sure you follow the dosing instructions on the bottle carefully so that you measure out the correct dose for the age of your child.
  • You can take cetirizine either with or without food. Some people find it helps to swallow the tablets or capsules with a drink of water.
  • If you forget to take a dose, don’t worry, just take the next dose when it is needed and then continue as before. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
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    Important: How To Use This Information

    This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.


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