My Cart

0 Item(s): $0.00

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Cetirizine Hcl

Cetirizine Hcl

Description

Cetirizine is an allergy medication that you can buy over-the-counter at a pharmacy. That is, you don’t need a prescription. The medication comes in capsules, tablets, and a syrup. You typically take it just once per day, and it begins to work quickly. It’s inexpensive, too­ — usually less than $1 per day for brand-name versions (Zyrtec, Aller-Tec, and Alleroff), and even less for generic products.

Generally, cetirizine is a safe and effective drug, but you should be aware of certain warnings and precautions when taking this drug. Learn how this drug works, what it’s used for, and how to take it safely.

Why it’s used

If you have year-round symptoms, or seasonal allergies like hay fever, your doctor may recommend cetirizine. Cetirizine may help relieve these allergy symptoms, but it doesn’t prevent them.

When you come in contact with allergens, your body produces a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes most of the symptoms related to allergic reactions. Cetirizine is an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of histamine.

Cetirizine helps relieve mild to moderate allergy symptoms, such as:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • itchy or watery eyes
  • itchy throat or nose

How to take it

Adults and children 2 years and older can take the syrup, which is fruit flavored. Adults and children 6 years and older and take the capsules and tablets.

The usual dosage for adults younger than 65 and children who are 6 years and older is one 10-milligram (mg) dose per day. You shouldn’t take more than 10 mg in 24 hours. Your doctor may recommend a 5-mg dose once or twice per day if your allergies are mild.

Talk to your doctor about dosage for people who:

  • are 2 to 6 years old
  • are older than 65 years
  • have liver or kidney disease

Cetirizine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using cetirizine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • weakness, tremors (uncontrolled shaking), or sleep problems (insomnia);
  • severe restless feeling, hyperactivity;
  • confusion;
  • problems with vision; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • tired feeling;
  • dry mouth;
  • sore throat, cough;

Interactions with cetirizine

Cetirizine does interact with other substances. For example, avoid consuming alcoholic drinks while you take cetirizine. Doing so may be dangerous. Mixing cetirizine with alcohol can cause drowsiness or make you less alert.

If you take any type of tranquilizer, sedative, or sleep aid, make sure to ask your doctor before you use cetirizine. Mixing cetirizine with drugs that depress your central nervous system can amplify sedation. It can further impair your mental and nervous system functions.

There is a possibility of a drug interaction between cetirizine and theophylline. Theophylline (Theo-24, Theolair) is a drug that some people with asthma and other lung problems take. However, the interaction is most likely dose-related. It has only been reported with daily theophylline doses of 400 mg or more. In these cases, it took longer for cetirizine to leave the body. Talk to your doctor if you take theophylline and are considering cetirizine.

Loading...