Zyrtec is generically known as Cetirizine, an over-the-counter medication used to treat allergies and other related conditions. It belongs to a class drug antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamines that are released during an allergic response. When histamine binds to its receptors, it causes inflammation and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is an antihistamine medication used to relieve allergies and symptoms of hay fever. It is effective in relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, colds, hives, angioedema, anaphylactic reactions, pruritus, and allergic conjunctivitis. It is also used to prevent the recurrence of allergic reactions and reduce itching, sneezing, and other symptoms associated with allergies.
Uses and Dosage
Zyrtec comes in the form of a tablet and should be taken with a drink of water, milk, or squash. It should be swallowed whole without chewing or crushing.
The recommended dosage for Zyrtec (Cetirizine) tablets is one 10 mg tablet once daily for adults and children 6 years and over. Do not take more than one 10 mg tablet in 24 hours. A 5 mg product may be appropriate for some patients.
The recommended dosage for Zyrtec (Cetirizine) for children between 6 to 11 years of age is 5mg, twice a day with 10 to 12 hours between doses. For children between 2 to 5 years of age, the dose is 2.5mg, twice a day. For children between 1 to 2 years of age, your doctor will use their weight or age to work out the right dose. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when giving any medication to children.
Common Side Effects of Zyrtec Include:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach pain
- Rapid swelling
- Low blood pressure
- Tongue discoloration
Form and Strength
Zyrtec and its generic alternative to Cetirizine are available in the following forms and strengths:
Zyrtec: Delayed Release Tablet
- Cetirizine contraindicated to taking Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Children’s Zyrtec Allergy, Children’s Zyrtec Hives Relief, pediacare Children’s 24-Hour Allergy, Aller-Tec, or Wal-Zyr.
- Keep this medication out of reach of children, as an overdose may occur if they accidentally take it. In case of overdose, medical help or contact with a Poison Control Center should be sought immediately.
- Cetirizine can cause central nervous system depression, avoiding activities requiring mental alertness until accustomed to the medication.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers when taking cetirizine, as these substances can increase the risk of drowsiness.
- Before taking any medication, be sure sure your doctor or pharmacist is aware of your medical history, especially if you have difficulty urinating (such as due to an enlarged prostate), kidney disease, or liver disease. These conditions can increase the risk of side effects or make the medication less effective.
- Avoid the use of alcohol or marijuana (cannabis), as they can make you drowsier and increase the risk of side effects. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires alertness until you can do it safely.
- During pregnancy, Cetirizine should only be used when absolutely necessary. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking it. Cetirizine medication passes into breast milk, so you should consult your doctor before breast-feeding while taking Cetirizine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I forget to take it?
Take your forgotten dose as soon as you remember unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time.
How do I take Zyrtec (Cetirizine)?
Zyrtec (Cetirizine) should be taken orally as directed by your doctor. The recommended dosage for adults and children 6 years and over is one 10 mg tablet once daily. A 5 mg product may be appropriate for some patients. Do not take more than one 10 mg tablet in 24 hours.
Does Zyrtec (Cetirizine) cause drowsiness?
Cetirizine (brand Zyrtec) may cause drowsiness, so it may be better to take it before you sleep rather than during the day.