Cetirizine is an antihistamine medication used to treat symptoms associated with allergies, such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis, and hives. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance produced by the body in response to an allergic reaction.
Cetirizine is available over the counter (OTC) and by prescription in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and syrup. It is typically taken once daily and can be taken with or without food.
Common side effects of cetirizine may include drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and stomach upset. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking cetirizine if you have liver or kidney disease, as the dosage may need to be adjusted.
Cetirizine is generally considered safe and effective for most people when taken as directed. However, it may interact with other medications, so it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking cetirizine if you are taking any other medications or have any medical conditions.
What is Cetirizine
Cetirizine is an antihistamine drug that is used to treat allergy symptoms, such as fever caused by allergies (hay fever), allergic rhinitis, and hives (urticaria). This drug works by inhibiting the action of histamine, which is a substance produced by the body in response to an allergic reaction.
Cetirizine is available in several forms, including tablets, capsules, and syrup. This drug can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) and also with a doctor’s prescription. Usually, cetirizine is taken once daily and can be taken with or without food.
Common side effects of cetirizine are drowsiness, dry mouth, headaches, and stomach upset. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking cetirizine if you have liver or kidney disease, as the dose may need to be adjusted.
Cetirizine is generally considered safe and effective for most people when taken at the recommended dosage. However, this medication can interact with other medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor before taking cetirizine if you are currently taking other medications or have certain medical conditions.
Warning Before Consuming Cetirizine
Before taking cetirizine, it is important to pay attention to the following warnings:
- Talk to your doctor if you have a history of allergies to cetirizine or other antihistamines, or have certain medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease.
- Do not take cetirizine with certain drugs, including sedatives or painkillers that contain opioids, because this can increase the risk of serious side effects.
- Cetirizine may cause drowsiness or reduce concentration ability. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking cetirizine until you are sure how this drug affects you.
- Cetirizine can affect the results of allergy tests. If you are having an allergy test, tell the doctor or other medical professional that you are taking cetirizine.
- Do not take cetirizine during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless your doctor prescribes it and thinks the benefit outweighs the potential risks.
- Do not take larger or more frequent doses than recommended, as this may increase the risk of serious side effects.
- Do not give cetirizine to children under 2 years of age without a doctor’s approval.
Dosage and Rules for Use of Cetirizine
The recommended dose of cetirizine and how to use it depend on your age, medical condition, and the type of cetirizine being used. The following are the general dosages and rules for using cetirizine:
- Adults and children 6 years and older: It is usually recommended to take one cetirizine 10 mg tablet once daily. This dose can be increased or decreased according to medical conditions and the body’s response to the drug.
- Children aged 2-6 years: It is usually recommended to take cetirizine syrup in a dose adjusted according to body weight. The usual dose is 2.5 mg to 5 mg once daily.
- Children under 2 years: Cetirizine is not recommended for children under 2 years unless directed by a doctor.
- Instructions for use: Cetirizine can be taken with or without food. Be sure to follow the instructions on the drug label or doctor’s directions. Do not crush, chew, or break up cetirizine tablets before taking them.
Do not take larger or more frequent doses than recommended, unless directed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of cetirizine, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearing time for the next dose, then skip the missed dose and do not double the dose.
How to Take Cetirizine Properly
Here are some ways to take cetirizine correctly:
- Read drug labels and doctor’s directions carefully. Be sure to understand the recommended dosage, directions for use, and possible side effects.
- Cetirizine can be taken with or without food. However, if you have stomach problems, it should be consumed after eating.
- Cetirizine tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets before taking them, unless directed by your doctor.
- Cetirizine syrup must be measured accurately using the measuring spoon provided. Do not use a regular tablespoon as this may result in inaccurate dosing.
- Do not take cetirizine together with fruit juices containing citric acids, such as apple juice or orange juice, because this can reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking cetirizine because it can increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness.
- Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking cetirizine because this drug can cause drowsiness or reduce the ability to concentrate.
- Do not take larger or more frequent doses than recommended, unless directed by a doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearing time for the next dose, then skip the missed dose and do not double the dose.
- Do not stop using cetirizine without your doctor’s approval. If you want to stop using cetirizine, talk to your doctor first because stopping the drug suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Cetirizine Interactions with Other Drugs
Cetirizine can interact with other drugs you are taking. The following are some drugs that can interact with cetirizine:
- Tranquilizers or sleeping pills: Concomitant use with cetirizine may increase the effects of drowsiness or dizziness.
- Antidepressant drugs: Some types of antidepressant drugs, such as fluoxetine and paroxetine, can increase the blood level of cetirizine, thereby increasing the risk of side effects.
- Antiulcer drugs: Antiulcer drugs such as cimetidine can increase the blood level of cetirizine and prolong the duration of the drug’s effect.
- CYP3A4 enzyme inhibitors: CYP3A4 enzyme inhibitors, such as ketoconazole and erythromycin, may increase the blood level of cetirizine and prolong the effect of the drug.
- Drugs affecting kidney function: Drugs affecting kidney function, such as probenecid, may increase the blood level of cetirizine and prolong the duration of the drug’s effect.
- Drugs containing alcohol: Consuming alcohol while taking cetirizine can increase the effects of drowsiness or dizziness.
Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all medications, supplements, or vitamins you are taking before using cetirizine. This can help your doctor or pharmacist avoid unwanted drug interactions and ensure the safe use of cetirizine.
Cetirizine Side Effects and Dangers
Cetirizine is a drug that is relatively safe and effective, but like other drugs, the use of cetirizine can also cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects associated with using cetirizine include:
- Drowsiness or drowsiness
- Excessive sweating
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
While the side effects of cetirizine are usually mild and temporary, there are some rare but serious side effects to be aware of. These serious side effects include:
- A severe allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, or a rash on the skin.
- Abnormal heartbeat, fast or slow heartbeat, or irregular heartbeat.
- Liver problems such as stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes, and dark urine.
- Mood changes such as depression, anxiety, or hallucinations.
- Difficulty urinating, urinary tract infections, and swelling of the feet or hands.
If you experience serious side effects after taking cetirizine, stop using it immediately and contact your doctor immediately. If you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, call emergency services immediately.