"What are allergies?
Allergies occur when the body's immune system responds to a substance it considers an "invader." Substances that provoke the immune system into an allergic response are known as allergens. There is no such thing as a"...
(cetirizine hydrochloride) Tablets, Chewable Tablets and Syrup
Now available Over-The-Counter (OTC); No prescription needed.
Cetirizine hydrochloride, the active component of ZYRTEC® (cetirizine) tablets and syrup, is an orally active and selective H1-receptor antagonist. The chemical name is (±) - [2- [4- [ (4-chlorophenyl)phenylmethyl] -1- piperazinyl] ethoxy]acetic acid, dihydrochloride. Cetirizine hydrochloride is a racemic compound with an empirical formula of C21H25ClN2O3•2HCl. The molecular weight is 461.82 and the chemical structure is shown below:
Cetirizine hydrochloride is a white, crystalline powder and is water soluble. ZYRTEC (cetirizine) tablets are formulated as white, film-coated, rounded-off rectangular shaped tablets for oral administration and are available in 5 and 10 mg strengths. Inactive ingredients are: lactose monohydrate; microcrystalline cellulose; colloidal silicon dioxide; croscarmellose sodium; magnesium stearate; titanium dioxide; hypromellose; and polyethylene glycol.
ZYRTEC (cetirizine) chewable tablets are formulated as purple round tablets for oral administration and are available in 5 and 10 mg strengths. Inactive ingredients of the chewable tablets are: acesulfame potassium; artificial grape flavor; betadex, NF; blue dye; colloidal silicon dioxide; lactose monohydrate; magnesium stearate; mannitol; microcrystalline cellulose; natural flavor; red dye (carmine).
ZYRTEC (cetirizine) syrup is a colorless to slightly yellow syrup containing cetirizine hydrochloride at a concentration of 1 mg/mL (5 mg/5 mL) for oral administration. The pH is between 4 and 5. The inactive ingredients of the syrup are: banana flavor; glacial acetic acid; glycerin; grape flavor; methylparaben; propylene glycol; propylparaben; sodium acetate; sugar syrup; and water.
What are the possible side effects of cetirizine?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
- weakness, tremors (uncontrolled shaking), or sleep problems (insomnia);
- severe restless feeling, hyperactivity;
- problems with vision; or
- urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious side effects may include:
What are the precautions when taking cetirizine (Zyrtec)?
Before taking cetirizine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to hydroxyzine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: difficulty urinating (such as due to an enlarged prostate), kidney disease, liver disease.
If you are using this medication to treat hives, tell your doctor right away if you have any of these other symptoms because they may be signs of a more serious condition: hives that are an unusual color, hives that look bruised or blistered, hives that do not itch.
This drug may...
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/16/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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