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Cetirizine

Brand Names: Zyrtec

Generic Name: Cetirizine

Drug Class: Antihistamines

What Is Cetirizine and How Does It Work?

Cetirizine is a prescription approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and over-the-counter antihistamine medication. This drug may be used as a treatment for annual or seasonal allergic and vasomotor rhinitis (inflammation of the membranes of the nose not caused by an allergy). This medication is also used as a treatment to provide relief of cold symptoms and other conditions such as urticaria (hives), angioedema, anaphylactic reactions, pruritus, and allergic conjunctivitis.

Cetirizine works by blocking a certain natural substance (called histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. It works against the production of histamine, and belongs to as class of medications called antihistamines.

Cetirizine is available under the following different brand names: Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Hives Relief, PediaCare Children's 24 Hour Allergy, Aller-Tec, and Wal-Zyr.

Dosages of Cetirizine:

Adult and pediatric dosages

Tablet

  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg

Tablet, oral-disintegrating

  • 10 mg

Tablet, chewable

  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg

Syrup

  • 5 mg/5 ml

Solution

  • 5 mg/5 ml

Geriatric

  • 5 mg orally once per day, may increase to 10 mg per day maximum, depending on the severity of the symptoms, not to exceed 5 mg per day in patients over 77 years old

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Allergic Conditions, Including Hay Fever and Hives

Perennial and seasonal allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis; relief of symptoms from colds, hives, rapid swelling, acute allergic reactions, pruritus, and allergic conjunctivitis

Adults

  • 5 mg to 10 mg orally each day, depending on severity of symptoms; not to exceed 10 mg each day.

Children

  • Children under 2 years: Safety and efficacy not established

Children 2-6 years old

  • 2.5 mg (0.5 teaspoon) oral solution orally once daily; can increase to 5 mg orally once per day or 2.5 mg orally twice daily; not to exceed 5 mg per day

Children over 6 years:

  • 5-10 mg orally each day, depending on severity of symptoms; not to exceed 10 mg per day

Dosing Modifications

Renal impairment, adult

  • GFR greater than 50 mL/min: Dose adjustment not necessary
  • GFR less than 50 mL/min: 5 mg orally each day

Renal impairment, pediatric

  • GFR equal to 30 mL/min/1.73 m²: Dose adjustment not necessary
  • GFR 10-29 mL/min/1.73 m²: Decrease dose by 50%
  • GFR lower than 10 mL/min/1.73 m²: Not recommended

Peritoneal dialysis: 5 mg orally each day

Adult

  • Intermittent hemodialysis: 5 mg orally each day; may also administer 3 times weekly

Pediatric

Hepatic impairment

  • Dose adjustment not provided by manufacturer's label

Administration

  • May be taken with or without food

SLIDESHOW

Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers See Slideshow

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cetirizine?

Common side effects include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and other serious side effects may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about other types of side effects.

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
  • tranylcypromine

Moderate Interactions of Cetirizine include:

  • bosutinib
  • clobazam
  • crizotinib
  • declatasvir
  • eliglustat
  • hyaluronidase
  • lomitapide
  • lurasidone
  • ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir
  • phenelzine
  • ponatinib
  • ritonavir
  • vemurafenib

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.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Cetirizine?

Warnings

  • Documented hypersensitivity to cetirizine or hydroxyzine
  • This medication contains cetirizine. Do not take Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Hives Relief, PediaCare Children's 24 Hour Allergy, Aller-Tec, or Wal-Zyr if you are allergic to cetirizine or any ingredients contained in this drug
  • Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately

Contraindications

  • Avoid use if there is hypersensitivity to cetirizine or hydroxyzine.

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • Avoid use of alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers as cetirizine can increased the risk of drowsiness. Cetirizine may cause central nervous system depression; avoid activities requiring mental alertness until accustomed to medication.
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cetirizine?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cetirizine?"

Cautions

  • Avoid use of alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers as cetirizine can increased the risk of drowsiness
  • Cetirizine may cause central nervous system depression; avoid activities requiring mental alertness until accustomed to medication Use caution in hepatic and renal impairment The elderly may be more sensitive to adverse effects

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use of cetirizine in pregnancy may be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies are not available, or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies were done and showed no risk
  • Zyrtec-D 12-hour use with caution in pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done
  • Cetirizine is excreted in breast milk, use is not recommended while breastfeeding

QUESTION

Allergies can best be described as: See Answer
References
SOURCE:
Medscape. Cetirizine.
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/zyrtec-cetirizine-343384#6
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