What is Cetirizine: How to Use, Side Effects, Warnings

What is Cetirizine: How to Use, Side Effects, Warnings

What is Cetirizine


Cetirizine is an antihistamine that is being used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, sneezing, hives, and itching. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.
Cetirizine does not prevent hives or prevent/treat a serious allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis). Therefore, if your doctor has prescribed epinephrine to treat allergic reactions, always carry your epinephrine injector with you. Do not use cetirizine in placTemporarily relieves these symptoms due to hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies:
runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, itching of the nose or throate of your epinephrine.
Cetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling that is caused by hives.
Cetirizine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
It is a non-sedating antihistamine that works by blocking histamine (H-1) receptors on cells. It is similar to the other second generation antihistamines loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra) and azelastine (Astelin). Histamine is a chemical that is responsible for many of the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, for example, swelling of the lining of the nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Histamine is released from histamine-storing cells (mast cells) and then attaches to other cells that have receptors for histamine. The attachment of the histamine to the receptors causes the cells to be "activated," releasing other chemicals that produce the effects that we associate with allergy, for example, sneezing. Certirizine blocks one type of receptor for histamine (the H1 receptor) and thus prevents activation of H1 receptor-containing cells by histamine. Unlike the first generation antihistamines, cetirizine and other second-generation antihistamines do not readily enter the brain from the blood, and, therefore, they cause less drowsiness. Cetirizine may cause more drowsiness than other second generation antihistamines. The FDA approved cetirizine in September 1996.


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How to use Cetirizine


If you are taking the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all directions on the product package before taking this drug. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed, usually once daily.
If you are using the chewable tablets, chew each tablet well and swallow. If you are using the rapidly-dissolving tablet, allow the tablet to dissolve on the tongue and then swallow, with or without water. If you are using the liquid form of this drug, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the right dose.

Dosage of Cetirizine


The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed.
Tell your doctor if your allergy symptoms do not get better, if your hives do not improve after 3 days of treatment, or if your hives last more than 6 weeks. Get medical help right away if your situation worsens or if you think you have a serious medical problem (such as a very serious allergic reaction/anaphylaxis).
Take cetirizine exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take cetirizine with or without food. The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they get worse, or if you also have a fever. Store cetirizine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


Symptoms of overdose


Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include feeling restless or nervous, and then feeling drowsy.


Side effects of Cetirizine


Drowsiness, tiredness, and dry mouth may occur. Stomach pain may also occur, especially in children. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, While Using This Product
drowsiness may occur, avoid alcoholic drinks alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness
be cautious when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery
Stop use and ask a doctor if an allergic reaction to this product occurs. Seek medical help right away. contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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 sight; or
urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious side effects may include:
dizziness, drowsiness;
tired feeling;
dry mouth;
sore throat, cough;
nausea, constipation; or
headache.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

Cetirizine

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Drugs that may interact to Cetirizine


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not include all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products that you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Cetirizine is very similar to hydroxyzine and levocetirizine. Do not use these medications while using cetirizine.
This drug may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin testing), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
There may be other drugs that can interact with cetirizine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Can you use it while pregnancy?
if breast-feeding: not recommended
if pregnant: ask a health professional before use.


Warnings of Cetirizine


Before taking cetirizine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to this drug; or to hydroxyzine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
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 make you drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.
Liquid products may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Different brands of this medication may have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company
 

Cetirizine
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