What is this medication?
CETIRIZINE (se TI ra zeen) prevents and treats allergy symptoms, such as red, itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, or hives. It works by blocking histamine, a substance released by the body during an allergic reaction. It belongs to a group of medications called antihistamines.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): All Day Allergy, Allergy Relief, Zyrtec, Zyrtec Hives Relief
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to cetirizine, hydroxyzine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medication with food or on an empty stomach. Take your medication at regular times. Do not take more often than directed. You may need to take this medication for several days before your symptoms improve.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
- Certain medications for anxiety or sleep
- Narcotic medications for pain
- Other medications for colds or allergies
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your health. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not improve.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Dry mouth
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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