What is Cetirizine and why is it prescribed?
Cetirizine is an antihistamine. It is prescribed to treat the sneezing; itchy, runny nose; and itchy, red, watery eyes caused by seasonal allergies such as hay fever. Cetirizine also relieves the symptoms of year-round allergies due to dust, mold, and animal dander. This medication is also used in the treatment of chronic itchy skin and hives. Cetirizine may cause drowsiness. Be especially careful driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how you react to this medication.

How should you take Cetirizine?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Cetirizine. Take Cetirizine once a day, exactly as prescribed. This medication can be taken with or without food. Cetirizine may make your mouth dry. Sucking hard candy, chewing a stick of gum, or melting bits of ice in your mouth can provide relief. If you miss a dose and you are taking this medication on a regular schedule, take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. Store Cetirizine tablets and syrup at room temperature.

Are there any Cetirizine side effects?
Cetirizine side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. More common Cetirizine side effects in adults may include drowsiness, dry mouth, and fatigue. Less common Cetirizine side effects in adults may include dizziness and sore throat. More common Cetirizine side effects in children aged 6 to 11 may include abdominal pain, coughing, diarrhea, headache, nosebleed, sleepiness, sore throat, and wheezing. Less common Cetirizine side effects in children aged 6 to 11 may include nausea and vomiting.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Cetirizine?
If Cetirizine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. You should avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, or muscle relaxants while using Cetirizine. They can lead to increased drowsiness and reduced mental alertness. Among the products to avoid are the following: Antidepressants (such as Tofranil, Elavil, Ludiomil, and Anafranil), Muscle relaxants (such as Valium and Soma), Pain-relieving narcotics (such as codeine, Demerol, and Percocet), Sedatives (such as Nembutal, Seconal, and phenobarbital), Sleeping pills (such as Halcion, Restoril, and Ambien), or High doses of theophylline (Theo-Dur).

Are there any special warnings about Cetirizine?
If you have kidney or liver disease, be sure to tell your doctor. Your dose of Cetirizine may have to be reduced.

Information on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not replace discussions with your doctor.


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