Cetirizine: Uses & Side Effects

Cetirizine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. It is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose. Cetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by hives.

How should I take cetirizine?

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.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cetirizine.

Before taking cetirizine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Cetirizine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use cetirizine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may need to take a lower than normal dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Side Effects

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 vision;
  • 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;
  • headache.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Keywords: cetirizine; antihistamine.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.