Cetirizine hydrochloride (Zyrtec®) is effective at relieving sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms. The medication also can be used to treat itching due to hives, whether they are caused by allergies or not. It is available in tablets, chewable tablets, liquid-filled capsules, and syrup, and is usually taken once a day.
Prior to taking cetirizine, it is a good idea to review the drug's safety information. For example, side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth may occur. In addition, this medicine is not right for certain people, such as those with liver or kidney disease.
(Click Cetirizine for more information on this drug, including how it works, whether you can buy the medication without a prescription, and what to do in cases of overdose.)
Written by/reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: ArthurSchoenstadt, MD
List of references (click here):
Zyrtec Web site. Available at: http://www.zyrtec.com/econsumer/zyrtec/index.view. Accessed April 2, 2010.
Zyrtec [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Inc.;2006 May.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob. Accessed February 6, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed February 6, 2008.
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