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Cetirizine Overview

Cetirizine is an antihistamine prescribed to help you deal with allergies such as hay fever.

Brand Names: Allacan, Benadryl, Cetirizine Dexcel, Cetirizine Hayfever and Allergy Relief, Cetirizine Sandoz, Piriteze Allergy, Pollenshield Hayfever

Used for: Allergies, hay fever and other symptoms associated with skin conditions.

Availability: Prescription & OTC

Dosage: 5 mg to 10 mg depending on condition

Pregnancy: Catagory B No proven risk in humans.

Side effects: Dry mouth, Sore throat, Nausea, Constipation, Headache, drowsy or tired.

Warnings: You should avoid alcohol while you’re taking cetirizine.

Notes: None

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Cetirizine pronounced as (se TIR a zeen)

Learn About:

How to take - Side Effects - Dosage - Things To Avoid - Pregnancy

Antihistamines are so called because they suppress the histamine chemical that’s released by the body to fight infections, injuries and inflammations. Hay fever and other allergies occur when the body thinks it’s under attack, despite the fact that it isn’t.

This is why allergy sufferers start sneezing, get a runny nose, or your eyes water. It’s your body attempting to flush out an infection that isn’t there.

If your allergies are causing you problems, our doctors can discuss your symptoms, identify the best treatment options and, if needed, write you a prescription that can be sent to a pharmacy of your choice, helping you get treatment as soon as possible.

How To Take Cetirizine

When it comes to taking any form of medication, the most important thing is to listen to a doctor and follow their advice. Cetirizine is no different.

It’s most commonly taken in the form of a chewable tablet or liquid, and can usually be taken with or without food.

What Does Cetirizine Treat?

Antihistamines are intended to tackle allergies. In addition to hay fever, it can also help reduce itching and other symptoms associated with skin conditions, such as hives.

What Are The Side Effects of Cetirizine?

The most important side effect of cetirizine to bear in mind is that it can make you drowsy or tired. This, in turn, can affect your decision-making abilities.

Other relatively common side effects include:

There are some more serious side effects associated with cetirizine. While these are rare, you should look out for them and consult a doctor as soon as possible if you experience:

  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • High fever
  • Uncontrollable shaking or trembling
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Issues with your sight
  • Problems urinating

In a very small number of patients, cetirizine can cause an allergic reaction. If you are having trouble breathing or notice visible swelling of your face, lips or throat, seek emergency medical help immediately.

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side-effects of Cetirizine
cetirizine dosge

Cetirizine Dosage

Usually, only one dose of cetirizine is required per day. The size of this dose will be for a doctor to decide and will depend on how serious your allergy is. Whatever they prescribe, it’s important that you follow their instructions exactly in order for the drug to work properly.

If you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s already time for your next dose. In that situation, you shouldn’t take a double dose to compensate, as this will increase the chances of side effects disrupting your everyday routine.

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Things To Avoid

Because cetirizine can affect your ability to concentrate and make decisions, it’s best to avoid doing anything that requires these skills. For example, driving and operating heavy machinery are just two of the tasks that might not be safe.

If you are required to do these things as part of your job, our doctors can write a sick note for your employer if you need to be away from work longer than your company’s self-certification period, or if your duties need to be temporarily changed.

You should also avoid taking cetirizine with any other medication that causes drowsiness, such as sleeping pills, antidepressants and muscle relaxants. It’s important that you tell your doctor if you’re taking any other medication (either prescription or over the counter), as it might mean that cetirizine isn’t suitable for you.

Alcohol and Cetirizine

You should avoid alcohol while you’re taking cetirizine.

The reason for this is that many of the side effects associated with this drug, such as drowsiness, occur because cetirizine has affected your nervous system. Alcohol can have the same effect, so combining the two has the potential to make these issues a lot worse.

In addition, it’s probably best to steer clear of alcohol whenever you’re not feeling well, in order to recover as fast as possible.

Is It Safe To Take Cetirizine During Pregnancy?

Cetirizine is not thought to cause any harm to an unborn baby. However, with few studies done in this area, doctors will use caution and decide whether the potential advantages outweigh the possible impact on the foetus. Speak to your doctor for more advice.

Breastfeeding mothers should also be aware that cetirizine can contaminate breast milk and is therefore not suitable if you’re nursing an infant. In some cases, it might be possible to prescribe a very low dose if your doctor feels it’ll be enough to treat your pregnancy related symptoms. Again, always speak to a doctor for advice.

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Talk to a Doctor Today

If you’re looking for medication to treat your allergies and think cetirizine might be suitable, book an appointment and talk it over with one of our doctors today.

They’ll assess your symptoms alongside other factors, such as your overall health and any other medication you’re on, to determine whether cetirizine is the best option or you.

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