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.

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

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.


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.


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
  • 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

Keywords: cetirizine; antihistamine.

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