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Generic Name: Cetirizine Tablets (se-TI-ra-zeen)
Brand Name: Zyrtec

Cetirizine is used for:

Preventing or treating symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies such as stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, itching of the nose and throat, and itchy, watery eyes. It is also used for preventing or treating chronic hives. It may also be used to treat certain conditions as determined by your doctor that may not be listed in the professional package insert.

Cetirizine is an antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamine and reduces the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Do NOT use Cetirizine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Cetirizine
  • you have an allergy to hydroxyzine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Cetirizine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Cetirizine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems, or are receiving blood dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Cetirizine . However, no specific interactions with Cetirizine are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Cetirizine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Cetirizine :

Use Cetirizine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Cetirizine by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Cetirizine , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Cetirizine .

Important safety information:

  • Cetirizine may cause drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Cetirizine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Cetirizine ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Cetirizine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Cetirizine . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Use Cetirizine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness.
  • If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Cetirizine while you are pregnant. Cetirizine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Cetirizine .

Possible side effects of Cetirizine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Drowsiness; dry mouth; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine; increased heart rate; persistent fatigue; yellowing of eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include irritability; restlessness; severe drowsiness.

Proper storage of Cetirizine :

Store Cetirizine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Cetirizine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Cetirizine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cetirizine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Cetirizine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Where can I get more information about Cetirizine ? We recommend to use www.Drugs.com

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