What is the most important information I should know about cetirizine?
Before using cetirizine tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies, all medicines you use, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What is cetirizine?
Cetirizine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.
Cetirizine oral is used in adults and children to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose.
Cetirizine injection is used to treat hives (urticaria) in adults and children at least 6 months old.
Cetirizine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using cetirizine?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to cetirizine or levocetirizine.
Cetirizine injection is not for use in children young than 6 years old who have liver or kidney disease.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take cetirizine oral if you have any medical conditions.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Before you are treated with cetirizine injection in an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you received this medicine.
How should I use cetirizine?
Cetirizine oral is taken by mouth.
Cetirizine injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection once every 24 hours as needed to treat hives.
Use cetirizine oral exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Older adults may need to take a lower than normal dose. Follow your doctor's instructions.
You may take cetirizine with or without food.
You must chew the chewable tablet before you swallow it.
Do not swallow the dissolving tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they get worse, or if you also have a fever.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, vision problems, agitation, feeling restless and then drowsy or tired, fast heartbeats, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, trouble walking, or trouble swallowing or speaking.
What should I avoid while using cetirizine?
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking cetirizine.
What are the possible side effects of cetirizine?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
- weakness, tremors (uncontrolled shaking), or sleep problems (insomnia);
- severe restless feeling, hyperactivity;
- problems with vision; or
- little or no urination.
Common side effects may include:
- drowsiness, tiredness;
- dizziness, feeling light-headed;
- feeling hot, sweating;
- numbness, tingling, burning pain;
- decreased sense of taste;
- upset stomach, nausea, constipation; or
- dry mouth, sore throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect cetirizine?
Using cetirizine with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Other drugs may affect cetirizine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about cetirizine.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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