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Cetirizine/ pseudoephedrine

Generic Name: cetirizine/pseudoephedrine (seh-TIH-rih-zeen/SUE-doe-eh-FED-rin)
Brand Name: Zyrtec-D 12 Hour

Cetirizine/ pseudoephedrine is used for:

Relieving nasal and non-nasal symptoms associated with seasonal and perennial allergies such as watery or itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and stuffy nose.

Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine is a decongestant (pseudoephedrine) and antihistamine (cetirizine) combination. It works by blocking a chemical in the body, histamine, which causes allergy symptoms. It also shrinks swollen nasal passages, which relieves nasal congestion.

Do NOT use cetirizine/ pseudoephedrine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in cetirizine/pseudoephedrine
  • you have narrow-angle glaucoma, severe difficulty urinating, very high blood pressure, or severe heart or blood vessel disease
  • you are currently taking or have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

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

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using cetirizine/ pseudoephedrine:

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

  • if you are pregnant, planning 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 diabetes, difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate, heart or kidney problems, an overactive thyroid, glaucoma, or high blood pressure

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with cetirizine/pseudoephedrine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Furazolidone or MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) because they can cause serious, sometimes fatal, reactions. Do not take MAO inhibitors within 2 weeks of taking cetirizine/pseudoephedrine.
  • Certain stimulants (albuterol, amphetamine), digitalis (eg, digoxin), or droxidopa because toxic effects on the heart may occur
  • Urinary alkalinizers (eg, sodium bicarbonate) because it may increase the actions and side effects of cetirizine/pseudoephedrine
  • Bromocriptine or certain antihypertensives (guanethidine, methyldopa, mecamylamine, reserpine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by cetirizine/pseudoephedrine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cetirizine/pseudoephedrine 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/ pseudoephedrine:

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

  • Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine may be taken with or without food.
  • Swallow whole. Do not crush, break, or chew before swallowing.
  • If you miss a dose of cetirizine/pseudoephedrine, 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/pseudoephedrine.

Important safety information:

  • Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to cetirizine/pseudoephedrine. Using cetirizine/pseudoephedrine alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medicines that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking cetirizine/pseudoephedrine. Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the best time to take cetirizine/pseudoephedrine.
  • Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine may interfere with allergy test results. Check with your doctor for more information.
  • Diabetes patients - Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine may affect your blood sugar level. Your doctor may need to change the amount of diabetes medicine you are taking.
  • Use cetirizine/pseudoephedrine with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness.
  • Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine is not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in the age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using cetirizine/pseudoephedrine during pregnancy. Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking cetirizine/pseudoephedrine.

Possible side effects of cetirizine/ pseudoephedrine:

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:

Dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; fatigue; headache; nausea; nervousness; sore throat; trouble sleeping.

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; difficulty urinating; mental or mood changes; persistent tiredness; seizures; sleeplessness; uncontrolled shaking or tremor; unusually fast/irregular heart rhythm; weakness; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; difficulty breathing; hallucinations; irregular or fast heartbeat; loss of consciousness; seizures; severe drowsiness; sleeplessness; tremors.

Proper storage of cetirizine/pseudoephedrine:

Store cetirizine/pseudoephedrine at room temperature, 68 to 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep cetirizine/pseudoephedrine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cetirizine/pseudoephedrine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cetirizine/pseudoephedrine 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take cetirizine/pseudoephedrine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about cetirizine/pseudoephedrine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to cetirizine/pseudoephedrine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using cetirizine/pseudoephedrine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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