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levocetirizine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: levocetirizine (LEE voe se TIR a zeen)
Brand Name: Xyzal, LEVRIX, XYZALL

What is levocetirizine?

Levocetirizine 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.

Levocetirizine is used to treat symptoms of year-round (perennial) allergies in adults and children who are at least 6 months old. It is also used to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

Levocetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by chronic urticaria (hives) in adults and children who are at least 6 months old.

Levocetirizine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about levocetirizine?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levocetirizine or cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Do not take levocetirizine if you have end-stage kidney disease or if you are on dialysis. Any child younger than 12 years old with kidney disease should not take levocetirizine.

Slideshow: OTC Medication Use In Pregnancy: Wise or Worrisome?

Before taking levocetirizine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or gallbladder problems.

It is very important not to give a child more than the prescribed dose of this medication. A child's body absorbs twice as much of the same dose size of levocetirizine as an adult's body.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they get worse, or if you also have a fever.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levocetirizine?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levocetirizine or cetirizine (Zyrtec).

You should not take levocetirizine if you have end-stage kidney disease or if you are on dialysis. Any child younger than 12 years old with kidney disease should not take levocetirizine.

To make sure you can safely take levocetirizine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • enlarged prostate or urination problems; or

  • gallbladder problems.

FDA pregnancy category B. Levocetirizine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Levocetirizine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking levocetirizine.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.

How should I take levocetirizine?

Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

It is very important not to give a child more than the prescribed dose of this medication. A child's body absorbs twice as much of the same dose size of levocetirizine as an adult's body.

Taking more of this medication will not make it more effective, and may cause severe drowsiness.

You may take this medication with or without food.

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 at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking levocetirizine?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of levocetirizine.

Levocetirizine side effects

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 levocetirizine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • nosebleed (especially in a child);

  • pain or fullness in your ear, hearing problems;

  • depression, agitation, aggression, hallucinations;

  • numbness or tingling around your lips or mouth;

  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • dark-colored urine, foul-smelling stools; or

  • fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite.

Other common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, weakness;

  • tired feeling;

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat, cough;

  • vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • dry mouth; or

  • weight gain.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Levocetirizine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria;
5 mg orally once daily in the evening

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria:

Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria;
5 mg orally once daily in the evening

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

Seasonal allergic rhinitis:
12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening
6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening
2 to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the evening

Perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria:
12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening
6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening
6 months to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the evening

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urticaria:

Seasonal allergic rhinitis:
12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening
6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening
2 to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the evening

Perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria:
12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening
6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening
6 months to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the evening

What other drugs will affect levocetirizine?

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by levocetirizine.

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with levocetirizine, especially:

  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra); or

  • theophylline (Aquaphyllin, Asmalix, Elixophyllin, Theolair, Theosol).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with levocetirizine, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about levocetirizine.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 2012-11-15, 4:13:18 PM.

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