Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 23, 2023.
Uses of Zyrtec:
- It is used to ease allergy signs.
- It is used to treat hives.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Zyrtec?
- If you are allergic to Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets); any part of Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Zyrtec?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets) affects you.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets).
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets).
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- If you are 65 or older, use Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Zyrtec) best taken?
Use Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
What are some other side effects of Zyrtec?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Dry mouth.
- Belly pain.
- Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Zyrtec?
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Zyrtec (cetirizine capsules and tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- Zyrtec vs Claritin: Which is more effective for allergies?
- Can I take Allegra in the morning and Zyrtec in the evening?
- I took Zyrtec for 1 year but have now stopped. How long does it stay in the body?
- Should cetirizine be taken at bedtime or upon awakening?
- Can you take antihistamines when pregnant?
- Is Generic Zyrtec Available?
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.