Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Respiratory Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Antihistamine, Less-Sedating
Chemical Class: Piperazine (class)
Uses For This Medicine
Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and hives of the skin. It works by preventing the effects of a substance called histamine, which is produced by the body. Histamine can cause itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. It can close up the bronchial tubes (air passages of the lungs) and make breathing difficult. Histamine can also cause some persons to have hives, with severe itching of the skin.
Levocetirizine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For levocetirizine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to levocetirizine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of levocetirizine in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established in infants younger than 6 months of age.
Use in children 6 months to 11 years of age with kidney disease is not recommended.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of levocetirizine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving levocetirizine.
|All Trimesters||B||Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of levocetirizine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Enlarged prostate or
- Lesions in the spinal cord—Use with caution. May increase risk for urinary retention.
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects of levocetirizine may be increased because of slower removal from the body.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Kidney failure—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Urinary retention (problem passing urine)—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take levocetirizine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
You may take levocetirizine with or without food.
Measure the oral solution with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
The dose of levocetirizine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of levocetirizine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage forms (solution or tablets):
- For hay fever or hives:
- Adults and children 12 years of age and older—5 milligrams (mg) or 10 milliliters (mL) once a day in the evening. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children 6 to 11 years of age—2.5 mg (half tablet) or 5 mL once a day in the evening.
- Children 6 months to 5 years of age—1.25 mg or 2.5 mL once a day in the evening.
- Infants up to 6 months of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For hay fever or hives:
If you miss a dose of levocetirizine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Levocetirizine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to levocetirizine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.
Levocetirizine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you are taking levocetirizine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Bloody nose
Incidence not known
- attack, assault, or force
- blurred or loss of vision
- dark urine
- decrease in the frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- difficulty with swallowing
- disturbed color perception
- double vision
- dry mouth
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- general tiredness and weakness
- halos around lights
- hives or welts
- itching skin
- joint or muscle pain
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- light-colored stools
- nausea and vomiting
- night blindness
- overbright appearance of lights
- painful urination
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness of the skin
- skin rash
- tightness in the chest
- trouble with sleeping
- tunnel vision
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- yellow eyes and skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- muscle aches
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches or pain
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- redness or swelling in the ear
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- voice changes
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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