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Cetirizine ophthalmic

Generic name: cetirizine ophthalmic [ SE-tir-I-ZEEN-OFF-thal-MIK ]
Brand name: Zerviate
Dosage form: ophthalmic solution (0.24%)
Drug class: Ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants

Medically reviewed by on Nov 7, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is cetirizine ophthalmic?

Cetirizine ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to treat itchy eyes caused by allergies.

Cetirizine is for use in adults and children at least 2 years old.

cetirizine ophthalmic is not for use in treating eye irritation caused by wearing contact lenses.

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

Cetirizine ophthalmic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common side effects of cetirizine ophthalmic may include:

  • eye pain after inserting the eye drops;

  • eye redness; or

  • decreased vision.

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.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Cetirizine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I use cetirizine ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not use while wearing soft contact lenses. A preservative in cetirizine ophthalmic could permanently stain the lenses. Use the medicine at least 10 minutes before inserting your contact lenses.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

To apply the eye drops: Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.

Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep each single-use container in the original foil pouch until you are ready to use the medicine.

Each single-use container is for only one use in both eyes. Throw the container away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Cetirizine ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis:

Instill one drop in each affected eye twice daily (approximately 8 hours apart).

Use: For treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis:

2 years and older: Instill one drop in each affected eye twice daily (approximately 8 hours apart).

Use: For treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of cetirizine is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.

What should I avoid while using cetirizine ophthalmic?

Avoid wearing contact lenses if your eyes are red.

What other drugs will affect cetirizine ophthalmic?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.