Generic Name: cetirizine (se TIR a zeen)
Brand Name: All Day Allergy, All Day Allergy Children's, Indoor/Outdoor Allergy Relief, ZyrTEC
What is cetirizine?
Cetirizine 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.
Cetirizine is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose.
Cetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by chronic urticaria (hives).
Cetirizine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about cetirizine?
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.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cetirizine?
You should not use cetirizine if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have any medical conditions.
It is not known whether cetirizine will harm an unborn baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether cetirizine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take cetirizine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Older adults may need to take a lower than normal dose. Follow your doctor's instructions.
You may take this medication with or without food.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
Do not swallow the dissolving tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. 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. Do not allow the liquid form of this medicine to freeze.
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.
Overdose symptoms may include feeling restless or nervous, and then feeling drowsy.
What should I avoid while taking cetirizine?
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking cetirizine.
Cetirizine 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.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
weakness, tremors (uncontrolled shaking), or sleep problems (insomnia);
severe restless feeling, hyperactivity;
problems with vision; or
little or no urination.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, constipation; or
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)
What other drugs will affect cetirizine?
Taking cetirizine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with cetirizine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Zyrtec (cetirizine)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 98 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: antihistamines
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about cetirizine.
- 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: 11.01.
Date modified: March 15, 2017
Last reviewed: January 30, 2017