Skip to Content

Cetirizine (Ophthalmic)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 18, 2020.


(se TI ra zeen)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Solution, Ophthalmic, as hydrochloride [strength expressed as base]:

Zerviate: 0.24% (30 ea) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium, polysorbate 80]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Zerviate

Pharmacologic Category

  • Histamine H1 Antagonist
  • Histamine H1 Antagonist, Second Generation
  • Piperazine Derivative


Selective histamine H1-receptor antagonist for topical ophthalmic use.

Half-Life Elimination

~8 hours

Use: Labeled Indications

Allergic conjunctivitis: Treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.


There are no contraindications listed in the manufacturer's labeling.

Dosing: Adult

Allergic conjunctivitis: Ophthalmic: Instill 1 drop in affected eye(s) twice daily (~8 hours apart).

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Allergic conjunctivitis: Ophthalmic: Children ≥2 years and Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing.


For topical ophthalmic use only. Use single-use containers immediately after opening; single-use containers can be used to dose both eyes. Wash hands before use. Do not touch dropper tip to eyelids, surrounding areas, or any surface. Remove contact lenses prior to administration. After instilling drops, wait ≥10 minutes before inserting contact lenses. Do not wear contacts lenses if eyes are red. Discard single-use container and remaining contents immediately after use.


Store at 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). Store single-use containers in original foil pouch.

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

1% to 10%:

Local: Local pain (instillation site)

Ophthalmic: Decreased visual acuity, ocular hyperemia


Special populations:

• Contact lens wearers: Contains benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by contact lenses; remove lenses prior to administration and wait 10 minutes before reinserting. Not for the treatment of contact lens irritation; do not wear contact lenses if eyes are red.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: For topical ophthalmic use only. To avoid eye injury and contamination, do not touch dropper tip of the bottle or single-use container to eyelids, surrounding area, or any surface.

Pregnancy Considerations

The amount of cetirizine absorbed systemically following ophthalmic administration is significantly less than when administered orally. If ophthalmic agents are needed during pregnancy, the minimum effective dose should be used in combination with punctal occlusion to decrease potential exposure to the fetus (Samples 1988).

Refer to the Cetirizine (Systemic) monograph for additional information.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to ease allergy signs in the eye.

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:

• Eye redness

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:

• Vision changes

• Eye pain

• Severe eye irritation

• 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.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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