Zyrtec Side Effects
Generic Name: cetirizine
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 16, 2020.
Note: This document contains side effect information about cetirizine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Zyrtec.
For the Consumer
Applies to cetirizine: intravenous solution
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, cetirizine (the active ingredient contained in Zyrtec) 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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking cetirizine:
Incidence not known
- relaxed and calm
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of cetirizine 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:
- Acid or sour stomach
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- change or loss of taste
- feeling hot
- increased sweating
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
Incidence not known
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to cetirizine: intravenous solution, oral capsule, oral liquid, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet dispersible
Very common (10% or more): Somnolence (up to 14.3%), headache (up to 14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness
Frequency not reported: Altered sense of taste, paresthesia, hypertonia, tremor, abnormal coordination/incoordination, ataxia, hyperesthesia, hyperkinesia, hypoesthesia, migraine, paralysis, twitching, parosmia, taste loss/perversion
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspepsia
Frequency not reported: Tongue disorder, constipation, flatulence, increased salivation, aggravated tooth caries, eructation, gastritis, hemorrhoids, melena, rectal hemorrhage, stomatitis/ulcerative stomatitis, tongue discoloration/edema, enlarged abdomen[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Pharyngitis, rhinitis, coughing, epistaxis
Frequency not reported: Dyspnea, respiratory disorder, bronchospasm, upper respiratory tract infection, dysphonia, bronchitis, hyperventilation, increased sputum, pneumonia, sinusitis, nasal polyp[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue
Frequency not reported: Earache, tinnitus, fever, pain, rigor, thirst, deafness, ototoxicity, accidental injury, face edema, leg edema, malaise
Postmarketing reports: Asthenia, stillbirth[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia
Frequency not reported: Nervousness, impaired concentration, confusion, decreased libido, abnormal thinking, anxiety, depersonalization, emotional lability, euphoria, paroniria, sleep disorder
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Myelitis
Frequency not reported: Pruritus/intense itching, increased sweating, acne, alopecia, bullous eruption, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, erythematous rash, furunculosis, hyperkeratosis, hypertrichosis, maculopapular rash, photosensitivity/photosensitivity toxic reaction, purpura, seborrhea, skin disorder/nodule
Frequency not reported: Eye abnormality, periorbital edema, abnormal vision, eye pain, conjunctivitis, ptosis, visual field defects, blindness, glaucoma, ocular hemorrhage, xerophthalmia, periorbital edema/eye swelling
Postmarketing reports: Accommodation disorder/loss of accommodation, blurred vision, oculogyration, orofacial dyskinesia[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Polyuria, urinary retention, urinary tract infection, dysmenorrhea, hematuria, micturition frequency, urinary incontinence, female breast pain, intermenstrual bleeding, leukorrhea, menorrhagia, vaginitis
Frequency not reported: Reversible transaminase elevations
Postmarketing reports: Abnormal hepatic function (increased transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, GGT, bilirubin), cholestasis, hepatitis[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Allergic reactions/delayed allergic reactions
Frequency not reported: Lymphadenopathy
Frequency not reported: Cystitis
Postmarketing reports: Glomerulonephritis[Ref]
1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
2. "Product Information. Zyrtec (cetirizine)." Pfizer US Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY.
3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
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? And before or after any particular meal?
More about Zyrtec (cetirizine)
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.