Cetirizine (By mouth)


Cetirizine (se-TIR-i-zeen)
Treats hay fever and allergy symptoms, hives, and itching. This medicine is an antihistamine.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Zyrtec, Rite Aid Cetirizine Hydrochloride, All Day Allergy, Good Neighbor Pharmacy All Day Allergy, Good Sense All Day Allergy, TopCare All Day Allergy, Zyrtec Allergy, Children's All Day Allergy, Children's Zyrtec, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Children's All Day Allergy, Children's Cetirizine Hydrochloride, TopCare Children's All Day Allergy, Rite Aid Children's Cetirizine, Good Sense Children's All Day Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Allergy

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to cetirizine or hydroxyzine (Atarax®, Vistaril®). Do not give any over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine to a baby or child under 2 years old. Using these medicines in very young children might cause serious or possibly life-threatening side effects.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Capsule, Liquid
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Chew the chewable tablet thoroughly before you swallow it. You may also let the chewable tablet melt slowly in your mouth.
  • Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew, crush, or break it.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • The liquid medicine may be kept in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using theophylline.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while using this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicines that might make you sleepy such as cold or allergy medicines, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, or strong pain killers.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Talk with your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Check with your doctor before using this medicine if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Skin or whites of your eyes turn yellow.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Dry mouth.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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