Cetirizine is an anti-allergy medication that's for relieving symptoms related to allergy such as itching, watery eyes and running nose. It works by blocking histamine that your body makes during an allergic reaction.
It is administered in the form of an oral tablet and suspension. There is no intravenous preparation.
Compared to older common antihistaminics, cetirizine has the least sedative effect i.e. less sleep and drowsiness. It's also a one-a-day dose and can be safely given to most age groups. It has the least drug-to-drug interactions and can be used safely along with other drugs.
Side effects include: drowsiness, tiredness and dry mouth may occur. In children, it may cause stomach pain.
People that suffer from the following symptoms and ailments should consider taking cetirizine:
- allergicrhinitis(atypeof inflammation in the nose, which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air)
- chronicurticarial(anitchyrash that persists on and off for six weeks or more)
- itching-asasymptomatic relief, associated with any other disease
Cetirizine should not be taken by:
- Children less than 6 months of age
- Lactating mothers
- Patients with known hypersensitivity to cetirizine
Dose adjustments may be required for patients with liver and kidney diseases. In patients that 65 years of age or older, cetirizine should be used with caution. Activities like driving should be avoided by patients who are taking cetirizine.
Cetirizine is commercially sold under the following brands names: Zirtec, Zyrtec, Reactine and Triz.