How Effective is Cetirizine & What are its Side Effects?

Cetirizine is a kind of antihistamine which helps in reducing the natural chemical histamine present in the body. Histamine produces the symptoms of runny nose, water eyesitching and sneezing.

Cetirizine is effectively used for treating flu or allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, itching or sneezing. Cetirizine can also be used for treating swelling and itching caused by hives.

Cetirizine can have severe side effects that might impair your reactions or thinking. Ensure that you do not take this medicine before driving or before anything that requires you to be alert and awake. Avoid drinking alcohol. Consumption of alcohol prior to this medicine might increase the side effects of cetirizine.

If you are taking any other medicine which might make you sleepy; any medicines like muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, medicine for anxiety, depression or seizures, narcotic pain medicine, allergy medicine, ensure that you tell your doctor about it. These medicines might add to your sleepiness which is caused by Cetirizine. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse or if you have fever, immediately see your doctor.

If you are allergic to cetirizine, you MUST NOT use this medicine. Ensure that you tell your physicians about all your medical conditions before taking this medicine. Senior citizens might take lower dose than the normal one. In any case, follow your doctor’s instructions.

How Effective is Cetirizine?

How Effective is Cetirizine?

Cetirizine is used for treating allergic reactions like chronic urticaria and perennial allergic rhinitis. It is good for controlling symptoms of runny nose, watery eyes, itching and sneezing.

  • It may be taken without or with food.
  • If you get drowsy by consuming cetirizine, do not drive or operate any machinery after having it.
  • Alcohol consumption along with cetirizine would cause reduction in alertness.
  • Store this medicine at room temperature. Keep it away from moisture and heat.

The response & effectiveness of Cetirizine is excellent. Within one hour of administration of cetirizine syrup or tablets, the person reaches peak concentration. A single dose of cetirizine has effect for at least 24 hours. Taking 20mg of cetirizine offers no additional effect but 10mg of cetirizine is more effective than 5mg cetirizine.

Is it Safe to Take Cetirizine if I am Pregnant?

Cetirizine is expected to harm an unborn baby. If you are planning to become a mother or are pregnant, make sure to tell your doctor about it. Cetirizine may pass in breast milk and can harm the nursing baby. If you’re breast feeding a baby, tell your doctor about it.

How Cetirizine Works?

Cetirizine is a kind of antihistamine which works on histamine receptors for blocking the allergy symptoms and allergic response.

How Can Cetirizine Medicine Be Taken?

It is recommended to take this medicine exactly as instructed on the label or as prescribed by your physician. Don’t use it for more time than recommended or in inappropriate amount.

  • Ensure that you chew the chewable tablet before swallowing.
  • Do not use regular tea spoon to take the syrup. It is advised to use only the special dose measuring cup or spoon. If you do not have one, you can buy it from any pharmacist.

What are the Side Effects of Cetirizine?

There are a few side effects of Cetirizine. If you are suffering from any of the following or have any of these symptoms of allergic reactions such as swelling of tongue, face, throat or lips, difficulty in breathing, get medical help immediately. If you are suffering from any of serious side effects like following, stop using this medicine and see your doctor at once:

  • Not defecating at all or urinating less than always
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Hyperactivity or severe restless feeling
  • Sleeping problems or insomnia
  • Uncontrolled shaking (tremors) or weakness
  • Uneven, pounding or fast heartbeat.

Some Less Serious Side Effects of Cetirizine are:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Tired feeling
  • Dry mouth or sore throat or cough
  • Constipation, nausea or headache.

Generally, Cetirizine medicine does not cause any drowsiness. However, this medicine works differently on different people. Hence, precautions MUST be taken before operating any machinery or driving until you know all the effects of cetirizine.

It may cause cough, abdominal pain, sore throat or headache in some people.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 9, 2021

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