Zyrtec is a brand name for cetirizine which belong to an anti-histaminic group of drugs. Anti-histamine groups of drugs are divided into two generations depending upon their discoveries, receptors on which they work and side effects. Cetirizine belongs to the second generation of antihistamine groups of drugs which have very least amount of side effects and improved efficacy as when compared with a first-generation antihistaminic group of drugs. Its more refined optical isomer known as levocetirizine is also available in the market which is even better than the previous one.
Does Zyrtec Help Anxiety?
Zyrtec is not prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication because it does not relieve the anxiety issues directly and the mechanism of action is also not based upon it. But it can resolve the symptoms arising due to anxiety-like flushing of the cheeks, choking of the throat, running nose, etc. So, it can be used in association with other anti-anxiety medications to relieve the symptoms more easily. That is why Zyrtec is given as an anti-anxiety medication in an indirect form to resolve the symptoms.
Anti-anxiety medications are a separate group of drugs belonging to sedatives and hypnotics and consist of the zolam group of drugs. A few of the examples of an anti-anxiety group of drugs are alprazolam, lorazepam, midazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, oxazepam, triazolam, nitrazepam, etc.(1) These drugs belong to schedule 3 groups of the pharmaceutical classification of drugs and allied substances. In this schedule, those drugs are kept which are both beneficial and harmful for the patient. The benefit to harm ratio is more in schedule 3 drugs which means the overall benefit of the drug is more than the harm caused by it.
Can You Get Anti-Anxiety Medication Over The Counter?
Schedule 1 to schedule 3 drugs is listed as prescription drugs which means they can be given only upon the prescription of a registered medical practitioner or a doctor.
These schedule drugs are not available directly on the pharmacy shops as over the counter medications. Since most of the anti-anxiety medications come in schedule III or schedule II, so these are not available on the medical stores as over the counter drugs without the prescription of the registered medical practitioner. There has to be first prescribed and then can be bought under appropriate and licensed pharmacy shops with proper record maintenance.(2)
Although various illegal practices are going on in the market everywhere in the world and such drugs are sometimes available in the over the counter medication stores but it has to be duly noted that these shops can be unlicensed and can be selling fake or adulterated medicines. These drugs can do more harm than good because of their unknown side effects and unnecessary intake by the patients without the prescription.
Few of the anti-anxiety medications also belong to schedule 2 of the classification and have a high risk of abuse potential than the schedule III drugs and these are to be kept under strict observation and prescribed judiciously. Schedule I has very few anti-anxiety medications but these are not used and prescribed by any registered medical practitioner because they are liable for very high abuse potential and severe side effects as compared to the benefits caused by them.
Zyrtec which is the brand name for cetirizine is an antihistaminic drug and does not belong to the anti-anxiety group of medication. Although it does not have the anti-anxiety effects it can be used in anxiety to relieve the associated symptoms with it.
Anti-anxiety medications belong to schedule 2 and schedule 3 classification of pharmaceutical substances which has to be given only upon the prescription and are not available as over the counter drugs.
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