Zyrtec (Cetirizine) Dosage and Side Effects
ZYRTEC is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine used to treat cold and allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose. ZYRTEC is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by chronic hives.
Warnings and Precautions
ZYRTEC may impair your thinking or reactions, so be careful when driving or engaging in other activities that require you to be alert.
Since ZYRTEC can make you sleepy, tell your doctor if you use other medicines that make you sleepy, such as other cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety.
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of ZYRTEC.
If you get laboratory tests like allergy skin testing, make sure you tell the person taking the test and your doctor that you take ZYRTEC because it could cause inaccurate test results.
Pregnancy and ZYRTEC
ZYRTEC is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.
However, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking ZYRTEC.
Do not use ZYRTEC if you are breastfeeding a baby. ZYRTEC can pass into breast milk and may harm the baby.
Call your doctor immediately if you take ZYRTEC and have any of the following serious side effects:
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Weakness, tremors, or sleep problems
- Severe restless feeling, hyperactivity
- Problems with vision
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
Less serious side effects from taking ZYRTEC may include the following:
- Tired feeling
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
Allergic Reaction to ZYRTEC
Before taking ZYRTEC , tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to hydroxyzine or levocetirizine, or if you have any other allergies because ZYRTEC may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Get emergency medical help if you take ZYRTEC and have signs of an allergic reaction including hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Interactions with this medication
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. The following medications are known to have significant interactions with ZYRTEC oral:
- Amphadase, Hydase, Vitrase and Wydase (hyaluronidase (ovine))
- Bosulif (bosutinib)
- Iclusig (ponatinib)
- Juxtapid (lomitapide)
- Kaletra (lopinavir-ritonavirl)
- Latudal (lurasidone)
- Nardil (phenelzine)
- Onfi (clobazam)
- Norvir (ritonavir)
- Xalkori (crizotinib)
- Zelboraf (vemurafenib)
Proper Use of this medication
ZYRTEC is given as a single daily dose at a time during the day that works for you.
It's available as 5 milligrams (mg) and 10 mg tablets, 1 mg/mL syrup, and 5 mg and 10 mg chewable tablets, which can be taken with or without water and without regard to food consumption.
Adults and children 12 years and older are recommended an initial dose of 5 mg or 10 mg per day, depending on how severe their symptoms are.
ZYRTEC in Children
The following are recommended doses of ZYRTEC for children, but talk to your pediatrician about correct dosage for your child.
6 to 11 years old: The recommended initial dose of ZYRTEC is 5 mg or 10 mg once daily depending on how severe their symptoms are.
2 to 5 years old: The recommended initial dose of ZYRTEC is 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) syrup once daily. The dosage in this age group can be increased to a maximum dose of 5 mg per day given as 1 teaspoon syrup once a day or one ½ teaspoon syrup given every 12 hours, or one 5 mg chewable tablet once a day.
6 months to 2 years old: Syrup is recommended for children under 2 years old. The recommended dose of ZYRTEC syrup in children 6 months to 23 months of age is 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) once daily. The dose in children 12 to 23 months of age can be increased to a maximum dose of 5 mg per day, given as ½ teaspoon (2.5 mg) every 12 hours.
ZYRTEC in People with Renal and Hepatic Impairment
For people 12 years of age and older with decreased renal (kidney) function who are on kidney dialysis or who have hepatic (liver) problems, 5 mg once daily is recommended.
Children 6 to 11 years old with impaired kidney or liver function should use the lower recommended dose.
Children under 6 years old with impaired kidney or liver function should not take ZYRTEC .
ZYRTEC in Geriatric Patients
For people 77 years and older, 5 mg once daily is recommended.
If you or someone you know takes too much ZYRTEC , contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness.
Children may display mood changes, such as restlessness and irritability before drowsiness.
Missed Dose of ZYRTEC
If you miss a dose of ZYRTEC , take it as soon as you remember.
However, if it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual schedule.
Do not double the dose to catch up.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.