SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects that have been reported with cetirizine include:
- sleepiness (occurs in 14% of patients),
- dry mouth,
- jitteriness, and
- sore throat.
Other important but rare side effects include:
PRESCRIPTION: Yes, OTC (yes)
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5 and 10 mg. Tablets (Chewable or orally disintegrating): 10 mg. Syrup: 5 mg/5 ml.
STORAGE: Cetirizine should be stored in a dry place at 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
DOSING: The recommended dose is 5 to 10 mg daily depending on the severity of symptoms.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Theophylline (Theo-Dur, Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, Theolair, Uniphyl, Slo-Phyllin)reduces the breakdown of cetirizine by 16% and can increase blood levels of cetirizine. Drugs that cause drowsiness may add to drowsiness resulting from cetirizine.
PREGNANCY: Cetirizine has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Available evidence suggests that risk to the developing fetus is low.
NURSING MOTHERS: Cetirizine is excreted in human breast milk.
Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
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