cetirizine, Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Zyrtec Hives (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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 15-30 C (59- 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Cetirizine is used for treating seasonal or perennial allergies (allergic rhinitis) and chronic urticaria (hives).

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.

SIDE EFFECTS: Sleepiness occurs in 14% of patients. Dry mouth, nausea, headache, fatigue, jitteriness and sore throat are infrequently reported with cetirizine. Allergic reactions, seizures, fainting, and low blood pressure occur rarely.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 2/3/2012



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index