Zyrtec is a trademark of cetirizine, an antihistamine used to treat cold and allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itching, or a runny nose.
Manufactured by McNeil-PPC, Inc., Zyrtec is supplied in the form of tablets, chewable tablets and syrup.
Zyrtec was a prescription medicine until 2007, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it as a non-prescription drug.
After approval, Zyrtec was reportedly the highest grossing new non-food product of 2008 in the United States.
Zyrtec-D is a combination of the main ingredient Zyrtec (cetirizine) with decongestant pseudoephedrine and is approved for the treatment of cold or allergy symptoms, including:
- Nasal congestion
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
Side effects of Zyrtec-D include:
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
Dosing and Pregnancy Zyrtec-D
Adults and children 12 years of age and older should take 1 Zyrtec-D every 12 hours and no more than 2 tablets in a 24-hour period.
Effects of use of Zyrtec-D in an unborn baby are unknown. However, the active ingredients can penetrate into breast milk.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment, talk with your doctor before taking Zyrtec-D.
Zyrtec vs. Claritin
Zyrtec and Claritin, which are over-the-counter medicines for the treatment of allergies (a recipe is not needed for their use), are often mixed with each other, and some people use them interchangeably.
Although they have similar effects for those who use them, each of these drugs has different ingredients (cetirizine for Zyrtec and loratadine for Claritin), and they can cause various side effects in certain people.
If you are taking other medications or you have problems with the liver or kidneys, talk with your doctor before taking Zyrtec or Claritin.
Zyrtec for dogs
Zyrtec is sometimes used to treat dermatitis in dogs under the supervision of a veterinarian, although it has not been approved for this use.
Dosing Zyrteca in dogs usually depends on weight.
It has been shown that it is safe and effective for use in dogs; but it should be used only on the advice of a veterinarian, since the drug can harm pets with kidney or liver problems, as well as pregnant or lactating.
In addition, the decongestant formulation of Zyrtec-D also contains pseudoephedrine, which is dangerous for dogs. Therefore, it should not be used.
Finally, dogs or cats with hypersensitivity to antihistamines should not be prescribed Zyrtec.
Talk to your veterinarian before treating your dog’s allergy with Zyrtec.
Zyrtec coupons / discounts
As with many prescription drugs, the manufacturer (in this case McNeil) offers consumers who require treatment for allergies, financial incentives to choose their product.
Such programs can help make treatment more affordable, and coupons are available to obtain discounts for the purchase of Zyrtec.
However, the decision about which medication should be used should be based on your specific symptoms and needs, and not on available financial incentives. Talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Zyrtec.
Although Zyrtec is used to treat allergies, Consumer Affairs reports that some people have complained that they have an annoying itch all over their body when they stop taking Zyrtec.
However, the warning on itching is not indicated on the label.
Zyrtec can damage your thinking or reactions, so be careful when driving or other actions that require you to be vigilant.
Because cetirizine can make you sleepy, tell your doctor if you are using other medicines that make you sleep, for example, another medicine for cold or allergies, a drug for narcotic pain, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants and a cure for seizures, depression or anxiety.
The use of alcohol can cause certain side effects of cetirizine.
If you receive laboratory tests, such as testing for skin allergy, make sure that you tell the person taking the test and your doctor that you are taking Zyrtec, because this can lead to inaccurate test results.
Pregnancy and Zyrtec
It is expected that Zyrtec will not be harmful to the unborn child.
However, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Zyrtec.
Do not use Zyrtec if you are breastfeeding. Zyrtec can pass into breast milk and harm the baby.
Zyrtec Side Effects
Immediately consult your doctor if you are taking Zyrtec and have the following serious side effects:
- Fast or uneven heartbeat
- Weakness, tremor, or sleeping problems
- Severe restless feeling, hyperactivity
- Eye problems
Less serious side effects when taking Zyrtec may include the following:
- Tired feeling
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
Allergic reaction to Zyrtec
Before taking cetirizine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to hydroxyzine or levocetirizine, or if you have other allergies because cetirizine may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Call for emergency medical attention if you are taking Zyrtec and have signs of an allergic reaction, including shortness of breath or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Zyrtec and alcohol
Drinking alcohol can cause certain side effects from cetirizine.
Zyrtec and drug interactions
Many drugs can interact with Zyrtec.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements. It is known that the following drugs have a significant interaction with cetirizine peroxide:
- Amphadase, hydraz, vitraza and vida
- Bosulif (Bosutinib)
- Iclusig (ponatinib)
- Juxtapid (Lomitapid)
- Kaletra (lopinavir-ritonavir)
- Ladudal (lurasidone)
- Nardile (phenelzine)
- Onfi (clobazam)
- Norvir (ritonavir)
- Xalkori (cryotinib)
- Zelboraf (vemurafenib)
Zyrtec is given as a single daily dose at a time during the day.
It is available in the form of 5 mg and 10 mg tablets, 1 mg / ml syrup and 5 mg and 10 mg chewable tablets that can be taken with or without water and without taking into account food intake.
Adults and children 12 years of age and older are recommended an initial dose of 5 mg or 10 mg per day, depending on how severe their symptoms are.
Zyrtec for children
Below are the recommended doses of Zyrteca for children, but talk with your pediatrician about the correct dosage for your child.
From 6 to 11 years: The recommended initial dose of Zyrtec is 5 mg or 10 mg once a day, depending on how severe their symptoms are.
From 2 to 5 years: the recommended initial dose of Zyrtec is 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) of syrup once a day. Dosage in this age group can be increased to a maximum dose of 5 mg per day in the form of 1 teaspoon of syrup once a day or 1½ teaspoons of syrup every 12 hours or take one 5 mg of a chewable tablet once a day.
From 6 months to 2 years: Syrup is recommended for children under 2 years. The recommended dose of Zyrtec syrup in children from 6 months to 23 months is 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) once a day. Dosage in children aged 12 to 23 months can be increased to a maximum dose of 5 mg per day, taking ½ teaspoon (2.5 mg) every 12 hours.
Zyrtec for people with renal and hepatic insufficiency
For people aged 12 years and older with a decreased renal function who are on dialysis of the kidneys or who have liver problems, 5 mg once a day is recommended.
Children from 6 to 11 years with impaired renal or liver function should use a lower recommended dose.
Children under the age of 6 with violations of the kidney or liver should not be taken Zyrtec.
Zyrtec for geriatric patients
For people aged 77 years and older, 5 mg once a day is recommended.
Overdose of Zyrtec
If you or someone you know has taken too much Zyrtec, immediately contact a toxicology center or an emergency room.
Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness.
Children can exhibit mood changes, such as anxiety and irritability, drowsiness.
Missed dose of Zyrtec
If you miss a dose of Zyrtec, take it as soon as you remember.
However, skip it and resume your usual schedule if it’s time to take a new dose.
Do not double it to catch up with the previous one.