How Cetirizine works - side effects, dosage and indications

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How Cetirizine works - side effects, dosage and indications

In this article we'll explain how Cetirizine works, its side effects, the correct dosage and certain other indications you should keep in mind while taking this medicine. This medication is commonly used to treat symptoms associated with allergies, such as skin inflammation or inflammation of the respiratory tract, itchy eyes, nose or skin or nasal congestion. Cetirizine relieves these symptoms by blocking histamine action.

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What is Cetirizine

Histamine is a molecule derived from histidine which is stored in cells -called mast cells- in the body tissues, which is responsible for the symptoms of an allergic reaction. When the body detects the presence of a foreign substance which it believes to be harmful (an allergen), histamine is released by the mast cells to eliminate that substance. Histamine then triggers a reaction that increases blood flow, mucus in the nose and throat and eye watering. Cetirizine relieves these symptoms by blocking histamine action.

Don't take Cetirizine

If you're allergic (hypersensitive) to the active ingredient or to any other ingredients in the product prescribed for you. If you think you may be allergic, ask your doctor.

An allergic reaction can include:

  • Asthma attacks, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing or breathing with an audible wheezing sound.
  • Sudden swelling of the face, lips, tongue or elsewhere on the body. It's especially critical if the vocal cords are affected.
  • Hives, itching, rash.
  • Anaphylactic shock (unconsciousness, paleness, sweating, etc.).

Recommendations for using Cetirizine

Follow the exact dosage instructions for Cetirizine prescribed by your doctor. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your doctor to explain any information that you don't understand in the medicine instruction guide.

If you're going to have an allergy test, stop treatment three days before having this test done and inform your doctor.

This drug is taken by mouth. Swallow the tablet with a sufficient amount of liquid (a glass of water) and preferably at dinner if you're only taking one tablet. Otherwise, take one in the morning and one in the evening if two tablets have been prescribed. Food doesn't influence the effect of this medicine.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember and continue with your next dose as usual. If you overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

Side effects of Cetirizine

Cetirizine can cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any of these severe or persistent symptoms:

  • sleepiness
  • excessive tiredness
  • dry mouth
  • stomach ache
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting

Some side effects can be serious. You shouldn't take Cetirizine if you are operating heavy machinery and should be careful when driving, as it could make you less alert. The following side effects are rare, but if you do experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing

Cetirizine can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Find out what are some home remedies for seasonal allergies so to avoid taking medication as much as possible.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Cetirizine works - side effects, dosage and indications, we recommend you visit our Drugs & supplements category.

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Another serious side effect upon withdrawal: intense body itching with unbearable hives. You must taper (not quit cold turkey) your dosage to get off of Zyrtec.
How Cetirizine works - side effects, dosage and indications
How Cetirizine works - side effects, dosage and indications

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