Cetrizine Uses, Dosage, Warnings & Side Effects

Cetirizine is a prescription medication used to relieve common allergy symptoms including watery eyes, hives, itching, sneezing, and runny nose. It is an antihistamine medication that works by blocking the natural substances within your body which facilitate allergic reactions. Cetirizine does not prevent allergic reactions, but rather works to mitigate symptoms and side effects. In the following article we discuss the uses, dosage, side effects, warnings, and interactions of cetirizine. 

What is Cetirizine? 

Cetirizine is an antihistamine used to relieve common allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, hives, itching, sneezing and many others. It is commonly available under a variety of brand names. 

Brand Name of Cetirizine

Cetirizine is available under many different brand names. These include the following: 

  • Zyrtec
  • Zyrtec Allergy
  • Children's Zyrtec Allergy
  • PediaCare Children's 24 Hour Allergy, 
  • Aller-Tec
  • Wal-Zyr

How Does Cetirizine Work? 

Cetirizin works by inhibiting the effects of histamine, a substance in the body that contributes to allergic reactions. Histamine is a chemical that is released by white blood cells into the bloodstream when the immune system is threatened by a potential allergen. When released, histamine often causes an allergic reaction. 

Cetirizine Uses

Cetirizine may be used to relieve allergy symptoms such as hives, itching, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. 

Cetirizine Dosage

Your dosage for cetirizine may depend on many factors, including the following: 

  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Strength of dosage
  • Severity of allergic reactions

Forms and Strengths


5mg (generic, Zyrtec)

10mg (generic, Zyrtec)

Tablet, oral-disintegrating:

10mg (Zyrtec Allergy)

Tablet, chewable:

5mg (generic, Zyrtec)

10 mg (generic, Zyrtec)

Syrup: 5mg/5mL (generic) 

Solution: 5mg/5mL (generic)

Cetirizine Dosage for Allergies/Hay Fever

Initial Dose: 5mg per day, depending on severity of symptoms

Maximum Dose: 10 mg per day. 

Side Effects of Cetirizine 

Cetirizine does have some associated side effects. Some side effects are more serious and less common than others.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of cetirizine include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If these side effects are mild, they may disappear within a few days. If you have stopped taking your medication and the effects are still present, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you are experiencing any of the following serious side effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately. Call 911 if you think your symptoms are life threatening. 

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Nosebleed
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hearing loss
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Bronchospasm
  • Seizures
  • Heart throbbing
  • Swelling of the tongue 

Disclaimer: Here at Manifest Pharmacy, our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information.  However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this  information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for  medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who  knows your medical history. 

What Are The Warnings Of Cetirizine? 

Cetirizine can cause unwanted side effects that result in the impairment of thinking and reaction time. Avoid drinking alcohol before or after taking cetirizine. It is also advisable not to take cetirizine immediately before driving. 

Tell your doctor immediately if you regularly take other medications that make you sleepy and are also considering taking cetirizine. These medications may include muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, narcotic pain medicine, and medicine for seizures and depression. In some cases, these medications can worsen the sleepiness caused by cetirizine. 

Cetirizine Brand Name, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings Summary 

Cetirizine is a prescription medication that can be used to relieve symptoms of allergies. It is an antihistamine medication, meaning it works to inhibit the body’s production of histamine. 

Cetirizine can be purchased under a variety of brand names. The allergy symptoms which cetirizine is known to treat include itching, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and hives. 


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