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Overview

Cetirizine

Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

An antihistamine, Cetirizine is a medication that can be used for treating allergic symptoms like itching, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. It is also effective to treat swelling or itching that is caused by hives. The chemical known as histamine is the reason for the allergic symptoms that you suffer from. Being an antihistamine, Cetirizine reduces or blocks this chemical in your body, thus reliving you from the symptoms. This medicine can reduce your symptoms, but not prevent it. You can take this medicine in the form of tablets, capsule or syrup. You can take this medicine along with your food or without it.

Cetirizine is an allergy medication that can help you get relief from mild allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itchy nose or throat. It also helps to provide relief from hives. The body produces the chemical histamine when you come in contact with certain allergens. It is this histamine that causes the symptoms that are associated with allergies. As Cetirizine is an antihistamine, it will block the effect of that chemical in the body. The medicine can provide you relief from these symptoms, but it cannot prevent them. It comes in tablet, capsule as well as syrup form. You can swallow, chew or let the tablet dissolve in the mouth.

When it comes to dosage, follow the directions provided on the label or the instructions given by your doctor. You must not have it in large amounts or longer than required. You can take the medicine along with your food or without it. In case you are having the chewable tablet, ensure that you chew it properly before swallowing. Also, do not take two doses at once in case you miss out on one. Overdosing can lead to a feeling of restlessness or nervousness; followed by drowsiness.

Being a second-generation antihistamine, Cetirizine does not have too much of side effects. Though, it may have certain side effects like stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, tiredness and drowsiness. They are usually not emergencies but you can consult with your doctor if it is bothering you. In case of side effects like problems in urinating, vision, insomnia and irregular heartbeats; it is advisable to stop taking Cetirizine and seek medical help at once.

There are some precautions that you need to keep in mind before or after taking Cetirizine

  • Even though not to a great extent, Cetirizine can cause drowsiness and it may have different reactions in different people. You must be cautious, especially in the initial stages of taking the medication. Avoid drinking or driving during this time.
  • Avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it or to any other ingredient that has been used in it.
  • Consult your doctor before taking Cetirizine if you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant. This medicine is normally not recommended for pregnant women. Also, avoid it if you are breast-feeding your child, as this drug can pass on through the breast milk.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Cetirizine if you have any disease related to the kidney or the liver.
Cetirizine is used to treat the symptoms associated with seasonal and long-term Rhinitis.
Utricaria
Cetirizine is used to treat chronic skin complications associated with Utricaria.
Cetirizine is not recommended for use if you have a known history of allergy to it.
Cetirizine is not recommended if you are suffering from end-stage kidney disease, were the Creatinine clearance in such cases is less than 10 ml/min. It should not be used in children below 12 years with kidney abnormalities.
In addition to its intended effect, Cetirizine may cause some unwanted effects too. In such cases, you must seek medical attention immediately. This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Please inform your doctor if you experience any adverse reaction to the medication.
Sleepiness Major Less Common
Headache Major Less Common
Blurred vision Moderate Less Common
Running Nose and Cough Major Less Common
Dry Mouth Moderate Less Common
Diarrhea Moderate Less Common
Nausea or Vomiting Minor Less Common
Difficulty in passing urine Minor Rare
How long is the duration of effect?
The effect of this medicine lasts for an average of 24 hours.
What is the onset of action?
The effect of this medicine can be observed within an hour of oral administration.
Are there any pregnancy warnings?
This medicine is not known to cause any harmful effect on the fetus. There is a lack of conclusive evidence from clinical studies and hence benefits and risks should be weighed before usage. Consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
Is it habit forming?
No habit forming tendencies were reported.
Are there any breast-feeding warnings?
This medicine is not recommended for use in women who are breastfeeding as it can cause side effects for the baby. Consult your doctor before taking this medication.
Are there any missed dose instructions?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, then the missed dose can be skipped.
Are there any overdose instructions?
Contact your doctor immediately if an overdose is suspected. Symptoms of overdose may include dizziness, restlessness, and confusion. Supportive measures like gastric lavage might be initiated based on the severity of symptoms.
India
United States
Japan
Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you're at risk of a drug interaction.
Interaction with Alcohol
Ethanol Moderate
Using alcohol while taking Cetirizine is not recommended. Any activity requiring a high level of mental alertness should be avoided in such cases.
Interaction with Lab Test
Lab
Information not available.
Interaction with Food
Food
Information not available.
Interaction with Medicine
Alprazolam Moderate
Report the usage of either of the medicine to the doctor. Any activity requiring a high level of mental alertness should be avoided after taking these medicines. Do not stop the usage of any medication without consulting your doctor. Any medicine having sedation as a side effect must be taken with caution while taking Cetirizine.
Codeine Moderate
Report the usage of either of the medicine to the doctor. Any activity requiring a high level of mental alertness should be avoided after taking these medicines. Do not stop the usage of any medication without consulting your doctor. Any medicine having sedation as a side effect must be taken with caution while taking Cetirizine.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am having fever between 102 -104 from last night. And also severe body pain. Even head n eyes are paining very badly. I am taking homeopathic medicine on regular basis for my certain problems. Can I take paracetamol and cetirizine with homeo medicine?

MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
I am having fever between 102 -104 from last night. And also severe body pain. Even head n eyes are paining very ba...
Even if you are taking your routine homeopathic medication- For fever take one tablet paracetamol 650 mg and can repeat it after eight hours as and when needed
1 person found this helpful

I am Rohit Kumar. I am having some skin related issue. It's like allergy. I went to the doctor. As doctor try with basic treatment they proscribed me HHmite cream and soap. I tried it twice that cream but the allergy did not cure as there is no mite on my skin. Now I am taking cetirizine medicine that gives me relief for three day one tablet. Please provide some solution regarding to this as I checked my LFT and Cholesterol. LFT within the average level. Only Triglycerides is high 380.

MD, Fellowship in Intergrative Medicine, MBBS
Integrated Medicine Specialist, Kochi
I am Rohit Kumar. I am having some skin related issue. It's like allergy. I went to the doctor. As doctor try with ba...
Change your lifestyle and eating habits high triglycerides can cause metabolic syndrome and can lead to diabetes detailed eating history and food habits history needed. Needed what ever details you have provided is inadequate for any Dr. to give advice cut down carbs do not eat outside, cook your own food for specific advice on how to reduce Triglycerides naturally without medicines and prevent lifestyle diseases take a consult.
4 people found this helpful

Today I am diagnosed with chicken pox. I am a 27 years old single women and is about to get married. Please help me to know how to deal with chicken pox. What should be a diet. About bathing. When will scars disappear completely. And how to deal with lesions around genital area. Please let me know. Thank you.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Today I am diagnosed with chicken pox. I am a 27 years old single women and is about to get married. Please help me t...
Chicken Pox does not have any special diet as many common people believe. You need to take rest and drink lot of water . The scars will go in 2 weeks . If itching is there take cetirizine and do not injure by deep scratching

Hi, She is suffering from fever. Can I give cetirizine hydrochloride and ambroxol hydrochloride syrup as a medicine?

International Academy of Classical Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Pune
Hi, She is suffering from fever. Can I give cetirizine hydrochloride and ambroxol hydrochloride syrup as a medicine?
Eup-per tinct 2 tims day Bell 3c 3tims a day for 4 days Chin-s12c as abov fer phos 12c sam abov inform me progres

Popular Health Tips

Allergic Conjunctivitis - 5 Top Ways To Deal With It!

Diploma In Allergy & Clinical Immunology, MBBS, MD - Paediatrics
Allergist/Immunologist, Kochi
Allergic Conjunctivitis - 5 Top Ways To Deal With It!

Allergic conjunctivitis is the result of a foreign particle (allergen) coming in contact with the eye. Once this happens, the immune system overreacts resulting into an inflammation of the eye. The eyes sore with pain. The over secretion of the histamine dilates the blood vessels causing the nerve to irritate and blood vessels of the eyes to expand. Some common reasons of allergic conjunctivitis include eye drops, pollen, dust mites, makeup and animal fur. The good news is that allergic conjunctivitis is easily treatable. Here are top five ways to deal with this condition:

  1. Taking care of the eye: It is advised not to wear contact lenses until the symptoms go away fully. If any medication is used, a person must wait for at least 24 hours before putting on the contact lenses. Sometimes our hands carry major pollens that result in allergic conjunctivitis. It is equally important not to rub the eye without washing both the hands. Many studies have also reported that frequent bathing of the eye with cold water helps to clear the symptoms quickly. Some even say that frequent splash of warm water does the trick.
  2. Avoid the allergen: Allergen being the villain behind the occurrence of this condition, it is very important to stay away from it. In peak pollen times, it makes sense to close the door. In case a person must go out, it makes sense to wear a sunglass. A pillow made of feathers should be changed every week to stay away from the infection. The number of dust mites at home should be decreased as much as one can.
  3. Antihistamines: To quickly get rid of allergic conjunctivitis, doctors often prescribe antihistamines. It can be in the form of eye drop or oral presentation. They can successfully counter the effect of histamine which the body produces because of the hyper activity of the immune system. An antihistamine can block the aggressive effect of the immune system in a short time. Some of the commonly prescribed histamines include loratadine, cetirizine, emedastine, and ketotifen. People taking this form of the medicine for the very first time should refrain from carrying heavy load or driving.
  4. Mast cell Stabilizers: These takes a little longer to act as compared to antihistamines. Their effects, however, are more lasting compared to its peers. Some of the popular mast cell stabilizers include nedocromil and lodoxamide. This medicine belongs to a non-steroid family and can successfully block the chemicals that cause inflammation.
  5. Corticosteroids: These medicines are only prescribed by doctors when the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are serious. They belong to the steroid family of medicine produced synthetically. They can reduce the immune response of the body quickly and reduce the swelling as well. They can have possible side-effects. It is therefore wise, to consult a doctor before using it. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2931 people found this helpful

Giant Hives: What Are The Causes Behind?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, Cosmetologist
Dermatologist, Chandigarh
Giant Hives: What Are The Causes Behind?

Allergic reactions are the body’s way of responding to foreign substances. The body recognizes these substances (be it food, pollens, insect bites, etc.) as antigens and produces antibodies. These antibodies can cause various reactions depending on the severity of the allergen, be it skin rash, hives, or angioedema. In severe cases, there could be swelling of the tongue and the respiratory tract, leading to choking of the airways.

Literally, angioedema means swelling of the blood vessels. These are located in the underlying layers of the skin and their swelling can lead to formation of giant hives, which can be extremely itchy, reddish, and oval or circular in shape. The affected area is usually warm and painful to touch.

Causes

Angioedema is caused due to the following:

  1. Food allergies including eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, chocolates, etc.

  2. Insect bites or stings

  3. Pollen, latex, animal dander, poison ivy, and other common allergens

  4. Medications like aspirin, penicillin, ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medicines

  5. In response to blood transfusions

  6. Auto-immune disorders like lupus

  7. Conditions like leukemia and thyroid disorders

  8. Infections like hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infections, Epstein-Barr infections, etc.

  9. Weather conditions like extremes of cold, heat, or pressure

  10. Extreme emotional stress

  11. Genetic angioedema, passed on from parents to children, which could last forever

While hives usually develop without any warning, the following condition puts a person at risk of developing angioedema.

  1. Predisposition to allergic reactions (highly active immune system)

  2. Previous history of allergies

  3. Genetic history of allergies or angioedema

Most angioedema cases are limited to the skin and hives, but there could be severe cases leading to respiratory distress.

Diagnosis

If it is the first instance of hives, the doctor would ask detailed questions about similar occurrence in the past. They would also check if there are similar hives on other parts of the body like the back, which you may have missed. If required, this examination is followed by allergy testing and blood testing. The allergy testing will help identify if you are allergic to some of the common things which cause allergy. The blood test will look for your eosinophil count, which is usually high in people prone to allergies. C1 esterase inhibitor test and complement particles also can be checked, if there is suspicion of genetic angioedema.

Treatment

This would depend on the severity of symptoms

  1. In case of angioedema, admission in hospital may be needed.
  2. Tracheostomy may also become essential to save patients life.
  3. Vigorous therapy with intravenous medications like steroid, antihistamines and others may be needed.
  4. Under medical treatment, antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine are prescribed. However, severe cases may require steroids like prednisolone.

Prevention

Once you know what caused it, avoid exposure to these substances and further attacks can be prevented. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

2603 people found this helpful

Taking Medicines during Pregnancy: Safe and Unsafe Medications

MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Taking Medicines during Pregnancy: Safe and Unsafe Medications

Normal pregnancy lasts for 38 to 42 weeks. However, there may be times during these weeks that you may have some physical issues such as vomiting, backache, and loose stools etc which require treatment with medicines.

Therefore, monitoring and managing these physical conditions becomes necessary to ensure a normal delivery. Management consists of both medicines and rehabilitation. Medicines are considered to be the first line of treatment; however, the health care provider needs to take care while prescribing medicines during pregnancy taking into consideration the harmful effects they can have on both – the mother and the foetus.  Medicines pass on via the placenta from the mother to the foetus. Hence, before prescribing any medicine the provider should check the possibilities of the medicine causing any congenital defect. You should avoid medicines from the time of conception till the first 10 weeks, as this is the time when the foetus is most prone to the get permanent congenital deformities. Medicines given in the later stages (after 10 weeks) may cause systemic damage. For example NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) may lead to problems during labour or organ defects in the foetus.

Therefore, medicines should always be avoided during pregnancy. Still there are certain medicines, which can be taken but after consulting your physician. Let’s discuss the medicines that are safe during pregnancy.

The following is a list of medicines and their effects during pregnancy:

1. Analgesic Medicines

Paracetamol Safe
NSAIDs, such as aspirin May cause heart abnormalities in the third trimester

2. Opiates 

Codeine Effective in low doses
Hydrocodone Effective in low doses
Hydromorphone Effective in low doses

3. Anaesthetics 

Etomidate Unknown always ask your provider
Ketamine Avoid during the last trimester
Lorazepam Avoid for severe conditions, safe for short periods

4. Thrombolytics - The possible advantages of this class may balance the risk during pregnancy. Common medicines used are: Alteplase, Reteplase, Streptokinase, Urokinase.

5. Antidotes

Hydroxycobalamin antidote: cyanide Safe
Methylene blue antidote: methemoglobinemia Has a potential risk to the mother and foetus

6. Penicillins

First generation: penicillin G, benzathine penicillin, Bicillin, penicillin VK Safe
Second generation: oxacillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin Safe

7. Cardiac agents

Adenosine Safe
Digoxin Not advised in third trimester
Lidocaine Safe

8. Diabetes: Insulin is safe to use during diabetes.

9. Antacids

Famotidine Low risk
Ranitidine Safe

10. Corticosteroids: Advised for short term use

Cetirizine Almost safe
Chlorpheniramine Safe

Always talk to your physician in case of any complication and before taking any medicine given above.

4 people found this helpful

Safe and Unsafe Medications to Take While Pregnant

MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Safe and Unsafe Medications to Take While Pregnant

Which medicines are safe to use during Pregnancy?

Normal pregnancy lasts for 38 to 42 weeks. However, there may be times during these weeks that you may have some physical issues such as vomiting, backache, and loose stools etc which require treatment with medicines.

Therefore, monitoring and managing these physical conditions becomes necessary to ensure a normal delivery.Management consists of both medicines and rehabilitation.Medicines are considered to be the first line of treatment; however, the health care provider needs to take care while prescribing medicines during pregnancy taking into consideration the harmful effects they can have on both – the mother and the foetus.  Medicines pass on via the placenta from the mother to the foetus. Hence, before prescribing any medicine the provider should check the possibilities of the medicine causing any congenital defect. You should avoid medicines from the time of conception till the first 10 weeks, as this is the time when the foetus is most prone to the get permanent congenital deformities. Medicines given in the later stages (after 10 weeks) may cause systemic damage. For example NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) may lead to problems during labour or organ defects in the foetus.

Therefore, medicines should always be avoided during pregnancy. Still there are certain medicines, which can be taken but after consulting your physician. Let’s discuss the medicines that are safe during pregnancy.

The following is a list of medicines and their effects during pregnancy:

1. Analgesic Medicines

Paracetamol Safe
NSAIDs, such as aspirin May cause heart abnormalities in the third trimester

2. Opiates

Codeine Effective in low doses
Hydrocodone Effective in low doses
Hydromorphone Effective in low doses

3. Anaesthetics

Etomidate Unknown always ask your provider
Ketamine Avoid during the last trimester
Lorazepam Avoid for severe conditions, safe for short periods

4. Thrombolytics - The possible advantages of this class may balance the risk during pregnancy. Common medicines used are: Alteplase, Reteplase, Streptokinase, Urokinase.

5. Antidotes

Hydroxycobalamin antidote: cyanide Safe
Methylene blue antidote: methemoglobinemia Has a potential risk to the mother and foetus

6. Penicillins

First generation: penicillin G, benzathine penicillin, Bicillin, penicillin VK Safe
Second generation: oxacillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin Safe

7. Cardiac agents

Adenosine Safe
Digoxin Not advised in third trimester
Lidocaine Safe

8. Diabetes: Insulin is safe to use during diabetes.

9. Antacids

Famotidine Low risk
Ranitidine Safe

10. Corticosteroids: Advised for short term use

Cetirizine Almost safe
Chlorpheniramine Safe

Always talk to your physician in case of any complication and before taking any medicine given above.

Angioedema - An Overview

MBBS(Hons), MD (Gold Medalist) Dermatology
Dermatologist, Kolkata
Angioedema - An Overview

Allergic reactions are the body’s way of responding to foreign substances. The body recognizes these substances (be it food, pollens, insect bites, etc.) as antigens and produces antibodies. These antibodies can cause various reactions depending on the severity of the allergen, be it skin rash, hives, or angioedema. In severe cases, there could be swelling of the tongue and the respiratory tract, leading to choking of the airways.

Literally, angioedema means swelling of the blood vessels. These are located in the underlying layers of the skin and their swelling can lead to formation of giant hives, which can be extremely itchy, reddish, and oval or circular in shape. The affected area I usually warm and painful to touch.

Causes

Angioedema is caused due to the following:

  1. Food allergies including eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, chocolates, etc.

  2. Insect bites or stings

  3. Pollen, latex, animal dander, poison ivy, and other common allergens

  4. Medications like aspirin, penicillin, ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medicines

  5. In response to blood transfusions

  6. Auto-immune disorders like lupus

  7. Conditions like leukemia and thyroid disorders

  8. Infections like hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infections, Epstein-Barr infections, etc.

  9. Weather conditions like extremes of cold, heat, or pressure

  10. Extreme emotional stress

  11. Genetic angioedema, passed on from parents to children, which could last forever

While hives usually develop without any warning, the following condition puts a person at risk of developing angioedema.

  1. Predisposition to allergic reactions (highly active immune system)

  2. Previous history of allergies

  3. Genetic history of allergies or angioedema

Most angioedema cases are limited to the skin and hives, but there could be severe cases leading to respiratory distress.

Diagnosis

If it is the first instance of hives, the doctor would ask detailed questions about similar occurrence in the past. They would also check if there are similar hives on other parts of the body like the back, which you may have missed. If required, this examination is followed by allergy testing and blood testing. The allergy testing will help identify if you are allergic to some of the common things which cause allergy. The blood test will look for your eosinophil count, which is usually high in people prone to allergies. C1 esterase inhibitor test and complement particles also can be checked, if there is suspicion of genetic angioedema.

Treatment

This would depend on the severity of symptoms

  1. In case of angioedema, admission in hospital may be needed.
  2. Tracheostomy may also become essential to save patients life.
  3. Vigorous therapy with intravenous medications like steroid, antihistamines and others may be needed.
  4. Under medical treatment, antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine are prescribed. However, severe cases may require steroids like prednisolone.

Prevention

Once you know what caused it, avoid exposure to these substances and further attacks can be prevented. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2150 people found this helpful