Zyrtec (cetirizine) is a medicine used especially for the treatment of allergic reactions affecting the upper respiratory tract. It helps relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and itching. It relieves the redness and swelling of the skin associated with idiopathic chronic hives. It is a fast acting medicine and generally used for a short period of time. Drowsiness, lightheadedness, exhaustion and dry mouth are the most common side effects. Combining it with alcohol or sedatives may increase the side effects. In children, it is necessary to use at the prescribed dose. It should be used in accordance with the instructions of a doctor.
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What is Zyrtec (cetirizine)?
Zyrtec is a prescription medicine used to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and idiopathic chronic hives. Its active ingredient, cetirizine dihydrochloride, is in the group of second-generation antihistamines (allergy reliever). It relieves the symptoms of allergic reaction. There are different forms of the medicine, such as syrup, oral drops, and tablets. It is not recommended for children under 2 years old. (1)
Histamine is a chemical secreted by the mast cells in response to an allergen. It is responsible for the most of the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the mucous membrane, sneezing and itching. Zyrtec binds with histamine receptors, thereby preventing the effect of this substance on the receptors. This relieves the symptoms of allergic reaction. It takes effect in 20-30 minutes and the effect may last more than 24 hours. (3)
How to use Zyrtec?
You may take the medicine on an empty or full stomach.
Try to take it at the same time every day.
If you think its effect is too weak or too strong, do not use in larger or smaller amounts without informing your doctor.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose. Take the missed dose only if there is enough time for the next dose.
Do not stop treatment without the doctor’s advice. This can cause disease symptoms coming back or getting worse.
Inform your doctor if rashes do not improve within 3 days or they get worse.
Use the medicine only for the condition that it is prescribed for. Call your doctor if a bruise or swelling, or a rash without an itch develops.
You should use Zyrtec as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions exactly during the treatment.
This medicine is prescribed for you only. Do not recommend the medicine to others or do not give it to others for using.
Doses of Zyrtec and dose adjustment
Doses of the medicine in syrup, tablet and oral drops are as follows:
Zyrtec syrup dosage
Children aged between 2-6 years: half of a spoonful (2.5 ml) twice a day
Children aged between 6-12 years: one spoonful (5 ml) twice a day
Adults and adolescents aged 12 years or older: two spoonsful once a day (10 ml)
Elderly aged 60-65 years or older: If they are with normal kidney function, no special dose adjustment is required and doses for adults can be used.
Do not use any spoon other than the measuring spoon of the syrup to measure for a correct dose.
Zyrtec tablet dosage
The tablet form of Zyrtec is not recommended for children under 6 years old.
Children aged 6 years and older: The recommended daily dose is 5 mg. (divided into two doses of 2.5 mg + 2.5 mg)
Adults: The recommended daily dose is 10 mg once a day.
How long should Zyrtec be taken?
The duration of use may vary from person to person depending on the severity and duration of the symptoms. For example, in seasonal allergies, it is usually used for a maximum of 7-10 days. However, in perennial allergic reactions, prolonged use may be required as symptoms become more severe. In the long-term use of the medicine, it is necessary to take a one week break in every 3 weeks.
In case of an overdose, side effects such as confusion, restlessness, drowsiness, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, seizures, dyspnea and/or loss of consciousness may occur. In this case, try to throw up (or try to make your child throw up) and apply to an emergency immediately.
What should be considered while using Zyrtec?
If you require an allergy test, consult your doctor about stopping the medication for a few days before the test. Zyrtec may affect the results of an allergy test.
Drowsiness, one of the possible side effects of Zyrtec, may impair thinking or reactions. Therefore, driving and using machinery should be avoided without observing the effect of the medicine. Those who take other medicines, such as central nervous system antidepressants or tranquilizers, should especially be careful while using this medicine.
This medicine contains sodium acetate. Patients on a low sodium diet should consider it.
This medicine contains sorbitol (artificial sweetener). Those who are allergic to sugars should inform their doctor before taking it.
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