What is Zyrtec or Cetirizine and for what is it used?
Cetirizine is an an anti-histaminedrug used to treat allergic symptoms viz. watery eyes, excessive sneezing, hives, itching and running nose. All these symptoms can run simultaneously putting the patient in huge discomfort. The drug blocks the natural substance produced by human body called histamine during allergic reaction. The drug however does not prevent hives or treat anaphylaxis – a serious allergic reaction. Epinephrine is another anti-allergic drug which is prescribed under such conditions. So if you are Epinephrine then you need not take Cetirizine.
Method of Dosageof Cetirizine - Zyrtec Tablets
There are obviously two different ways of taking the Zyrtec tablets. You can buy tablets online or from the local pharmacy over-the-counter. The ideal way is to first contact your physician or medical expert and take a prescription from them and then proceed to buy the drug. It is not recommended to take the drug without doctor’s guidance. In case of self-medication read all instructions carefully and consult the pharmacist in case of any query.
Cetirizinecomes in chewable tablets which you should properly chew and swallow. It also comes in rapidly dissolving tablet which you have to simply place over your tongue and the rest is taken care by your saliva. The liquid form of the drug has to be properly measured with the help of measuring container that comes along with the drug. Do not use household spoons to measure the liquid drug as you may consume wrong portion that can lead to side effects. The doctor analyses your medical condition and then recommends you the right dose. The dose is also depended on patient’s age and response to treatment.
Report your doctor if allergic symptoms do not improve and if the hives do not improve after 3 to 4 days of treatment. If the hives persist even after 6 weeks of treatment then you should meet your doctor. In case of any severe side effect contact your nearest medical expert or emergency clinic.
Side effects of Cetirizine - Zyrtec Tablets
Following are the common side-effects of the drug. If these persist for a longer time then you should inform your doctor.
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
If the drug has been prescribed by your doctor then he may have weighed the pros and cons of the effects of the drug considering your condition and intensity of allergic reaction. Also the above-mentioned side effects are not experienced by all who take this medicine. Inform your doctor if you experience difficulty in urinating or feel extreme weakness.
Precautions to be taken with Zyrtec tablets - Cetirizine
- Make sure you are not allergic to hydroxyzine and levocetirizine before taking this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any inactive compound of the drug. If you have difficulty in urinating (due to enlarged prostate), kidney ailment or liver issue then talk to your pharmacist and let him know your medical history in detail.
- If you are on medication for treating hives tell your doctor. You may aggravate the situation by taking Zyrtec tablets if you have hives that are unusual in colour, hives that look bruised or blistered or hives that do not itch.
- If you are alcoholic or addicted to narcotic drugs like marijuana then you should first speak to your doctor before taking the drug. Zyrtec induces drowsiness so it is recommended not to venture out for driving or working on machines that require mental alertness.
- In case of diabetic patients it is recommended to avoid taking the drug in liquid form as it contains sugar
- As you are getting into surgery or dental implant inform your doctor about various prescription/OTC drugs and herbal medicines taken by you on regular basis
- Pregnant women should be cautious while taking the drug and should take it only when required
- Breast-feeding women should avoid taking the drug as it is likely to pass to their infant through milk.
Avoid drug interaction of Cetirizine
Keep your doctor informed about various drugs taken by you regularly to avoid interaction with compounds of Zyrtec tablets. Do not stop the drug erratically without your doctor’s approval. In case you take opioid drugs, narcotic drugs, cough relievers (Codeine, Hydrocodone), alcohol, drugs on insomnia (alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem) muscle relaxants (carisprodol, cyclobenzaprine) or any other anti-histamines, inform your doctor about the same.
In case you are planning for any lab tests (including allergy skin testing) then you should apprise the laboratory personnel about Zyrtec tablets that you take as the drug in your body can produce faulty test results.
If I miss the dose of Cetirizine ...?
In case of missed dose take it as soon as you remember but if you are approaching close to the next schedule then simply ignore the missed dose and take the next dose. Do not take double dose to make up with the skipped dose.
In case of accidental overdose alert your closest medical emergency unit and report poisoning. Always keep the drug away from children.