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Medication prescribed:Cetirizine is used to relieve symptoms of hay fever, seasonal allergy, and allergy to other substances (such as dust mites, animal dander, and molds), including runny nose; sneezing; and red, itchy, tearing eyes. It is also used to treat symptoms of hives, including itching and rash. Cetirizine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.
How should this medicine be used:Cetirizine comes as a tablet and a syrup to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take cetirizine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine:Cetirizine is also sometimes used to treat insect bites and certain skin rashes. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition. This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Special precautions:Before taking cetirizine, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cetirizine, hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril), or any other medications. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention the following: theophylline (Theobid, Theo-Dur). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking cetirizine, call your doctor. you should know that cetirizine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
Special dietary instructions:Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If I forget a dose:Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects:Cetirizine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: drowsiness excessive tiredness dry mouth headache sore throat stomach pain diarrhea vomiting Some side effects can be serious. The following symptom is uncommon, but if you experience it, call your doctor immediately: difficulty breathing or swallowing Cetirizine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions:Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose:In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911. Symptoms of overdose may include: restlessness irritability drowsiness
Other information:Keep all appointments with your doctor. Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
More information: Cetirizine