|Typical Brand Names:
Zirtek allergy tablets contain the active ingredient cetirizine, which is a type of medicine called a non-sedating antihistamine. (NB. Cetirizine is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Cetirizine works by preventing the actions of histamine.
Histamine is a substance produced by the body as part of its defence mechanisms. It is stored in cells called mast cells, in almost all tissues of the body. When the body reacts to a foreign substance (known as an allergen, eg flower pollen), the mast cells stimulated by the allergen release their stores of histamine.
The released histamine then binds to its receptors (H1 receptors), causing a chain reaction that results in allergic symptoms. It causes an increase in blood flow to the area of the allergy, and the release of other chemicals that add to the allergic response.
All this results in the symptoms of an allergic reaction. In hayfever, histamine causes inflammation of the nose, eyes, skin or airways and results in itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
Cetirizine works by blocking histamine H1 receptors. It does not prevent the actual release of histamine from mast cells, but prevents it binding to its receptors. This in turn prevents the release of other allergy chemicals and increased blood supply to the area, and provides relief from the typical symptoms of hayfever.
Cetirizine can also be used to relieve the symptoms of a condition called chronic idiopathic urticaria. This is a chronic itchy rash, similar to nettle rash, but with no apparant cause. Blocking the actions of histamine relieves the itching and reduces the rash associated with this condition.
Cetirizine is called a non-sedating antihistamine as it does not enter the brain, and is therefore unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, some people may experience some slight sleepiness.
|Zyrtec 5 mg - 30 Tabs
|Zyrtec 5 mg - 60 Tabs
|Zyrtec 10 mg - 30 Tabs
|Zyrtec 10 mg - 60 Tabs
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Zyrtec Directions To Use
How much medicine you take and how often you take it depends on many factors, including the condition being treated and the age and weight of the patient. If you have any questions about the amount and/or frequency of the medicine you are taking, talk with your health care provider. Zyrtec may be taken with or without food. Avoid alcohol and other mental depressants (eg, narcotics, tranquilizers, antihistamines) while you are taking Zyrtec. Zyrtec may produce drowsiness; patients should observe caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, coordination, or physical dexterity. Do not stop taking this medication without checking with your doctor. Do not take more medication than prescribed unless advised to do so by your doctor or health care provider. Patients with previous medical conditions should talk with their health care provider before taking this medication. Do not take any other over-the-counter or prescription medications without talking with your doctor.
Zyrtec Warnings and Side Effects
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease. You may need a lower dose or special monitoring during your therapy with Zyrtec. Zyrtec is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take Zyrtec without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Zyrtec passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take Zyrtec without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Zyrtec. You may require a lower dose of this medication.
Every medicine can cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following occurs: Common- Drowsiness; tiredness; dry mouth; sore throat; headache; nausea; coughing;nosebleed.
Zyrtec Missed Dose
If you forget to take a dose, do not take an extra tablet to catch up for the dose you forgot. Wait and take your next tablet at the regular time. Do not take more tablets than your doctor prescribed.
Store at 20-25°C (68-77°F); excursions permitted to 15-30°C (59-86°F).
Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a Zyrtec overdose are not well known, but extreme sleepiness, confusion, and weakness may be expected.
Zyrtec More Information
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Zyrtec may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Zyrtec.
This drug information is for your information purposes only, it is not intended that this information covers all uses, directions, drug interactions, precautions, or adverse effects of your medication. This is only general information, and should not be relied on for any purpose. It should not be construed as containing specific instructions for any particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of this information, and/or any consequences arising from the use of this information, including damage or adverse consequences to persons or property, however such damages or consequences arise. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made in regards to this information.