FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Drug Database - Zyrtec


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Drug Database - Zyrtec Zyrtec 10 mg. tablet

Generic Name: cetirizine (se-TI-ra-zeen)

Brand Names: Zyrtec®

Classification: Antihistamine

Issue Date: 1998

Zyrtec is an antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamine and reduces the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Preventing or treating symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies such as stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, itching of the nose and throat, and itchy, watery eyes. It is also used for preventing or treating chronic hives.

  • Important Facts
  • How To Take Zyrtec
  • If You Forget A Dose
  • In Case of Overdose
  • Special Warnings
  • Side Effects
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    Important Facts

    Some medical conditions may interact with Zyrtec. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

    • if you are pregnant
    • plan to become pregnant
    • are breast-feeding
    • are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine
    • are taking any herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
    • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
    • if you have kidney or liver problems
    • are receiving blood dialysis

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    How To Take Zyrtec

    Use Zyrtec as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Take Zyrtec by mouth with or without food. Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zyrtec.

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    If You Forget A Dose

    If you miss a dose of Zyrtec, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

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    In Case of Overdose

    Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room IMMEDIATELY.

    Symptoms may include:

    • irritability
    • restlessness
    • severe drowsiness

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    Special Warnings

    Zyrtec may cause drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zyrtec with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.

    Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Zyrtec; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.

    Zyrtec may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Zyrtec. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.

    Use Zyrtec with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness.

    If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Zyrtec while you are pregnant. Zyrtec is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zyrtec.

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    Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

    • hivess
    • difficulty breathing
    • swelling of your face
    • lips
    • tongue
    • throat

    Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

    • difficulty breathing
    • tightness in the chest
    • dark urine
    • increased heart rate
    • persistent fatigue
    • yellowing of eyes or skin

    Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

    • drowsiness
    • dry mouth
    • tiredness

    Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

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    Drug Interactions

    You should avoid:

    • Drinking Alcohol
    • Tranquilizers
    • Antidepressants
    • Muscle Relaxants
    • Pain-Relieving narcotics
    • Sedatives
    • Sleeping pills
    • High doses of theophylline (Theo-Dur®)
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