Zyrtec is an antihistamine that treats symptoms such as itching, runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing from 'hay fever' and other allergies. It is also used to relieve itching from hives. Zyrtec works by blocking histamine from binding to histamine receptors and causing allergy symptoms. Histamine is also responsible for the formation of hives (whether caused by allergies or not). Zyrtec also works to alleviate the itching due to hives by blocking histamine.
Take Zyrtec exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The recommended dosage for most adults and children age 6 and over is Zyrtec 10 mg once daily. For mild symptoms, 5 mg once daily may be sufficient. The recommended dose for children age two through five years old is 2.5 mg once daily. You can take Zyrtec with or without food. Tell your doctor if your allergy symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment or if your hives last more than 6 weeks.
Before taking Zyrtec you should talk with your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, any allergies. This drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive or perform tasks that require alertness. Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can increase some of the side effects.
Do not use Zyrtec if you are allergic to it or to hydroxyzine, are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Possible side effect
Get emergency medical help if you have drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth, sore throat, dizziness, headaches, abdominal pain, cough, nosebleeds, diarrhea, breathing problems, difficulty passing urine, high blood pressure (hypertension), rapid heart rate (tachycardia), confusion, increase in liver enzymes, unexplained rash, hives, itching, swelling, loss of appetite, flushing, migraines, vertigo, gas, hemorrhoids, bladder infection, ringing in the ears, ear infections, dehydration, arthritis, muscle pain, decreased sex drive, acne, hair loss, weight gain. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially: narcotics (codeine), opiates, antidepressants, antipsychotic medications (chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone), antihistamines (diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (carbamazepine), nausea and vomiting medications, sleep or anxiety medications (alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, theophylline. Interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. Skip the missed dose if it is time for your next scheduled dose. Don't take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you think you have overdosed the medicine seek emergency medical help at once. The overdose symptoms are restlessness, irritability, drowsiness.
Store the medicine at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store the drugs in the bathroom. Keep all drugs away from reach of children and pets.
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