How to use
Zyrtec (Ceterizine) should be taken orally, usually once a day, with or without food. The chewable tablets should be chewed well and swallowed. Follow the instructions of your doctor exactly, even if they differ from the usually recommended dose. If you are self-treating, read the instructions on the label carefully.
Tell your doctor straightaway if your hay fever symptoms have not improved after 3 days of treatment or if you are still suffering from chronic hives after 6 weeks. Seek immediate medical attention of your condition worsens or if you think you have serious medical problem.
The following symptoms of a Zyrtec (Ceterizine) overdose are possible:
If you suspect you or your child has taken too much of this medication, contact your local poison control center or the emergency medical services immediately.
If you miss a dose of Zyrtec (Ceterizine), take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time for your next scheduled dose, just skip the missed dose and take the next dosage, then continue with your regular schedule. Do not double up on medication to make up for a missed dose.
Taking narcotics, sleeping medication or medication for depression and anxiety may increase certain side effects of Zyrtec (Ceterizine), such as drowsiness.
Do not share this medication with others as they may have a condition that is not adequately treated with Zyrtec (Ceterizine).
Store Zyrtec (Ceterizine) at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) and away from light and moisture. KEEP THIS AND ALL MEDICATIONS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed that the taking of this medication is safe, appropriate or effective for you.
Before taking Zyrtec (Ceterizine), inform your doctor of your medical history. Make sure to include:
- Kidney diseases
- Liver diseases
If you suffer from any of the above conditions, you may not be able to take this medication or you may need a dosage adjustment. Do not self-medicate without speaking to your doctor first.
If you have been prescribed Zyrtec (Ceterizine) for the treatment of hives or are using this medication to self-treat hives, inform your doctor straightaway if you experience any of the following symptoms. They may be an indication of a more serious condition:
- Hives that are unusual in colour
- Hives that look bruised or blistered
- Hives that do not itch
Zyrtec (Ceterizine) is excreted by the kidneys and kidney function declines as we get older. Elderly people may therefore be more susceptible to certain side effects of this medication, such as drowsiness. Caution is advised if these pills are used by anyone in this age group.
Zyrtec (Ceterizine) is classed as Pregnancy Category B by the FDA, which means it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, discuss the risks and benefits of taking this medication with your doctor if you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant during treatment.
Zyrtec (Ceterizine) passes into breast milk, but it is not known whether it can harm a nursing infant. It is not recommend to breastfeed while taking this medication. Discuss your options with your doctor.
Before taking Zyrtec (Ceterizine), inform your doctor about all other medication you are currently using, especially about:
- Certain antihistamines (e.g. Diphenhydramine)
- Anti-seizure drugs (e.g. Carbamazepine)
- Medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g. Alprazolam, Diazepam, Zolpidem)
- Muscle relaxants
- Narcotic pain relievers (e.g. Codeine)
- Psychiatric medicines (e.g. Chlorpromazine, Risperidone, Amitriptyline, Trazodone)
- Other antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray)
Check your the labels on all your other medication for ingredients that may cause drowsiness. Ask your healthcare professional about using these products safely.
Stop taking Zyrtec (Ceterizine) for several days before taking a scheduled allergy test. This medication may influence the results of such a test.
This is only a partial list of medication that interacts with Zyrtec (Ceterizine) and there may be others. Inform your doctor of all other prescription and non-prescription medicines you use, including vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal pills and medication prescribed by other doctors. Do not start or stop taking any medication without discussing this with your doctor first.
Potential common side effects of Zyrtec (Ceterizine) include:
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Tired feeling
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Nausea or constipation
If any of the above side effects persist or worsen, you should contact your doctor promptly.
Stop using Zyrtec (Ceterizine) and notify your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following unlikely but serious side effects:
- Fast, pounding or uneven heartbeat
- Weakness, tremors (uncontrolled shaking) or sleep problems (insomnia)
- Severe restless feeling, hyperactivity
- Problems with vision
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
In rare cases, you may experience an allergic reaction to Zyrtec (Ceterizine). Seek emergency medical attention of you notice any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
This is only a partial list of side effects and others may occur. Inform your doctor straightaway if you experience any other side effects than the ones mentioned above, especially if they are bothersome.