What is Cetirizine?
Cetirizine hydrochloride is an active ingredient, known as an antihistamine, used to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of allergies.
This medicine is suitable for use to treat children from the age of 2 years old. It is a non-drowsy medicine, unlike older antihistamines, allowing you to get on with your day.
What is Cetirizine used for?
Cetirizine effectively relieves symptoms of allergies caused by substances such as pollen, pet fur, dust mites, insect bites or stings and laundry detergents.
Symptoms of allergies that Cetirizine help to reduce include:
- Inflammation in your nose and eyes
- Sneezing and watery eyes
- Itchy skin rash on the skin
How does Cetirizine work?
Antihistamines such as Cetirizine work by blocking the action of histamine, a substance naturally produced in the body that causes symptoms of allergic reaction. It is known as a non-drowsy antihistamine because unlike older medicines it does have an impact on the brain.
Cetirizine works in most people for around 24 hours, and has a half-life of around 10 hours. It is slowly eliminated by the kidneys and is excreted in the urine.
Loratadine vs Cetirizine
Loratadine and cetirizine are both second-generation, non-drowsy antihistamines. They work in the same way to lessen the symptoms of mild to moderate allergic reactions.
Loratadine, unlike cetirizine, may cause nervousness and disturbed sleep, however some people report that Loratadine is less likely to make people drowsy than Cetirizine.
Can you take cetirizine and loratadine together?
It is not advisable to take more than one antihistamine with a 24 hour period unless you have been told to do so be a doctor.
If you are struggling to manage your symptoms using just Cetirizine, or any other over the counter antihistamine alone, you should discuss this with a pharmacist or doctor.
Fexofenadine vs Cetirizine
Fexofenadine is another non-drowsy antihistamine that can be used to treat allergies in children and adults over the age of 6 years.
Fexofenadine cannot be bought over the counter and is only prescribed to people who have tried using both Loratadine and Cetirizine and are either intolerant to these or they are not effective.
Other treatments for hay fever & allergy include:
Here's some more information about Desloratadine vs Loratadine.
Cetirizine and alcohol
Alcohol is known to interact with antihistamines and when used together is more likely to make you feel sleepy than either on its own. You should try to limit your alcohol consumption when taking antihistamines.
Does Cetirizine make you drowsy?
Cetirizine is categorised as a non-drowsy antihistamine, which means it has been specially designed to not make you feel drowsy.
In relatively low cases, however, Cetirizine may cause some people to feel more sleepy than usual. It is therefore advisable to make sure you are aware of how this medication affects you before you drive or operate heavy machinery.
At The Independent Pharmacy you can buy both Cetirizine tablets and oral solution. Tablets can be taken by children over 6 years old and oral solution by those over the age of 2 years.
For more information about how to take this medication please see the Directions section on this page.