The active ingredient cetirizine belongs to the group of antihistamines and is used primarily for the treatment of allergic complaints such as hay fever. It is usually administered in the form of tablets, but can also be taken as juice or drops. The most common side effects with Cetirizine include headache and dry mouth.
Help with allergic reactions
Cetirizine is an antiallergic used to treat allergic skin reactions, atopic dermatitis, hives and itching. In addition, the active ingredient can also help with allergic conjunctivitis to relieve the symptoms.
In addition, cetirizine is also used to treat allergic asthma and hay fever. Typical symptoms of heptopause, such as itchy eyes and a stuffy nose, are caused by histamine, which is released in the body during an allergic reaction. Cetirizine inhibits the action of histamine in the body by blocking the binding sites for histamine (H1 receptors).
Side effects of cetirizine
Cetirizine is one of the so-called antihistamines of the second generation, which includes, for example, the active ingredients acrivastine, loratadine and mizolastin. In contrast to the first-generation antihistamines, these drugs do not enter the central nervous system, or only in very small amounts, and thus have little effect there. As a result, side effects such as fatigue rarely occur - for example in one in 100 patients.
In addition to fatigue, taking cetirizine may also trigger side effects such as headache, dry mouth and dizziness. Occasionally you may experience nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness and discomfort.
In addition, the use of the drug in rare cases, the cardiac arrhythmia may result. Side effects such as sleep and movement disorders, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, and problems with focusing on the eyes can also be rare.
In an overdose of the drug, the side effects mentioned may occur more. If in doubt, you should ask your doctor for overdose.
Dosage of cetirizine
As a general rule, adults and children over the age of 12 years can take one tablet of cetirizine (10 milligrams) a day to relieve allergic symptoms. For children between the ages of two and twelve, half a tablet daily is recommended. Depending on the body weight but also children can take a whole pill - for example, distributed throughout the day. In adults, for the treatment of allergic asthma-like conditions, the dose may be increased to 20 milligrams. However, the exact dosage of cetirizine should always be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist.
According to the leaflet, allergy symptoms are alleviated within one hour of taking a tablet. It is best to take the tablet with a glass of water in the evening before bedtime. In addition to tablets, cetirizine is also available in the form of juice and drops. Juice and drops can be dosed better than tablets and are therefore particularly well suited for children.
Interactions and Contraindications
In general, when taking cetirizine no interactions with other drugs are expected. However, the drug should better not be combined with alcohol - even if so far no interactions could be detected. The simultaneous intake of food slows down the absorption of the active substance, but does not diminish it. In addition, it should be noted that many commercially available cetirizine preparations contain lactose (milk sugar) and thus are not suitable for people who suffer from lactose intolerance.
Cetirizine should not be taken if hypersensitivity to the active substance is present. Similarly, the antihistamine should not be used in severe kidney disease or the dosage should be discussed explicitly with a doctor. In children under two years, the intake should also be clarified with a doctor. In general, however, cetirizine is not suitable for children under two. Before taking an allergy test (prick test), the active substance should not be taken for three days so as not to falsify the results of the test.
Cetirizine during pregnancy
During pregnancy, cetirizine should only be consulted with the attending physician. Because so far, studies that prove the safety of the antihistamine during pregnancy are missing. Therefore, it is particularly recommended not to use the drug in the first three months of pregnancy.
Ingestion is also not recommended during breast-feeding, as the active substance may pass into breast milk and therefore negative effects on the baby can not be excluded. If cetirizine is used, it should be weaned first.