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Zyrtec Tablet

Generic Name(s): Cetirizine

Why it's used

Zyrtec Tablet is used to relieve the symptoms of allergic inflammation of the nasal airways due to allergens. This medicine works by blocking the action of an allergic substance in the body. Zyrtec is also used to relieve allergic symptoms present throughout the year (perennial allergic rhinitis), and to treat long-term hives induced by allergies caused by food or medicines.
Zyrtec belongs to a class of medicines called Antihistamines. Antihistamines help in relieving allergic symptoms. They do so by blocking the effects of histamines. Histamines are produced by the body and in-turn cause fever, itching, sneezing, a runny nose, or watery eyes in allergic conditions.

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How to use

Read the medicine guide provided by your pharmacist, your doctor, or the medicine company. If you have any questions related to Zyrtec, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use Zyrtec Tablet as per the instructions provided by your doctor.
Zyrtec is used with or without food.

Typical Dosage

The typical dose of Zyrtec for adults is 5 mg-10 mg once a day. The usual dose for children is 5 mg/5 ml-10 mg/10 ml (1-2 teaspoons) once daily for children 6-11 years in case of syrup formulation. Zyrtec is commonly used at the same time every day.
To decrease the possibility of side-effects, you might be recommended to use the extended-release form of this medicine by your doctor. The extended-release medicine helps in maintaining a steady level of the medicine in your body for a longer period of time. Do not crush or chew the medicine, unless indicated on the package or by your doctor.
If you are using the chewable tablet form of this medicine, make sure you chew the medicine before you swallow it.
If using the liquid form of this medicine, measure the dose using the provided measuring cup, spoon, or dropper. Before pouring the medicine into the measuring device, you should check the measurement markings carefully. Then, pour the dose amount into the device. After use, clean and store the measuring device in a safe place for your next use. You should not use a tablespoon or teaspoon as the dose measuring devices since it can result in an incorrect dose. If indicated on the product package, shake the medicine before use.

Talk to Your Doctor

Discuss with your doctor if your condition worsens. If you have any kidney disease, the dose will have to be adjusted according to children age and body weight. On the other hand, in patients of 12 years and older, a daily dose of 5 mg is recommended. If you have issues with the health of your liver, a dose of 5 mg once daily is recommended in patients from 12 years and older, and a lower dose is recommended in patients aged 6 to 11 years.

Use in Children

If you are giving Zyrtec Tablet to a child, be sure to use a product that is for use in children. Use the child's weight or age to find the right dose from the product package or medicine label. You can also read the dosage section of this page to know the correct dose for your child. Else, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.

Avoid Alcohol

Avoid consuming alcohol together with Zyrtec.
Medicines may be recommended for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. You should not use Zyrtec Tablet for conditions or symptoms for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Zyrtec Tablet to other people, even if they have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. The use of this medicine without the advice of a doctor may cause harm.


Follow storage instructions on the product package if available. Store Zyrtec Tablet at room temperature 20°-25°C (68°-77°F), and away from moisture. Store this medicine away from children and pets.

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How to take Zyrtec

Your dose and how often you take Zyrtec will depend on the following factors:
  • age
  • patient's health
  • the health of the patient's liver
  • the health of the patient's kidneys
  • medicines recommended by the doctor
  • any other medicines being used
  • herbal supplements in use
  • response to the medicine

Zyrtec Dosage

Dosage for seasonal respiratory allergies and hives

  • Recommended: 5 -10 mg once daily
  • Maximum: 10 mg/day
Children (children of 6 years and above)
  • Recommended: 5-10 mg once daily
  • Maximum: 10 mg/day
Children (2-5 years)
  • Initial: 2.5 mg /2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) once daily (for syrup)
  • Maximum: 2.5 mg /2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) every 12 hours or 5 mg/ 5ml (1 teaspoon) per day (for syrup)
Children (6 months to less than 2 years)
  • Recommended: 2.5 mg /2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) once daily (for syrup)
  • Maximum: 2.5 mg /2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) every 12 hours or 5 mg/ 5ml (1 teaspoon) per day (for syrup)
Children (6 -11 years)
  • Initial: 5 mg/5 ml or 10 mg/10 ml (1 or 2 teaspoons) once daily (for syrup)
Older Adults
  • Recommended: 10 mg/day

Minimum Age

6 months

Dosage calculation for children

To calculate the dosage for children please use the weight based dose calculator to calculate the appropriate dosage as per the weight of your child.


Strength: 5mg, 10 mg
Oral solution
Strength: 5 mg/5 ml
Oral syrup
Strength: 5 mg/5 ml

Missed Dose

A missed dose should be taken as early as you remember it. However, if the time for the next dose is almost there, then the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule should be continued. Avoid taking a repeated dose to make up for a missed dose.


What to do if you overdose on Zyrtec?
If the overdose has happened within a short period of ingestion, the harmful effects can be reduced by inducing gastric lavage (cleaning out the harmful substances of the stomach). No specific antidote is available for an overdose of Zyrtec. However, the treatment according to the symptoms should be given immediately. Use of activated charcoal can be considered as an alternative treatment. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has small and low-volume pores. These pores help trap chemicals as in the case of poisoning.
Symptoms of an overdose of Zyrtec
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the medicine in your body. In such cases, symptoms of an overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Zyrtec Tablet, call a poison control center immediately. You can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at

Precautions while using Zyrtec

Before you use Zyrtec, tell your doctor of your medical and health history including the following:
  • abnormality in functioning of kidneys
  • abnormality in liver function
  • allergic to Zyrtec
  • epilepsy
  • inability to completely empty the bladder
  • prior history of using tranquilizers or sedatives
  • prostate enlargement (prostatic hyperplasia)
  • spinal cord injury (spinal cord lesion)
  • use of central nervous system depressants
This medicine increases the risk of harmful effects in patients with the abnormality in the functioning of kidneys and worsens the condition of inability to empty the bladder completely. Patients who are taking tranquilizers, sedatives, and central nervous system depressants, may cause drowsiness and reduced the functioning of the central nervous system.
Before you use Zyrtec Tablet, discuss with your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information. Tell your doctor if you are allergic any of the following substances: hydroxyzine, or piperazine.


Zyrtec Tablet can make you feel sleepy. Be careful when using any machinery, driving a vehicle, or doing any other activity that needs you to be fully alert. The consumption of alcohol with Zyrtec Tablet can worsen the sleepiness. Zyrtec Tablet may cause rarely seizures in some people. If you perform any activities where a loss of consciousness may cause harm to you (or others), you should discuss with your doctor.

Use in Pregnancy

The use of Zyrtec during pregnancy should only be when required. There is no sufficient data for clinical studies in pregnant women.

Use while Breastfeeding

The use of Zyrtec Tablet is not safe for use in women who are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding a baby, discuss with your doctor if you should either discontinue breastfeeding or stop using this medicine while breastfeeding. This medicine may pass into breast milk.

Use while Conceiving

Consult with your doctor on the use of Zyrtec, if you are trying to conceive.


Avoid consuming alcohol together with Zyrtec. Drinking alcohol may cause reduction in mental alertness, and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system.

Increased Risks

This medicine may increase your sensitivity to sunlight. If this happens, use a sunscreen and cover your skin when you are outdoors. Limit your time in the sun.

Side-effects in Children

Zyrtec may cause an increased risk of side-effects in children. Children using this medicine may see an increased risk of stomach pain, headache, inflammation of the pharynx, drowsiness, diarrhea, bleeding from the nose, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, inflammation inside the nose, fatigue, and coughing.

Zyrtec Side-effects

The following side-effects may commonly occur when using Zyrtec Tablet. If any of these side-effects worsen or last for a long time, you should consult with your doctor:
The following side-effects may commonly occur in children when using Zyrtec Tablet. Discuss with your doctor if any of these side-effects last for a long time or are severe:
Rarely, the use of Zyrtec Tablet may cause the following side-effects:
  • a feeling of excitement
  • abnormal bleeding between periods
  • abnormal coordination
  • abnormal growth in the nasal passage
  • abnormal hair growth on the body
  • abnormal sensation of tingling
  • acne
  • aggression
  • agitation
  • allergic reaction to a medicine
  • amnesia
  • back pain
  • bad dreams
  • blindness
  • chest pain
  • convulsions
  • damage of ear
  • dark feces with blood
  • deafness
  • decreased interest in sex
  • decreased taste sensitivity
  • dehydration
  • difficulty in speaking
  • difficulty in urination
  • drooping of the upper eyelid
  • dry skin
  • dryness of the eye
  • ear pain
  • enlarged stomach
  • excessive production of urine
  • facial swelling
  • fainting
  • feeling of discomfort
  • female breast pain
  • fluid-filled blisters
  • flushing
  • gas formation in the stomach
  • hair loss
  • hives
  • hot flashes
  • inability to control urination
  • inability to properly identify the smell
  • increase in physical sensitivity
  • increased appetite
  • increased muscle tone
  • increased salivation
  • increased sweating
  • increased weight
  • indigestion
  • inflammation inside the nose
  • inflammation of the lung
  • inflammation of the urinary bladder
  • inflammation of the vagina
  • insomnia
  • itchy inflammation of the skin
  • joint pain
  • lack of energy
  • leg cramps
  • leg swelling due to fluid build up in the legs
  • liver function abnormal
  • loss of ability of the eyes to focus
  • loss of body movements
  • memory problems
  • migraine
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain
  • muscle weakness
  • nervousness
  • painful periods
  • painful swelling and sores inside the mouth
  • painful swelling of the joint
  • painful urination
  • palpitation
  • rashes due to allergic reactions
  • ringing in the ears
  • severe itching of the skin
  • skin nodule
  • swelling around the eyes
  • swollen and enlarged lymph nodes
  • swollen tongue
  • swollen veins in anus and rectum
  • thickening of the skin
  • thirst
  • tongue discoloration
  • tooth cavities
  • tremor
  • uncontrolled muscle movement (dystonia/dyskinesia/tics/hyperkinesia)
  • vertigo
  • whitish or yellowish discharge from the vagina
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Zyrtec Tablet:
Your doctor has prescribed this medicine because they judge that the benefit is greater than the risk posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious cases of side-effects. This page does not contain a complete list of all possible side-effects.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at


Spinal Cord Injury and Prostatic Enlargement

Patients with spinal cord injury and enlarged prostate gland are at increased risk when using this medicine. These patients are at increased risk of inability to completely emptying the urinary bladder while using this medicine. Take the necessary precautions while using this medicine.

Family History of Fructose Intolerance

Patients with family history of fructose intolerance are at increased risk when using this medicine. Avoid the use of this medicine in such conditions.

Central Nervous System Depressants

Patients taking central nervous system depressants are at increased risk when using this medicine. When this medicine is used with central nervous system depressants may reduce mental alertness and alter the functioning of the central nervous system. Patients should avoid the use of central nervous system depressants with Zyrtec.

Alcohol Consumption

Patients consuming alcohol are at increased risk when using this medicine. Patients may see an increased risk of reduced mental alertness and drowsiness. Patients should avoid alcohol consumption when using this medicine.

Tranquilizers or Sedatives

Patients taking sleep-inducing medicines are at an increased risk when using this medicine. These medicines may increase the risk of drowsiness. Patients should ask a doctor before using Zyrtec.

Kidney or Liver Diseases

Patients with kidney or liver disease are at increased risk when using this medicine. A lower dose is recommended in patients with liver or kidney problems after consultation with the doctor.


Patients with epilepsy are at increased risk of convulsions when using this medicine. This medicine should only be used after consultation with the doctor.

Interactions with Zyrtec

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Zyrtec Tablet. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Central Nervous System Depressants

There may be an interaction of Zyrtec with central nervous system depressants, which are used to treat insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures. The use of Zyrtec with central nervous system depressants may reduce the mental alertness and alter the functioning of the central nervous system. Patients should avoid the use of central nervous system depressants with Zyrtec.

Xanthine Derivatives

Zyrtec Tablet may interact with theophylline, which is used to treat wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. The high dose of theophylline (400 mg) may slightly decrease the removal of Zyrtec from the body.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Zyrtec is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.
This page provides information for Zyrtec Tablet .
Allergic Rhinitis
Hay Fever

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