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Zyrtec

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Generic Name: Cetirizine Tablets (se-TI-ra-zeen)

Zyrtec is used for preventing or treating symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies such as stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, itching of the nose and throat, and itchy, watery eyes. It is also used for preventing or treating chronic hives. It may also be used to treat certain conditions as determined by your doctor that may not be listed in the professional package insert. Zyrtec is an antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamine and reduces the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
What is the most important information I should know about Zyrtec?
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Zyrtec may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
• Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Zyrtec.
What is Zyrtec?
• Zyrtec is an antihistamine. Antihistamines prevent sneezing, runny nose, itching and watering of the eyes, and other allergic symptoms.
• Zyrtec is used to treat allergies, hives (urticaria), and other allergic inflammatory conditions.
• Zyrtec may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


Who should not take Zyrtec?
• Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease. You may need a lower dose or special monitoring during your therapy with Zyrtec.
• Zyrtec is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take Zyrtec without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
• Zyrtec passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take Zyrtec without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
• If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Zyrtec. You may require a lower dose of this medication.


How should I take Zyrtec?
• Take Zyrtec exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
• Take each dose with a full glass of water.
• Zyrtec can be taken with or without food.
• Zyrtec is usually taken once daily. Follow your doctor's instructions.
• Store Zyrtec at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


What happens if I miss a dose?
• Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.


What happens if I overdose?
• Seek emergency medical attention.
• Symptoms of a Zyrtec overdose are not well known, but extreme sleepiness, confusion, and weakness may be expected.


What should I avoid while taking Zyrtec?
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Zyrtec may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
• Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Zyrtec.


What are the possible side effects of Zyrtec?
• Stop taking Zyrtec and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).
• Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Zyrtec and talk to your doctor if you experience
· sleepiness, fatigue, or dizziness;
· headache; or
· dry mouth.
• Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.


What other drugs will affect Zyrtec?
• Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
· medications for anxiety or sleep such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), temazepam (Restoril), or triazolam (Halcion);
· medications for depression such as amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), or paroxetine (Paxil);
· other cough, cold, or allergy medicines; or
· any other medications that cause drowsiness, sleepiness, or relaxation.
• Heavy sedation may occur if Zyrtec is taken with any of the medicines listed above.
• Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Zyrtec. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.