Cetzine (Cetirizine) and all facts about it as you want

In earlier posts we have discussed allergies. I know nowadays allergies are so common and everyone has first hand experience of them at some time of the life. Cetzine (Cetirizine) is one of the most commonly used drugs available to treat allergies.

Name of medicineCetzine (Cetirizine)
CategoryAntiallergic medicine
Prescription needed or notAvailable over the counter.
Use after consultation with doctor as incorrect use and use for extended period may cause undesired effects.
Mechanism of actionAntihistaminic
Given in formTablet, Capsule or syrup form
Given by routeOrally
IndicationsCommon cold
Running nose
Side effectsDecreased alertness
Feeling of tiredness
Dry mouth
Use in pregnancyConsidered safe during pregnancy. Use only after consulting your doctor.
Dose6 months to 2 years: 2.5 mg once a day
2-5 years: 5 mg once a day
Above 5 years: 10 mg once a day. Maximum 20 mg a day for adults
Some other brand namesZyrtec, Alerid, Cetzine, Cipcet

Normally we get cold each yearly 4-6 times. For cold also Cetzine (cetirizine) is one of the most commonly used drugs over the counter and on prescription.

Let us today discuss antiallergic medicine Cetzine (cetirizine).

Category of this medicine

Cetirizine is a drug used as antiallergic medicine. It is newer generation medicine. It is a metabolite of hydroxyzine which is also an antiallergic medicine.

Mechanism of action of Cetzine (cetirizine)

This medicine is antiallergic medicine. It does so by antihistamine action. Histamine is a main chemical that is abnormally secreted by immunity producing allergic reaction symptoms. It has longer action when given orally. It specially gets accumulated in skin so effective for skin allergies.

How to get this medicine?

This medicine cetirizine is available widely across the world. It is available as over the counter medicine in many countries.

You can use this medicine for cold and itching in allergies. It is good to use medicines after consulting your doctor as all people may not tolerate or need this medicine.

Used in incorrect doses and for wrong purposes this medicine may not work or can cause unwanted effects on you.

How is this medicine available?

This medicine is available as capsule or tablets of 5 mg or 10 mg and also syrup in the form of (2.5mg/5ml) or (5mg/5ml) strength.

Additionally this medicine is also available in OTC cold cough medicines in combination with phenylephrine and paracetamol. Combination medicines are to be used cautiously as they contain multiple medicines in the same tablet or syrup.

The needed dose is based on age of person and the severity of the condition.

Route of administration

Cetirizine or combination medicines containing cetirizine are used as oral syrup or oral tablets or capsules. It is not useful by injection. Cetirizine is not available as injection drug.

If it is a chewable tablet you can chew it and then swallow. Other tablets and capsules are swallowed with water.

Preferably take this medicine at night before sleep, but you can take it any time of the day as suggested by your doctor.

What are indications to use Cetzine (cetirizine)?

Cetzine (Cetirizine) is used for following purpose:

  • For cold-cough: Being antihistamine medicine Cetzine (cetirizine) is very useful for cold and cough. It reduces running, itchy and blocked nose. It also reduces itchy sensation and congestion of eyes.
  • Urticaria: This being antiallergic can be used for urticaria and hives. It has longer action so once a daily dosing may suffice.
  • Allergy: Like its name suggests it is antiallergic medicine and it can be used to treat allergies. It is used for mild to moderate allergies as a single drug therapy or in combination with other medicines.

Side effects of Cetzine (cetirizine)

Cetzine (Cetirizine) is a newer generation antihistamine and usually side effects are milder than older generation medicines. In some people it may cause following side effects:

  • Drowsiness: You may feel drowsy after taking medicine. It generally causes drowsiness that is lesser than previous old generation medicines.
  • Sleepiness: Though less commonly it causes sleepiness and tendency of increased sleep in some people.
  • Decrease capacity to think: This medicine causing drowsiness may reduce your thinking ability.
  • Confusion: Above all side effects can cause confusion in your mind and reduce the capacity to work.
  • Restlessness: In very few people instead of drowsiness this medicine may cause restlessness.
  • Dry mouth: Old generation antihistamines had anticholinergic effects and were causing dryness of mouth. This medicine though less probably may cause similar dryness of mouth in some people.
  • Feeling of tiredness: You may feel tired after taking this medicine.
  • Dizziness: In some people this medicine may cause dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Gastrointestinal side effects: This medicine in few people can cause nausea and vomiting and diarrhea.

These are few common side effects as above. There may be few rare side effects apart from these all.

Use in pregnancy 

This medicine is considered safe to use in pregnancy, but in such conditions you should always consult your doctor before using it. Currently there is no data indicating that this medicine is harmful in pregnancy. 

Combination medicines that come in Cetzine (cetirizine) and phenylephrine combination are harmful to use in pregnancy.

Common brand names

Cetirizine is a very common generic used widely and many brands are present worldwide selling it. It is cheap to buy generically.

Even branded medicines containing cetirizine are mostly cheaper. Following are some commonly used brands:

Zyrtec, Aleric, Cetcip, Cetzine, Ceriz, Airtis etc.


As described in above table, this medicine is useful in doses as follows:

  • 6 months to 2 years: 2.5 mg once a day
  • 2-5 years: 5 mg once a day
  • Above 5 years: 10 mg once a day. Maximum 20 mg a day for adults

The dosing may defer as assessed by your doctor. This dosing may not be applicable to all. You should consider consultation with your doctor or meet us in person for further advice.


You need to take following precautions while taking this medicine:

  • Tell your doctor about all your illness you are suffering now.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any allergy.
  • Meet your doctor with your previous medical record.
  • Do not drive a vehicle after taking this medicine.
  • Do not work at a dangerous place after taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are on other medicines.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any kidney or liver disease, thyroid disease or diabetes and hypertension.
  • Keep medicines away from children.
  • Do not use expired medicines.

Interactions with other drugs

Do not consume alcohol if you are using this drug. Alcohol with this drug can cause severe central nervous system depression. Tell your doctor if you are using alcohol.

Other drugs causing sleep and other psychiatric medicines may cause interaction with this drug. You should tell your doctor if you are on those drugs.

These are some common drug interactions and there are many more. For detailed advice you should visit your doctor or meet us in person.

<span class="has-inline-color has-luminous-vivid-orange-color">Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB</span>
Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB

This article was written by Dr Yatin Bhole who is practicing Pediatrician at Bhole Children Clinic, Ravet. This post is for general information and before applying it on yourself, you should meet your doctor or meet us in person.

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