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Differences, similarities, and which is better for you

Drug overview & main differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ

While browsing the allergy section at your local pharmacy, you may have come across Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D. Despite their names, Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D are not the same drug. They both contain cetirizine hydrochloride, which is used to treat allergy symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and an itchy, runny nose. However, Zyrtec-D has an added decongestant.

Zyrtec is classified as an oral antihistamine. Compared to Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and other first-generation antihistamines, Zyrtec causes less drowsiness. The main active ingredient in Zyrtec works by blocking histamine receptors to prevent the effects of histamine. Histamine is a chemical that is produced by the body when it’s exposed to allergens like pet dander and dust mites.

Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D are similar allergy medications, but there are some important differences to consider.

What are the main differences between Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D?

The main difference between Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D is that Zyrtec-D contains the decongestant pseudoephedrine. Also known by its brand name, Sudafed, pseudoephedrine works by shrinking blood vessels to reduce swelling and congestion in the nasal passages.

Zyrtec is the brand name for cetirizine. It is available as an oral syrup, orally disintegrating (ODT) tablet and oral tablet. Children aged 2 to 6 years old can be given the oral syrup. Zyrtec tablets can be administered to children, adolescents, and adults 6 years and older. Zyrtec can be purchased over the counter.

Zyrtec-D contains cetirizine and pseudoephedrine. It is only available as an oral tablet for adults and children 12 years and older. While Zyrtec can be found in the pharmacy aisles, Zyrtec-D is usually stored behind the counter at the pharmacy. This is because there are restrictions on how much pseudoephedrine can be sold to a person at a given time.

Main differences between Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D
Drug class Second-generation antihistamine Second-generation antihistamine
Brand/generic status Brand and generic version available Brand and generic version available
What is the generic name? Cetirizine Cetirizine-Pseudoephedrine
What form(s) does the drug come in? Oral tablet
Orally disintegrating tablet
Oral syrup
Oral tablet
What is the standard dosage? One 5 mg or 10 mg tablet once daily
One 5 mg-120 mg tablet twice daily
How long is the typical treatment? As needed for seasonal or perennial allergies As needed for seasonal or perennial allergies. Pseudoephedrine use should be limited to no more than 10 days.
Who typically uses the medication? Adults and children 2 years and older Adults and children 12 years and older

Conditions treated by Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D

Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D are both FDA-approved to treat allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Both drugs are primarily indicated for seasonal allergic rhinitis, which causes symptoms such as runny nose and sneezing. Both drugs can also treat other symptoms of seasonal allergies such as itchy, watery eyes (allergic conjunctivitis).

Zyrtec is FDA approved to treat hives, or chronic urticaria. Allergic reactions on the skin can often manifest as hives and itching. Because Zyrtec-D contains a nasal decongestant, regular Zyrtec is used for skin reactions.

Allergic rhinitis Yes Yes
Hives Yes No

Is Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D more effective?

For general symptoms of allergic rhinitis, such as sneezing and watery eyes, Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D are similarly effective. For a stuffy nose, or nasal congestion, Zyrtec-D would be more effective because of the added decongestant.

In a double-blind, clinical study, cetirizine was found to significantly improve symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis. The study measured symptom improvement by total symptom severity complex (TSSC) and a questionnaire for four weeks. Compared to placebo, cetirizine significantly improved nasal symptoms after the first week (p<0.05).

Another randomized, controlled trial compared cetirizine with other antihistamines, such as fexofenadine and desloratadine. The study looked at 150 patients’ response to antihistamines with a skin prick test. Results found that the antihistamines showed similar effectiveness.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist on allergy medications that may be best for you. Your healthcare provider can give you medical advice on what to take. They may even recommend another antihistamine like Claritin or Allegra instead of Zyrtec for your symptoms.

Coverage and cost comparison of Zyrtec vs. Zyrtec-D

Zyrtec is an over-the-counter medicine that isn’t generally covered by Medicare and insurance plans. In some cases, it may be covered with a prescription from a doctor. The average retail price of Zyrtec is around $15 to $20, depending on tablet strength and quantity. SingleCare offers a Zyrtec coupon card that can lower this price to as little as $3.

Most Medicare and insurance plans won’t cover Zyrtec-D because, like other oral antihistamines, it’s found over the counter. The average retail cost is around $30 to $50 depending on the number of tablets. If you have a prescription you can use a SingleCare discount card for Zyrtec-D to save more and bring the cost down to $10 for 12-hour tablets. Check with your pharmacy to see if they accept discount cards.

Typically covered by insurance? No No
Typically covered by Medicare Part D? No No
Standard dosage One 10 mg tablet once daily (quantity of 30) One 5 mg-120 mg tablet twice daily (quantity of 24)
Typical Medicare copay Depends on your insurance plan Depends on your insurance plan
SingleCare cost $3–$4 $10

Common side effects of Zyrtec vs.


The most common side effects of Zyrtec are drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Other side effects may include a dry mouth, cough, and sore throat.

Zyrtec-D shares similar side effects with Zyrtec because it contains cetirizine. However, since it also contains pseudoephedrine, other side effects may include insomnia, heart palpitations, and nervousness or anxiety.

Side Effect Applicable? Frequency Applicable? Frequency
Drowsiness Yes * Yes *
Headache Yes * No
Dizziness Yes * Yes *
Fatigue Yes * Yes *
Dry mouth Yes * Yes *
Cough Yes * No
Sore throat Yes * No
Skin rash Yes * Yes *
Insomnia No Yes *
Heart palpitations No Yes *
Nervousness No Yes *

This may not be a complete list of adverse effects that can occur. Please refer to your doctor or healthcare provider to learn more. *not reported

Source: DailyMed (Zyrtec), DailyMed (Zyrtec-D)

Drug interactions of Zyrtec vs. Zyrtec-D

Certain drugs should be avoided with Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D when possible. Some drugs have CNS depressant side effects that result in increased drowsiness with Zyrtec. Opioids, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, can cause increased drowsiness and sedation when taken with Zyrtec.

Tricyclic antidepressants can also cause increased drowsiness with Zyrtec. Antidepressants may also worsen anticholinergic side effects like dry mouth. Other drugs with similar effects include anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants, among others.

Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D should not be used within two weeks of using a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. Combining MAO inhibitors with cetirizine can cause increased adverse effects of the antihistamine. Pseudoephedrine in Zyrtec-D can also interact with MAO inhibitors, which could lead to dangerously high blood pressure.

Opioid Yes Yes
Gabapentin Anticonvulsant Yes Yes
Muscle relaxant Yes Yes
Tricyclic antidepressant Yes Yes
MAO inhibitor Yes Yes

Consult a healthcare professional for other possible drug interactions

Warnings of Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D

Cetirizine can cause drowsiness and affect your mental alertness. Avoid operating any machinery or driving an automobile while taking cetirizine as it can make you feel drowsy.

Pseudoephedrine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and can raise blood pressure. While pseudoephedrine is generally safe, its use may increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, heart attack, and stroke, especially if you have other cardiovascular conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Those with known coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, or a history of stroke should use caution.

Cetirizine is processed through the liver and kidneys. In those with kidney disease or liver problems, cetirizine use should be monitored or avoided. The risk of adverse effects may be increased in the elderly, who are more prone to kidney or liver problems.

Frequently asked questions about Zyrtec vs. Zyrtec-D

Are Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D the same? / Is Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D better?

Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D are not the same drug. Although they can both be used for allergy relief, one contains a decongestant and the other does not. Zyrtec-D contains pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that can help relieve nasal congestion. If one of your primary symptoms is a stuffy nose, Zyrtec-D may be a better option than regular Zyrtec.

Can I use Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D while pregnant?

Zyrtec is generally safe for use during pregnancy. Zyrtec-D contains pseudoephedrine, which is not recommended during the first trimester or while breastfeeding. Pseudoephedrine can pass through breast milk. Although the risk of birth defects may be low, it’s best to use caution. Consult your doctor for the best allergy medicine to take while pregnant.

Can I use Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D with alcohol?

Drinking alcohol in moderation may not be a life-threatening concern with the occasional use of Zyrtec. Because alcohol can cause CNS depression, you may want to avoid drinking alcohol while on Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D because of the increased risk of drowsiness and sedation.

What is Zyrtec-D good for?

Zyrtec-D is good for symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Because it contains a decongestant, Zyrtec-D is especially good for sinus congestion. Zyrtec-D can also relieve itchy, watery eyes, and a runny nose.

When should I take Zyrtec-D?

Zyrtec-D can be taken at any time of the day. Those who experience drowsiness after taking Zyrtec-D may want to take it in the evening. Zyrtec-D also contains pseudoephedrine, which, on its own, is known to cause trouble sleeping.

Is Zyrtec-D safe to take every day?

Zyrtec-D is recommended for short-term use only. Zyrtec-D contains pseudoephedrine which should not be taken for more than 10 days at a time. If you find yourself needing Zyrtec-D for long-term nasal congestion, consult your healthcare provider.

Is Zyrtec-D good for a sinus infection?

Zyrtec-D is designed for treating allergy symptoms. Because symptoms of sinus infections and allergic rhinitis can overlap, Zyrtec-D may be useful for sinus infections if you’re also experiencing allergies. The pseudoephedrine in Zyrtec-D is a decongestant that can relieve nasal congestion. However, antihistamines are not generally recommended for sinus infections because they can dry out the nasal passages.

How quickly does Zyrtec-D work?

Most people experience relief from Zyrtec-D within an hour. It can take up to two hours for the drug to reach maximum levels in the body. Zyrtec-D lasts for approximately 12 hours and it’s usually taken twice daily for complete relief.

Use of cetirizine in dermatologic disorders


This review is written to summarize the present state of knowledge on the use of cetirizine in dermatologic disorders, its efficiency, and concerns regarding the safety of the drug.

Data sources and study selection:

A Medline search from 1980 until August 1997 was conducted. In addition, older literature especially concerning hydroxyzine was evaluated as well. The review considers all double-blind trials and in addition focuses on all information regarding the pharmacology and possible side effects of the drug.


Peak plasma levels are reached within 1 hour after intake. Drug elimination occurs largely unchanged by renal excretion and drug interactions are not known. Cetirizine has no cardiac toxicity. No evidence for teratogenicity has been found. Possible adverse events include somnolence but are dose-dependent and mostly mild. At the dose of 10 mg no impairment of driving performance or response time was observed. In dermatology, cetirizine has proven to be effective in the treatment of various forms of urticaria and it reduces the pruritus of atopic eczema. For these conditions, frequently doses higher than 10 mg (up to 40 mg) are recommended to achieve the best benefit. In other pruritic dermatoses, cetirizine has been reported to be helpful but, with the exception of mosquito bites where 10 mg daily had a significant effect, controlled studies are missing.


Cetirizine is a safe second generation antihistamine. It is effective especially in the treatment of urticaria and reduces significantly the pruritus of atopic dermatitis. An individual dosage should be chosen based on the severity of symptoms.

Zyrtec 24 Hour Allergy Relief, 10 mg – 30 Tabs

Zyrtec 24 Hour Allergy Relief, 10 mg – 30 Tabs | Rite Aid

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From the Manufacturer


Item No. 0350512

Zyrtec Allergy Relief Medicine Tablets relieve your worst indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms. With 10 milligrams of the antihistamine cetirizine hydrochloride per tablet, this prescription-strength allergy relief medicine provides 24 hours of relief from common symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies, including runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and itching of the nose or throat. From the #1 allergist-recommended brand among OTC oral antihistamines, these all-day anti-allergy tablets effectively treat indoor allergies caused by dust, mold, and pet dander, as well as outdoor seasonal allergies from tree pollen, weeds, and grasses. This 24 hour allergy relief medication starts working at hour 1 and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. It is suitable for those ages 6 and older.

  • Zyrtec 24 Hour Allergy Relief Medicine Tablets for powerful relief of your worst allergy symptoms
  • Prescription-strength allergy medicine treats runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose & throat
  • This powerful antihistamine tablet contains 10 mg of cetirizine hydrochloride for allergy relief
  • Allergy tablets start working at hour 1 & work twice as hard when you take it again the next day
  • Get effective allergy relief from the #1 allergist-recommended brand among OTC oral antihistamines
  • Over-the-counter allergy medication is now available for FSA and HSA reimbursement without a prescription. For any questions you may have regarding FSAs or HSAs, please browse our FAQ.


More Information
Product Name Zyrtec 24 Hour Allergy Relief Tablets – 10mg, 30 ct
Package Count 30
Container Type plastic bottle
Form Tablet
Dosage 1
Dosage UOM tablet(s)
Country of Manufacture United States
Prop 65 No


Adults and children 6 years and over: one 10 mg tablet once daily; do not take more than one 10 mg tablet in 24 hours. A 5 mg product may be appropriate for less severe symptoms.Adults 65 years and over: ask a doctorChildren under 6 years of age: ask a doctorConsumers with liver or kidney disease: ask a doctorOther information: Store between 20-25C (68-77F) Meets USP Dissolution Test 2Questions call 1-800-343-7805 (toll-free) or 215-273-8755 (collect)


Active ingredient (in each tablet): Cetirizine HCl 10 mg (antihistamine) Inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide


Do not use if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients or to an antihistamine containing hydroxyzine.
Ask a doctor before use if you have liver or kidney disease. Your doctor should determine if you need a different dose.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking tranquilizers or sedatives.

When using this product
Drowsiness may occur

Avoid alcoholic drinks
Alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness
Be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery

Stop use and ask a doctor if an allergic reaction to this product occurs. Seek medical help right away.

If pregnant or breast-feeding:
If breast-feeding: not recommended
If pregnant: ask a health professional before use.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. (1-800-222-1222)



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Cetirizine tablets

What is this medicine?

CETIRIZINE (se TI ra zeen) is an antihistamine. This medicine is used to treat or prevent symptoms of allergies. It is also used to help reduce itchy skin rash and hives.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): All Day Allergy, Allergy Relief, Zyrtec, Zyrtec Hives Relief

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to cetirizine, hydroxyzine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with food or on an empty stomach. Take your medicine at regular times. Do not take more often than directed. You may need to take this medicine for several days before your symptoms improve.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
  • narcotic medicines for pain
  • other medicines for colds or allergies

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your health. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • changes in vision or hearing
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • irritability
  • sore throat
  • stomach pain
  • tiredness

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Amazon.com: Zyrtec 24 Hour Allergy Relief Tablets, 10 mg Cetirizine HCl Antihistamine Allergy Medicine, 45 ct : Health & Household

Safety Information

Do not use if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients, or to an antihistamine containing hydroxyzine. Ask a doctor before use if you have liver or kidney disease. Your doctor should determine if you need a different dose. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking tranquilizers or sedatives. When using this product: • drowsiness may occur • avoid alcoholic drinks • alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness • be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery Stop use and ask doctor if an allergic reaction to this product occurs. Seek medical help right away. If pregnant or breast-feeding: • If breast-feeding: Not recommended. • If pregnant: Ask a health professional before use. Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. (1-800-222-1222)


ZYRTEC gives you long lasting relief from allergy symptoms. It helps relieve itchy, red, watery eyes, sneezing and runny, itchy, nose, postnasal drip, and itching from hives. Zyrtec is effective in treating both indoor and outdoor allergies such as dust, mold, pet dander, and pollen.


Active Ingredient (in each tablet): Cetirizine HCl 10 mg. Inactive Ingredients: Colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide.


Adults and children 6 years and over: One 10 mg tablet once daily; do not take more than one 10 mg tablet in 24 hours. A 5 mg product may be appropriate for less severe symptoms. Adults 65 years and over: Ask a doctor. Children under 6 years of age: Ask a doctor. Consumers with liver or kidney disease: Ask a doctor. Other information: Store between 20° to 25°c (68° to 77°f).

Legal Disclaimer


Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.

Cetirizine use in the mother during breast feeding


Absolute statements for pregnancy and breast feeding are generally not possible due to the limitations in performing double-blind, placebo controlled trials in this vulnerable population. Thus, conclusions are based upon extrapolations from the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and clinical experience.

There are no specific recommendations stating that cetirizine is safe in pregnancy but there is also no data showing risk. In the prior FDA classification scheme, cetirizine was a Class B drug, no evidence of harm in animal studies but no adequate, randomized, double-blind studies in pregnant women. Guidelines for allergic rhinitis suggest cetirizine for pregnancy when an antihistamine therapy is needed (1). A quote from the 2008 practice parameter on allergic rhinitis is:

“A sufficient amount of human observational data has now been accumulated to demonstrate safety for second-generation as well as first-generation antihistamines.”

There is likewise no controlled data from breast feeding women as to risk to the mother, effects on the infant or impact on breast milk production. Anticholinergic drugs may impact breast milk production via direct acetylcholine inhibition and reduction of glandular secretion, decrease in oxytocin and prolactin production. There is no evidence that the minimal anti-cholinergic effects of cetirizine have any effect on production of breast milk. There is likewise no evidence of negative effects of cetirizine on the breast feeding infant. There is a large, interventional trial using cetirizine 0.5mg/kg/day as a long term treatment starting at 1-2 years of age and no side-effects were documented, including behavioral, cognitive and psychomotor development (2).

In summary, there are no data showing a negative effect of cetirizine in pregnancy or during breast feeding. Limiting medication is preferable but theoretical, unproven risks must be compared to proven efficacy in a shared-decision making discussion.

1. https://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Practice%20and%20Parameters/rhinitis2008-diagnosis-management.pdf

2. Stevenson, Jim, et al. “Long-term evaluation of the impact of the h2-receptor antagonist cetirizine on the behavioral, cognitive, and psychomotor development of very young children with atopic dermatitis.” Pediatric research 52.2 (2002): 251-257. (0.5mg/kg/d long term, no effect)

I hope this information is of help to you and your practice.

All my best.

Dennis K. Ledford, MD, FAAAAI

Apo-Cetirizine – Uses, Side Effects, Interactions

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Cetirizine belongs to the class of medications called second-generation antihistamines, specifically the class known as histamine receptor antagonists. For adults and children 2 years of age and older, it is used for the relief of symptoms associated with seasonal allergies including sneezing; itchy nose and throat; stuffy and runny nose; and tearing, red, or itchy eyes. It is also used for the relief of symptoms associated with allergic skin conditions (e.g., chronic idiopathic urticaria) such as itchy skin and hives. For adults and children over the age of 12 years, it is also used for the relief of symptoms associated with year-round allergies and hives.

Cetirizine works by blocking the actions of one of the body’s natural chemicals known as histamine. Histamine is responsible for many of the symptoms caused by allergies.

Cetirizine usually starts to relieve allergy symptoms within 20 minutes and lasts for 24 hours.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

10 mg
Each white, ovoid, film-coated tablet, scored and engraved “10 mg” on one side and “APO” on the other, contains 10 mg of cetirizine HCl. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cornstarch, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.

20 mg
Each white-to-off-white, film-coated, rectangle-shaped, biconvex, tablet engraved “20” score “MG” on one side, and “APO” on the other side, contains 20 mg of cetirizine hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cornstarch, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose for adults and children 12 years of age and older is 5 mg to 10 mg once daily taken by mouth depending on the severity of the symptoms and circumstances of the person taking the medication. If 10 mg once daily is not enough to control your allergy symptoms, talk to your doctor.

For adults 65 years of age and over, the recommended dose is 5 mg once daily.

For children 6 to 12 years of age, the recommended dose is 10 mg once daily or 5 mg in the morning and in the evening.

For children 2 to 6 years of age, the recommended dose is 5 mg (one teaspoon) given once daily, or 2.5 mg (one-half teaspoon) of syrup in the morning and evening.

Use an oral syringe to measure each dose of the liquid, as it gives a more accurate measurement than household teaspoons.

All forms of cetirizine may be taken with or without food.

Seniors, and people with kidney or liver problems, may need lower doses of this medication.

Children should not use this medication for more than 14 days at a time unless recommended by a doctor.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as suggested by your doctor or pharmacist. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to cetirizine or any ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic to hydroxyzine
  • have severely reduced kidney function

  • What side effects are possible with this medication?

    Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

    The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

    The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

    Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

    • dizziness
    • dry mouth
    • headache
    • loss of taste
    • sleepiness
    • trouble sleeping

    Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
    Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

    • eye pain or swelling
    • behaviour changes (e.g., agitation, aggression)
    • blurred vision
    • difficult or painful urination
    • forgetfulness
    • hallucination (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
    • new rash or itching after stopping the medication
    • restlessness with increased body movement
    • signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)

    Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

    • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
    • signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort

    Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

    Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

    Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

    Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Studies have shown that cetirizine does not cause drowsiness under normal circumstances. A small percentage of people taking this medication have experienced a degree of drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery if you become drowsy while taking this medication.

    Reduced kidney function: If you have reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

    Reduced liver function: If you have reduced liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

    Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

    Breast-feeding: It is not known if cetirizine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

    Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication for seasonal allergies and allergic skin conditions have not been established for children less than 2 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of using this medication for year-round allergies have not been established for children 12 years of age and under.

    Seniors: Seniors may be more sensitive to the effects of cetirizine. Therefore, a lower starting dose may be recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.

    What other drugs could interact with this medication?

    There may be an interaction between cetirizine and any of the following:

    • acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (e.g., donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine)
    • aclidinium
    • alcohol
    • amantadine
    • amiodarone
    • amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine)
    • other antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, hydroxyzine)
    • antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
    • apalutamide
    • atropine
    • azelastine
    • “azole” antifungals (e.g., fluconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
    • barbiturates (e. g., butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital)
    • benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, diazepam)
    • belladonna
    • benztropine
    • betahistine
    • botulinum toxin
    • brimonidine
    • buspirone
    • cannabis
    • carvedilol
    • chloral hydrate
    • clidinium
    • clonidine
    • cyclosporine
    • darifenacin
    • disopyramide
    • domperidone
    • dronedarone
    • eluxadoline
    • entacapone
    • flavoxate
    • flibanserin
    • glucagon
    • glycopyrrolate
    • glycopyrronium
    • hepatitis C antivirals (e.g., daclatasvir, glecaprevir and pibrentasvir, ledipasvir, velpatasvir)
    • hyaluronidase
    • ipratropium
    • macrolide antibiotics (e.g., azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin)
    • metoclopramide
    • mirabegron
    • mirtazapine
    • muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, orphenadrine)
    • nabilone
    • narcotic pain medications (e. g., codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine)
    • nitroglycerin
    • oxybutynin
    • potassium supplements (potassium chloride, potassium citrate)
    • pramipexole
    • pramlintide
    • quinidine
    • quinine
    • reserpine
    • rifampin
    • ritonavir
    • ropinirole
    • St. John’s wort
    • scopolamine
    • seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, clobazam, levetiracetam, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, valproic acid, zonisamide)
    • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
    • sodium oxybate
    • solifenacin
    • suvorexant
    • tapentadol
    • thiazide diuretics (water pills; e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide, metolazone)
    • tiotropium
    • tolterodine
    • tramadol
    • tranylcypromine
    • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
    • tyrosine kinase inhibitors (e.g., dabrafenib, imatinib, nilotinib, sunitinib)
    • umeclidinium
    • verapamil
    • zolpidem
    • zopiclone

    If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

    • stop taking one of the medications,
    • change one of the medications to another,
    • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
    • leave everything as is.

    An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

    Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

    All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Apo-Cetirizine

90,000 39 reviews, instructions for use

Antiallergic drug. A blocker of histamine H 1 -receptors, a competitive histamine antagonist, a metabolite of hydroxyzine. Prevents the development and facilitates the course of allergic reactions, has an antipruritic and antiexudative effect.

Influences the early histamine-dependent stage of allergic reactions, limits the release of inflammatory mediators at the late stage of the allergic reaction, reduces the migration of eosinophils, neutrophils and basophils, stabilizes the membranes of mast cells.Reduces capillary permeability, prevents the development of tissue edema, relieves smooth muscle spasm. Eliminates skin reactions to the introduction of histamine, specific allergens, as well as to cooling (with “cold” urticaria). Reduces histamine-induced bronchoconstriction in mild bronchial asthma.

Virtually no anticholinergic and antiserotonin action. In therapeutic doses, it practically does not have a sedative effect.

After a single dose of cetirizine at a dose of 10 mg, the onset of the effect is observed after 20 minutes (in 50% of patients) and after 60 minutes (in 95% of patients), the effect lasts more than 24 hours.Against the background of a course of treatment, tolerance to the antihistamine effect of cetirizine does not develop. After cessation of treatment, the effect persists for up to 3 days.


Pharmacokinetic parameters of cetirizine vary linearly.


After oral administration, the drug is rapidly and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. In adults, after a single dose of the drug in a therapeutic dose, C max in plasma is reached after 1 ± 0.5 h and is 300 ng / ml.Taking the drug with food does not affect the amount of absorption.


Cetirizine binds to blood plasma proteins by 93 ± 0.3%. V d – 0.5 l / kg.

When taking the drug at a dose of 10 mg for 10 days, no cumulation of cetirizine is observed.


In small amounts, metabolized in the liver by O-dealkylation with the formation of a pharmacologically inactive metabolite (unlike other blockers of histamine H 1 -receptors, metabolized in the liver with the participation of isoenzymes of the cytochrome P450 system).


T 1/2 in adults is approximately 10 hours. Approximately 2/3 of the dose taken is excreted by the kidneys unchanged.

Pharmacokinetics in special clinical cases

T 1/2 in children aged 6-12 years – 6 hours; in children 2-6 years old – 5 hours; in children aged 6 months to 2 years – 3.1 h.

In elderly patients and patients with chronic liver diseases with a single dose of 10 mg T 1/2 increases by about 50%, and systemic clearance decreases by 40%.

In patients with mild renal insufficiency (CC> 40 ml / min), pharmacokinetic parameters are similar to those in patients with normal renal function.

In patients with moderate renal insufficiency and in patients on hemodialysis (CC <7 ml / min), when the drug is taken orally at a dose of 10 mg T 1/2 increases 3 times, and the total clearance decreases by 70% relative to patients with normal renal function, which requires a corresponding change in the dosage regimen.

Cetirizine is practically not removed from the body during hemodialysis.

What is dangerous to do before vaccination against COVID-19 – Russian newspaper

How to prepare for vaccination against COVID-19 and why should you not refuse it? Alexander Gorelov, Deputy Director for Research of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, answered the questions of “RG” – Week on the eve of World Health Day.

How to prepare for vaccination? The networks write that before vaccination or immediately after, you can take an antihistamine medication.This supposedly will help reduce the reaction to the vaccine – a fever, pain and swelling at the injection site. This is true?

Alexander Gorelov: Absolutely not. This medication “preparation” is not needed. Moreover, it is harmful – taking antihistamines, as shown by a recent study, can negatively affect the immune response after vaccination. Antihistamines may be needed in patients with a relevant allergic history. If they are taking these drugs as directed by their doctor on a regular basis, it is not worth interrupting the appointment due to the vaccine.For all others, these drugs are not indicated.

What to do if the vaccination deadline is approaching, and the person has a cold?

Alexander Gorelov: If you don’t feel good, vaccination should be postponed, having waited a couple of weeks after complete recovery.

If you catch ARVI between two doses, it is permissible to increase the interval between injections to two months.

With the introduction of the vaccine, a weakened infectious process takes place in the body. If the respiratory virus is added to this, it doubles the burden on the immune system.

Therefore, we recommend that you be especially careful about your health between vaccinations – minimize contacts, avoid crowded places, use a mask. Let me remind you that the vaccine begins to give real protection on average 32-42 days after the first vaccination.

If flu-like syndrome occurs after vaccination – fever, headache, breaks – how to help yourself?

Alexander Gorelov: Symptomatic therapy is allowed – you can take paracetamol.Drink ibuprofen for more pain relief. In general, both of these drugs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

If a person still did not save himself and, after the first vaccination, caught a coronavirus – what then?

Alexander Gorelov: In this case, the second dose is not administered.

There are not so many absolutely healthy people. Most have some problems – chronic gastritis, other gastrointestinal diseases, arterial hypertension, and so on – is it not dangerous to be vaccinated in chronicles?

Alexander Gorelov: People with any chronic diseases need to be vaccinated first of all, since they are at increased risk of severe complications of covid.True, one rule applies: you must have a stable condition (drug remission) and during the last month there must be no exacerbations of chronic diseases.

Do I need to pass any tests or examinations before vaccination?

Alexander Gorelov: There are no such requirements. The main thing is that you feel normal on the day of vaccination. Before vaccination, the patient is examined by a doctor, measures the pressure, temperature and checks the condition of the mucous membranes (nose, throat) – in order to exclude acute diseases.

True, some still take a PCR test or a test for antibodies to coronavirus to make sure that they have not suffered the disease asymptomatically. But this is a personal choice of everyone.

While children are not vaccinated against COVID-19. But the Ministry of Health is discussing the issue of a possible expansion of vaccination for adolescents over 14 years old. Photo: iStock

If you get nervous before getting vaccinated, can you take a sedative?

Alexander Gorelov: Yes, this is not forbidden.Against the background of anxiety, stress, blood pressure can rise. Therefore, on the day of vaccination, I would recommend that you check your blood pressure in the morning and, if necessary, take antihypertensive drugs prescribed by your doctor.

If a person is allergic – is there a risk of getting a reaction to the vaccine?

Alexander Gorelov: If you are allergic, be sure to inform your doctor before vaccination. Especially if you have had a reaction to medications. The doctor will assess the risks and can advise which vaccine to vaccinate – they have a different composition.The main thing is that after the vaccination, you need to stay in the medical organization for another half hour under the supervision of doctors. This is necessary so that in the event of an allergic reaction, the patient receives immediate assistance.

In the daily reports on COVID-19, along with the dynamics of the number of cases, the prevalence of infection is also reported. What is this indicator and how is it related to anti-epidemic measures?

Alexander Gorelov: The spread of infection (Rt) shows how tense the epidemiological situation is in a particular region.It is calculated as follows: data on the incidence of the last eight days are taken, and the total number of cases in the last four days is divided by the total number of cases in the previous four days. The change in the coefficient shows how the situation is developing, based on this key indicator, decisions are made to mitigate or strengthen anti-epidemic measures. If the coefficient falls below 1, you can proceed to mitigate restrictive measures. If it is above this level and continues to grow, anti-epidemic measures must be strengthened.An important “cut-off” is the factor value of 0.7. When we reached this level last spring, the restrictions were eased.


There are heated debates on the Web: to get vaccinated – not to get vaccinated. Young people often reason: well, I’ll be ill with COVID-19, no big deal. Why do you still need to be vaccinated?

Alexander Gorelov: Vaccination against some infections is a purely individual matter. Every year the inhabitants of Siberia are vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis, so that they can go to nature, to the forest to pick mushrooms, to hunt or fish without fear… And no one, by the way, declares that the vaccine is not needed. Everyone understands perfectly well what it threatens if a tick infected with the encephalitis virus bites. The same is true if a person is bitten by a dog or he spreads his leg against a rusty nail. No one ever refuses to carry out vaccine prophylaxis in such situations, although against rabies it is necessary to be vaccinated several times, strictly maintaining the intervals between doses, and this for several months purely organizationally complicates life.

Rabies, tetanus, and tick-borne encephalitis are deadly diseases.But all these infections do not cause epidemics. When deciding to be vaccinated, a person is responsible only for himself.

But with infections transmitted by airborne droplets from person to person, the situation is different. If you do not protect yourself from vaccinations, massive outbreaks of such diseases will inevitably occur. It is not just vaccination that can protect against an epidemic, but mass vaccination – when a large pool of protected people is created in a population and the transmission of the virus from person to person stops. While vaccinating against such infections, we make not only a personal choice, we, I am not afraid of the word, show responsibility in relation to loved ones, to the family, and make sure that the infection does not spread in principle.

Vaccination is all the more necessary because there are no effective drugs for the vast majority of viral infections.

Here are some classic examples. Recently, we are celebrating 40 years since the moment when the world was free from smallpox. It is with the help of vaccines. There have been no cases of infection in the world for several decades and, I hope, there will be no more.

Same thing with polio. Our country has the status of eliminated, that is, free from polio. Moreover, helping other countries with our vaccines, Russia contributed to the liberation from this most dangerous infection on a global scale.But smallpox in pre-vaccine times annually claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. Now cases of poliomyelitis are rare and there are only a few not the most prosperous countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria.

Another example from the relatively recent past. Many do not remember now, but in the early 90s in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities there was a large outbreak of diphtheria. Then about 158 ​​thousand people fell ill, four thousand died. Then it was the emergency mass vaccination that helped suppress this outbreak and prevented the infection from spreading throughout the country.

And the story with measles continues to this day. In Europe, where a few years ago they abandoned compulsory measles vaccinations, believing that they had coped with the infection, a sharp increase in the incidence began. Measles is very hard in adults. In Russia, the majority of children are vaccinated, therefore, mainly imported cases of measles are registered here, in particular from Ukraine, where vaccinations were also stopped. So, so that these isolated cases do not grow into something more, epidemiologists always carry out the so-called clean-up vaccination.It helps to interrupt the chains of transmission of the virus.

As for COVID-19, the longer we study it, the clearer it is that it is by no means trivial, but an insidious and complex infection, often with an unfavorable outcome. That is why infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists are unanimous: only vaccination will help to finally cope with the epidemic.

How much to take Zyrtec – Question to an allergist

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