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Zyrtec is an oral tablet consisting of an antihistamine called cetirizine. This medication is also know internationally as Reactine, and may be purchased in both the brand choice and generic alternative in 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. 

Zyrtec is used to help treat cold or allergy symptoms. These symptoms may include sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or a runny nose. These symptoms can be caused by the common cold, a viral infection, or by allergies, which are caused by allergens. A viral infection is caused by a virus, usually rhinoviruses, although there are many viruses out there that can cause a common cold. As for allergens, they can be anything from dust to pollen to pet dander. Allergens are substances (antigens) that produces an abnormal and vigorous immune response; allergens can be different from person to person, but regardless of what your allergens are, they will cause the immune system to attack it. This is when you will start sneezing, itching, or experiencing other symptoms of allergies.

Additionally, this medication can also be used to help with itching and swelling caused by chronic urticaria, which is a fancy name for hives. Hives can be a result of an allergic reaction, or they may be caused by foods, medications, environmental factors (such as tight clothing or emotional stress), or medical treatments or underlying medical conditions.

Zyrtec (cetirizine) is effective at treating cold and allergy symptoms (as well as hives) because of its power to reduce the effects of histamines in the body, which produce the symptoms followed by the common cold or allergies.

Take Zyrtec exactly the way it has been prescribed to you. You should be able to find your doctor’s directions on the prescription label. Do not use Zyrtec in larger or smaller amounts than recommended or for a longer duration of time.

Older adults and seniors may need to take a lower dose than the average dose. Speak with your doctor if this concerns you.

You may take this medication with or without food.

Chewable tablet: you must chew the tablet before swallowing.

Orally dissolving tablet: put the tablet in your mouth. You should feel it begin to dissolve instantly. Swallow several times as it dissolves but ensure you do not swallow the tablet; it should completely dissolve.

Store this medication at room temperature away from risks of moisture and heat.


Do not use Zyrtec (cetirizine)

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cetirizine or hydroxyzine.

Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required

Before starting treatment, ensure you have told your doctor about all medical conditions, especially if you have difficulty urinating, kidney disease, or liver disease.

Tell your doctor if you take any type of medication that makes you sleepy. This includes medication such as other cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety.


It is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. Speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication while pregnant.

It is not known if this medication will pass into breast milk or if it will harm a nursing infant. Ask a doctor before using this medication if you are breast feeding.

Zyrtec may impair your thinking, therefore, you should not participate in any hazardous activities, such as driving, until you are fully aware how this medication affects you.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Zyrtec (cetirizine) may include:

dizziness, drowsiness, headache; dry mouth; nausea, constipation; or tired feeling.

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Zyrtec (cetirizine) may include:

fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat; weakness, tremors (uncontrolled shaking), or sleep problems (insomnia); severe restless feeling, hyperactivity; confusion; problems with vision; or little or no urination.

If you have any of the above side effects or signs of complications, contact your doctor right away.

Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.


What is Zyrtec?

Zyrtec is a medication that is known as an antihistamine, as to what is Cetirizine exactly? It’s generally known and used as an allergy medication.  It can help relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes or nose, hives and itching.  So what does Cetirizine do? When taken, it generally works by blocking a natural substance called histamine that your body creates during an allergic reaction. Keep in mind that this medication cannot prevent or treat a serious allergic reaction, and it should not be used in place of your epinephrine. Zyrtec comes in three different strengths which are 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. If you have any questions regarding this medication or any inquiries in general, feel free to give us a call at our toll free number 1-877-385-8998.       


How long does it take for Zyrtec to work?

Many people who have taken this medication have reported in feeling relief within an hour’s time. However, this does seem to differ from one person to the next. But in general, how long does cetirizine take to work? Not very long, but you should experience at least 24 hours of relief after your first dose.


How often can you take Zyrtec?

Many have asked as to how many Cetirizine can you take in a day?  Generally, you shouldn’t take more than 10mg within 24 hours. Depending on how mild your allergies may be your doctor may recommend a 5mg dose once or twice a day.


What is the active ingredient in Zyrtec?

The active ingredient and the name of the generic for Zyrtec is known as Cetirizine. It was approved for medical use and then put on the market in the year 2008.


How long does Zyrtec stay in your system?

This medication can take awhile to be removed from your system, as to how long does Cetirizine last within your body generally depends on the dose give to you and it can vary from one person to another. However, the elimination half-life for this medication is usually between 8 to 9 hours. So generally this medication may take up to 48 hours for it to be completely eliminated from your system.


What are the side effects of Zyrtec?

Like all medications, this one too has a list of common side effects. As to what are the side effects of Cetirizine? They are listed as follows; Drowsiness, fatigue, tired feeling, dizziness, dry mouth, sore throat, cough, nausea, constipation, or headaches. Keep in mind that these are not all of the side effects listed for this medication, and if you are experiencing any of these be sure to inform your doctor if they persist or worsen.


How much is Zyrtec?

Zyrtec is typically listed as a Tier 1 medication of Medicare’s formulary. Most Tier 1 drugs are usually inexpensive generics. However, you can still find a more affordable option on an online Canadian Pharmacy such as My Drug Center.  We have a starting price of $50.00 for the quantity of 100 pills.

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