What is Cetirizine?
Cetirizine is a drug, which is generally used to treat the allergic reactions occurred in the human body. The drug is India could be bought over the counter from a pharmacy centre. It means that its buyers do not need to produce a prescription written by some medical practitioner or physician.
The drug is available in the tablet, capsule and syrup forms. The generic prescribed dosage of this medicine is one unit (tablet or capsule) per day for an individual with normal health conditions. The physician may, however, alter this dosage based on the medical factors associated with the patient or the severity of the persisting symptoms.
The action of this medicine is quicker, and it starts producing its desired effect within a couple of hours of consuming the same. Cetirizine is an inexpensive and generic drug. A healthy individual would not observe any major or complicated side effects by consuming it in the prescribed dosage.
Uses and Efficacy of Cetirizine
The drug is generally used for treating the symptoms of seasonal allergic reactions in the human body. Some of those include cold, cough and even fever. Additionally, the skin specialists also prescribe it for the patients suffering from mild skin allergy caused by various reasons.
Apart from these, cetirizine could also reduce the symptoms occurred due to a small insect bite (like a wasp or a honeybee). Note that this medicine is used only to relieve the patient from the symptoms of such allergies. It could not be used for preventing from or healing the infection itself.
Whenever a person comes in contact of allergens, by touching or inhaling plant pollens, mold or pets, the immune system of the body produces a resisting chemical known as histamine. The various symptoms of the allergic reactions are caused due to the massive production of histamine in the body.
Such symptoms include irritation or inflammation in the sinuses, nose, throat, skin and the respiratory system. Cetirizine, being an anti-histamine, limits the production of histamine in the human body and reduces the associated symptoms. It is a highly efficient drug for treating allergies in the individuals of almost all age groups, including the children above two years of age.
Following are the allergic symptoms, which could be prevented effectively by cetirizine:
- Running and itching nose
- Watering or itching of eyes
- Throat soaring
- Rashes over the skin
- Itching over any part of the body
- Swelling caused by the bite of a small insect
Is it Safe for the Children to Consume Cetirizine?
Whenever we hear about any useful medicine, the first question arising in our mind is if it is safe for children and pregnant women. Cetirizine, being a powerful antiallergic, is prescribed by the paediatricians for the children above two years of age. For the children, the medicine is formulized in the syrup form of multiple flavours, so that they could like its taste and consume easily
The children above the age of six years, along with the adults, are prescribed the capsule or tablet form of the medicine. To answer the lead question, the medicine is safe to be consumed by individuals of all age groups above two years of age, if consumed within the prescribed limits. The children above six years of age can safely consume 10 milligrams (mg) of the chemical in a day.
The physician may also prescribe a normal patient to consume two 5 mg dosages within a day, if needed. The children between two to six years of age are prescribed a lower dosage. However, paediatricians avoid prescribing the cetirizine-based medicines to the infants below two years of age.
Although, the medicine is available over the counter at the chemist shops, the following patients must consult with a medical practitioner before consuming any dosage:
- Elderly individuals above 65 years of age
- Children between 2 to 6 years of age
- Patients of liver diseases
- Patients of kidney diseases
- Individuals allergic to the cetirizine salt
What are the Probable Side Effects of Cetirizine?
It is a prior myth of most of us that every antiallergic drug causes intense drowsiness and other side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and overheating sensation in the body. Cetirizine, being a new second-generation anti-histamine drug, is lesser likely to cause such side effects.
However, overdose or even the normal dose of this medicine consumed by the individuals with a weaker immune system may observe one or more of the following side effects:
- Lethargy or tiredness
- Dry mouth
- Mind to severe stomach pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Make sure you stick to the dosage prescribed by the physician, irrespective of the severity of your allergy. In case any of these side effects are observed, you should consult with your physician at the earliest.
What Precautions Should You Take While Consuming Cetirizine?
Although cetirizine causes minimal side effects as compared to the traditional anti-allergic medicines. However, the individuals consuming it may observe mild to moderate side effects like drowsiness, lethargy and nausea based on certain conditions. This way, it becomes necessary for them to follow certain precautions to avoid any probable complication. Some of those are discussed below.
1- Be Cautious When Working on Machinery
Since consuming cetirizine may cause drowsiness and lethargy, those individuals who are required to work on some machinery, must be a little more cautious to avoid any accident. Especially with the first few doses, the side effects may be observed more. If that is a case, avoid working on the machinery for that period. Additionally, avoid driving a vehicle if you observe lethargy in your body.
2- Discuss Your Medical History with Your Medical Practitioner
It is often seen that many individuals do not bother about the medicines that their doctor prescribe to them. They simply handover the prescription to the chemist and get the medicines for consuming, as suggested. The best rule while getting any treatment from your physician is to disclose about all the drugs with which your body is allergic.
You must maintain a list of such drugs through your observations from the previous treatments and retain in your medical file. In case you are allergic to cetirizine, the doctor would not prescribe you the same for the treatment of any kind of allergic reaction. In such a case, you would be prescribed to consume some other anti-histamine medicines, like those containing hydroxyzine.
3- Avoid Consuming It During Breastfeeding or Pregnancy
In case you are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant, or breastfeeding your infant, you should inform your doctor before undergoing any treatment. Cetirizine is generally not considered to be safe for the foetus or the infants below two years of age. Even through breastfeeding, the extract of every diet of the mother is consumed by the baby through the breast milk.
4- Inform the Doctor if you have Liver, Kidney or Other Diseases
The patients of kidney or liver diseases may observe certain adverse effects in their body while consuming this drug. If you suffer from any of those, it is good to inform your doctor during your visit. If required, the doctor may prescribe a lower dosage or some safer substitute for treating your allergic reaction.
Additionally, the patients suffering one of the following medical conditions must inform their doctor before getting the medication:
- Heart diseases
- Hyper or hypo thyroid
- Enlarged prostate along with urinary retention
- High blood pressure
One can follow these tips which will help them to choose a Right Doctor
5- Avoid Alcohol and Interacting Drugs While Consuming Cetirizine
There are certain substances and drugs, which may cause severe side effects on the human body while interacting with cetirizine. For instance, in case the individuals consuming this drug consume alcohol in between, they may observe over-drowsiness or loss of consciousness for a considerable period.
Additionally, the individuals consuming sedatives, tranquilizers, sleep aid medicines, and other drugs treating anxiety and other medicines for psychiatric or asthmatic disorders, may observe severe side effects on consuming cetirizine alongside. The interaction of this drug with several other substances or medicines may directly impact your central nervous system, which may further intensify sedation.
Cetirizine Brand Names in India
As you know, for every drug, there could be lots many seller brands available in every country. Likewise, cetirizine is also available with multiple names in India. Some of those are listed below:
- Sizon forteátablet
Cetirizine is a safer drug, which could be consumed by almost all the individuals with age above two years. It is used for the treatment of numerous allergic reactions. Although the drug is available at the chemist shops over the counter, but it is recommended to discuss with your doctor about all your medical conditions before consuming it.
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