This medication is used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny/stuffy nose, itching eyes/nose, and sneezing. It contains 2 medications: cetirizine and pseudoephedrine. Cetirizine is an antihistamine and works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant and works by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose to decrease swelling and congestion.
This medication is not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age due to the large amount of pseudoephedrine in it.
If you are taking the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed with or without food, usually twice daily (every 12 hours).
Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 1 week, if they worsen, or if they occur with a fever.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficulty urinating, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, shaking (tremor), mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, confusion, nervousness, restlessness), weakness.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to cetirizine or pseudoephedrine; or to hydroxyzine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. Also, tell your doctor if you have had serious side effects from similar medications (such as other decongestants, including phenylephrine). This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: glaucoma, difficulty urinating (such as due to an enlarged prostate), high blood pressure (hypertension), heart/blood vessel disease (such as coronary artery disease), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, other antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness or they may contain similar ingredients (decongestants such as phenylephrine). Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Do not use with any other antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray) because increased side effects may occur.
Cetirizine is very similar to hydroxyzine and levocetirizine. Do not use these medications while using cetirizine.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin testing), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, restlessness), seizures.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Different brands of this medication may have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised November 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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