The cetirizine is a drug belonging to the antihistamines of the second generation, is a drug derived from carboxylic acids and hydroxyzine, which is a metabolite of the substance. Its effects are weak in the central nervous system, this allows it to work without any problems, since it is not a sedative, nor does it cause dizziness or drowsiness.

A substance that contains citirizine, it selectively inhibits histamine H1 receptors so that it works properly in the immune system, especially in allergens. It has the ability to control the symptoms produced by different seasonal allergies, those that are caused by some foods or by substances and particles found in the environment.

This antihistamine is not a sedative, nor does it affect the receptors that are responsible for the emotional part of people, therefore, it does not cause sleep or stress. This means that it can be used by patients who work with heavy machinery or study, there have been very few cases that it has caused drowsiness.

What is cetirizine for?

The drug cetirizine has the ability to block H1 receptors for histamine, which is a chemical that is reserved in mast cells, in most of the body’s tissues.

When the human body has a reaction to various foreign substances such as nasal congestion, inflammation in the tissues, airways or skin, narrowing of the airways and pain in the nose, eyes or skin, the mast cells release histamine so that in together with the H1 receptors, they increase blood flow and the production of some chemical substances that intervene in these allergic reactions.

When should cetirizine be taken?

As it is an antihistamine, its main function in the body is to inhibit the reactions of histamine on the immune system. Cetirizine can treat and control a variety of allergic conditions and symptoms such as those listed below:

  • Symptoms: watery eyes, red and itchy eyes, cough with or without phlegm, sneezing, hives and runny nose.
  • Conditions: fever, allergy due to animal dander, cockroaches, mites, pollen, dust, mold or some fungi, allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, food allergy and chronic or seasonal rhinitis.

How is cetirizine taken?

This medication should be taken exactly as indicated on its label or as prescribed by the treating physician. It is advisable not to exceed the intake for longer than indicated, as it could cause harmful effects on the body. It is administered orally and its commercialization is presented in different forms such as:

  • Regular pills or capsules.
  • Chewable tablets, which must be chewed well before being swallowed.
  • Syrups, this liquid presentation, must be administered through the measurement of a measuring device or a special cup that can measure the dose.

Recommended dose of cetirizine

The recommended doses of cetirizine will depend on the characteristics of the patient. These can be classified in the following ways:

  • Dosage in children from 2 to 5 years : it is convenient to give the amount of 2.5 milligrams, only once a day to start or 5 milligrams administered in 2 doses a day.
  • Dose in children 6 to 11 years : the recommended dosage in children of these ages is 5 to 10 milligrams once a day, this dose is limited due to the severity of the symptoms.
  • Dosage in children over 12 years of age or adults : the amount of 5 to 10 milligrams is recommended once a day, this dose can be increased depending on the severity of the allergy that occurs.
  • Dosage for patients with kidney failure : you should only increase doses of 5 milligrams once a day.
  • Dosage in patients containing liver disease : Similarly, you should only consume 5 milligrams per day.

It should be noted that the amount of intake of the recommended dose of cetirizine in children 2 to 4 years of age should not reach the adult dose, since it could present a lower plasma concentration and result in a delay in the effect of this medicine. This can also happen to patients with kidney dysfunction.

On the contrary, in patients with liver failure, the pharmacokinetic profile may be altered, indicating that the drug intake does not alter plasma concentrations, due to the fact that they are eliminated through the urine.

Healthy people who are not affected by any pathology, have the privilege that citirizine achieves the effect satisfactorily from the first moment in which the first intake is made and they eliminate it in the urine within 24 hours.

Precautions when consuming cetirizine

It is important that the treating doctor is aware if the patient is under the effects of other medications that cause drowsiness, since they could present some reactions when consuming this drug, therefore, some precautions such as those presented below should be taken :

Be careful when handling heavy machinery

Although cetirizine does not cause drowsiness, some people may react differently, especially when consuming the first doses, so you must be careful when driving vehicles or machinery, you must wait for your reaction to the medicine.

Check the components

If at any time there was an allergic reaction to cetirizine or any of its components, it is advisable not to consume it.

During pregnancy or breastfeeding

This medicine should not be used during gestation periods or if you are breastfeeding, because cetirizine passes into breast milk and may affect the baby.

Possible side effects of cetirizine

Mostly, this medicine does not cause adverse effects, however, some serious reactions or symptoms may occur. In that case, you should stop taking it and inform the treating doctor immediately. These symptoms can be:

  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Swallowing complexity.
  • Excess of tiredness.
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach aches.
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constant drowsiness
  • Severe hyperactivity
  • Diarrhea
  • Uncontrolled shaking
  • Constipation.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Acceleration in the heart system.
  • Difficulty in vision.

Conclusion of the use of cetirizine

To conclude with this interesting topic, it can be said that cetirizine is an excellent drug with a quick relief effect and extended action, which is administered to treat nasal conditions and seasonal or permanent allergies, which can be caused by a wide variety of factors that negatively affect health.

It is a privilege for us that you have chosen us to read this interesting topic. Thank you for choosing us!

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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