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What Are the Uses of Cetirizine Syrup?

By Jennifer Long
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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Cetirizine syrup is used to treat various allergy symptoms, including hives. It is an antihistamine that targets and blocks histamines that cause reactions such as sneezing, itchy throat, and watery eyes. Chronic hives are also treated, as they are signs of a more severe allergic reactionl.

Seasonal and indoor allergies trigger the body’s production of histamine when a sensitive person is exposed to things like pet dander, dust, and pollen. Histamines attack these foreign antigens, which leads to symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy or watering eyes. Cetirizine syrup prevents symptoms by stopping or drastically reducing the body’s histamine production. Without histamines, there is little or no reaction to allergy symptom triggers.

Some people experience a more pronounced allergic reaction. The trigger can be one thing, such as cat dander, or it can be multiple things, such as tree pollen of more than one species. For these reactions, exposure causes rash splotches to occur on the skin, called hives. In this instance, the medication can be taken prior to exposure as a preventive, or it can be taken after hives have appeared to help them disappear faster.

Before taking cetirizine syrup, a doctor must be informed, especially if other medications are being taken, because cetirizine drug interactions are possible. Cetirizine can interact with any medication known to cause drowsiness. People who take epileptic drugs, sleeping medicine, muscle relaxers, and some psychiatric prescriptions must be closely monitored while taking cetirizine. This medication may also interact with other antihistamines and narcotic pain medicines.

Side effects of cetirizine syrup include drowsiness, dry mouth, and dizziness. Children may experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach discomfort. Serious side effects, such as trouble breathing and swelling of the throat or tongue, require immediate medical attention. If any other side effects occur or existing effects worsen or become bothersome, a doctor should be consulted.

This medicine should be measured using a medicine cup so that the proper dose is taken. The prescribing doctor and pharmacist will provide instructions to follow. Do not increase the dose or change how often the medicine is taken without consulting the prescribing doctor.

Cetirizine syrup should not be taken with alcohol. People taking cetirizine should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until the body adjusts and side effects subside. Extra precautions should be taken when exposed to direct sunlight because sun sensitivity is possible. Wear sunscreen when outdoors for long periods of time.

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Discussion Comments
By shell4life — On Jan 15, 2012

@seag47 – I started taking cetirizine syrup for a similar reason. My sister-in-law had moved in with me, and she brought her dogs with her. They were fluffy little things, and they stirred up my allergies bigtime.

I wasn't going to ask her to part with her furry babies, so I asked a pharmacist what the best thing to take to tame my allergies would be. He suggested cetirizine syrup.

It helped reduce my symptoms a lot. I still have the occasional problems with congestion and sneezing, but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

I have learned to take the warning about sun sensitivity seriously. Usually, I can do yard work for an hour without getting burned. I found that on this medicine, I can only stay out for about twenty minutes before I start to turn red.

By seag47 — On Jan 15, 2012

I am severely allergic to cats, and my neighbor has ten of them. They often venture into my yard, and for the longest time, I couldn't step outdoors without breaking into hives.

My doctor recommended cetirizine syrup. He said I should take it before going outside to prevent a breakout.

I had my doubts that it would work, because nothing else ever had. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did.

I still would never pet a cat or let one in my house, but with cetirizine syrup, I can at least enjoy my own yard. I no longer feel like I am under house arrest.

By lighth0se33 — On Jan 14, 2012

@orangey03 – Your drowsiness might have gone away after a few weeks. It took nearly four weeks for mine to subside, but I kept taking the syrup in the morning, because it seemed to work best that way.

I take it every six hours, so I have to bring it to work with me. This medicine has helped me more than any other allergy medication I have tried, and it doesn't cause bad side effects.

With other antihistamines, I had problems with dry mouth and dry nostrils. It seemed that they dehydrated my sinuses too much. Cetirizine syrup takes out just the right amount of moisture and leaves me with enough for lubrication.

By orangey03 — On Jan 13, 2012

Cetirizine syrup made me very drowsy during the first week of taking it. The kind I was taking was supposed to last for twenty-four hours, so I decided to switch things up and take it at night.

This benefited me greatly. I felt alert during the daytime, and I had no trouble at all falling asleep at night. My insomnia was totally gone.

The medicine lasted throughout the whole day. Whereas spring once turned me into a leaky, sneezing faucet nose, after taking cetirizine syrup, I became a normal human again and could enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in the season of fresh blooms.

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