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What Is Levocetirizine Hydrochloride?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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Levocetirizine hydrochloride is a medication prescribed to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies and hives. These symptoms can include sneezing, a runny nose, and watering eyes, as well as itching and rashes. This antihistamine can help alleviate allergy symptoms by inhibiting the actions of the chemical histamine in the body.

Patients will usually take one dose of levocetirizine hydrochloride in the evening. It may be taken with or without food. This medicine is available as a tablet or as a liquid syrup for patients who have trouble swallowing pills. It is essential to measure the liquid dosage for children correctly, because a child will absorb much more of the medication than an adult will.

This antihistamine medication may cause some side effects, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they persist or become bothersome. Patients may experience drowsiness, fatigue, and weakness. A fever or a cough may develop, along with dry mouth and sore throat. Sinus pain, a stuffy nose, and mild nosebleeds have also been reported. Weight gain may also occur.

Rarely, an allergic reaction to this medication may occur, which requires immediate medical care. Signs of a possible allergic reaction can include hives, itching, and problems breathing. The patient's face may also show signs of swelling, as well as the throat, lips, and tongue.

Other serious side effects may also rarely occur from the use of levocetirizine hydrochloride. Patients should go to the emergency room if they experience hallucinations, unusual thoughts, or feeling as though they may faint. Other potential side effects can include numbness around the lips, jaundice, and stomach pain. Dark urine, confusion, and severe dizziness have also been reported rarely.

Before using levocetirizine hydrochloride, patients should discuss their other medical conditions with the prescribing physician. Those who have severe kidney disease or who are on dialysis may be unable to use it. Other medical conditions that may preclude its use can include gallbladder problems and liver disease. This drug may pass into breast milk and should not be used while breastfeeding. It is not expected to harm an unborn baby.

Patients must also disclose all other medications and supplements they take to ensure their safety. Muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medicines, and narcotic pain relievers may interact with this antihistamine. Sleeping pills, anxiety medications, and certain psychiatric drugs may also interact with it. In addition, those who are undergoing medical diagnostic tests, such as allergy tests, should inform the doctor that they are taking levocetirizine hydrochloride, as it may interfere with the results.

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Discussion Comments
By SZapper — On Feb 14, 2012

@Azuza - Just because side effects are possible doesn't mean everyone is going to experience them. I have a friend that takes levocetirizine hydrochloride and she's never had any weird side effects. And it controls her allergies really well. I think people just need to try different allergy medicines and see what works for them.

I think it's lucky that most antihistamines are available over the counter now too. I used to also take Allegra when it was only available by prescription. Now I'm paying about half of what I used to pay for my medicine every month!

By Azuza — On Feb 14, 2012

@strawCake - It does sound weird, but I guess anyone can be allergic to anything, including antihistamines. I take antihistamines for my allergies, and I've never had any serious problems. However, I make sure to take non-drowsy allergy medicine (usually I take Allegra) because the allergy medicine that "may cause drowsiness" usually knocks me out!

The side effects of this allergy medicine sound a little frightening though. I don't think I've ever read anything about Allegra causing people to think unusual thoughts or hallucinate. I think I'll just stick with what I know as far as my allergy medicine goes.

By strawCake — On Feb 13, 2012

For anyone who is interested, the brand name of this drug is Xyzal. However, I always tell everyone I can to just buy the generic of whatever medicine you're getting, because it's the exact same thing. I'm also pretty sure this medicine is similar to Zyrtec, which is cetirizine. I know if you're allergic to Zyrtect you shouldn't take levocetirizine hydrochloride either.

Which brings me to another point about antihistamines: I'm always surprised that people can actually be allergic to them. I mean, they're supposed to help allergies, not cause them! I always shake my head a little when I see that particular warning on the bottle.

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