Swissmedic-approved patient information
What is Zyrtec and when is it used?
Zyrtec is effective in the basic treatment of allergic diseases. It blocks the action of histamine, which is released in the body during allergic reactions. Zyrtec is used in adults and children from 6 years of age to treat allergic diseases such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis and chronic hives (often associated with itching). Children aged 2 to 6 who suffer from hay fever can also be treated with Zyrtec. The treatment duration for children with allergic rhinitis must not exceed 4 weeks. Zyrtec is available in the form of film-coated tablets or drops.
When not to use Zyrtec?
Patients who are hypersensitive to the active substance, to other related substances or to any other ingredient of Zyrtec should not use the preparation use.
Women who are breastfeeding should not use Zyrtec. Pregnant women should only take Zyrtec if prescribed by a doctor.
Since film-coated tablets contain lactose, patients with rare hereditary disorders such as galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome should not take the film-coated tablets.
Patients with end-stage kidney disease (with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) below 15 mL/min) should not take Zyrtec.
When should caution be taken while taking Zyrtec?
Children under the age of 2 should not be treated with Zyrtec. Taking Zyrtec at the same time as theophylline (a drug used to treat shortness of breath) should only be done after consulting your doctor. Zyrtec and preparations containing glipizide (a drug used to treat diabetes) should not be taken together. It is recommended to take the Glipizide medication in the morning and Zyrtec in the evening.
Zyrtec should be used with caution in people with epilepsy as it could potentially trigger seizures.
Caution should be exercised when using Zyrtec at the same time as sedatives or painkillers.
Caution should be exercised when driving a motor vehicle or using machines as taking Zyrtec may make you drowsy.
It is advisable to avoid alcohol while on treatment with Zyrtec.
If you are going to have an allergy test, please ask your doctor about stopping taking Zyrtec for a few days before the test, as this medicine may affect the result of an allergy test.
In patients with a tendency to urinary retention (e.g. spinal cord injury, enlarged prostate), Zyrtec may increase the risk of urinary retention.
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or druggist if you
- suffer from other diseases,
- have allergies or
- take other medicines (including those you bought yourself!).
Can Zyrtec be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
No undesirable effects have been found in animal experiments. However, like other medicines, Zyrtec should not be taken during pregnancy. If you accidentally take Zyrtec during pregnancy, it is not expected to be harmful to the unborn child, but treatment should be stopped immediately. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Zyrtec should not be taken while breastfeeding, as the active ingredient passes into breast milk.
How do you use Zyrtec?
For adults and children over 6 years of age: The usual dose is one Zyrtec film-coated tablet or 20 drops of Zyrtec once a day . For children from 6 to 12 years of age, the dosage can be divided into two intakes (half a film-coated tablet or 10 drops in the morning and evening). If slight side effects (tiredness, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders) occur that do not go away on their own, it is also advisable for adults to take half a film-coated tablet or 10 drops in the morning and evening.
For children from 2 to 6 years: The recommended dosage is 5 drops in the morning and 5 drops in the evening.
Patients with moderate to severe kidney failure
Patients with impaired kidney function (kidney failure) may receive a lower dose, which depends on the severity of the kidney disease and the doctor treating you or determined by the attending physician. The Zyrtec film-coated tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of liquid.
Zyrtec drops can be taken undiluted or diluted in a glass of water.
Zyrtec can be taken with or without food. The duration of treatment depends on the type, duration and course of the symptoms and is determined by the doctor. If you forget to take a dose of Zyrtec, simply continue the treatment. Please do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. In the event of an overdose, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Follow the dosage given in the package leaflet or as prescribed by your doctor. If you think the medicine is too weak or too strong, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or druggist.
What side effects can Zyrtec have?
The following side effects can occur when taking Zyrtec:
Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)
Slight tiredness, mild headache, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea have been reported.
Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1000)
Gastro-intestinal disorders (e.g. diarrhoea, abdominal pain), feeling unwell, itching, rash, agitation, abnormal sensations on the skin , runny nose, sore throat, feeling weak.
Rare (affects 1 to 10 in 10,000 people treated)
Hypersensitivity reactions, seizures, circulatory failure, liver damage, urticaria (nettle rash), tachycardia, edema (swelling), weight gain , confusion, hallucinations, insomnia, aggression, extreme tiredness, depression.
Very rare (affects less than 1 in 10,000 people treated)
Movement disorders, tremor, nervous twitching (tic), photosensitivity reactions, allergic shock, micturition disorders (abnormal urination) , visual disturbances and uncontrollable rolling of the eyes, thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count), dysgeusia (altered sense of taste), syncope (fainting).
Frequency not known (cannot be estimated from the available data)
Loss of memory (amnesia), memory disorders, difficulty concentrating, dizziness (sensation of turning or moving), urinary retention, increased Appetite, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, joint pain, muscle pain, acute skin rash over the whole body with pustules and liver inflammation, vasculitis, hearing loss.
Itching and/or hives have been reported following discontinuation of cetirizine.
If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Zyrtec and tell your doctor.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or druggist. This also applies in particular to side effects that are not listed in this leaflet.
What else needs to be considered?
The medicinal product may only be used up to the date marked on the container with « EXP» can be used.
Use by time after opening
Drops: Use by time after opening the bottle: 3 months.
Store at room temperature (15-25°C).
Keep the container in the original package in order to protect from light.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Your doctor, pharmacist or druggist can provide you with further information. These people have the detailed information for specialists.
What does Zyrtec contain?
1 film-coated tablet contains 10 mg Cetirizine Dihydrochloride
1 ml drop solution (equivalent to 20 drops) contains 10 mg cetirizine dihydrochloride
1 film-coated tablet contains excipients and lactose
1 ml drop solution contains preservatives methyl and propylparaben (E 218, E 216), saccharin (sweetener).
48143, 52700 (Swissmedic).
Where can you get Zyrtec? What packs are available?
Zyrtec film-coated tablets
In pharmacies and drugstores, without a doctor’s prescription.
Pack of 10 film-coated tablets (D).
In pharmacies only with a doctor's prescription.
Pack of 30 film-coated tablets (B).
Pack of 50 film-coated tablets (B).
In pharmacies and drugstores, without a doctor's prescription.
Bottle of 10 ml (D).
In pharmacies only with a doctor's prescription.
Bottle of 20 ml (B).
UCB-Pharma AG, 1630 Bulle.
This leaflet was last checked by the medicines authority (Swissmedic) in October 2021.