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Levocetirizine (anti-allergy, antihistamine)

Know the basics|Know the precautions & warnings|Know the side effects|Know the interactions|Understand the dosage

Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itchiness, and hives. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.

cetirizine

Know the basics

What is levocetirizine used for?

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Urticaria
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Angioedema due to allergy or recurrent idiopathy
  • Preventing or reducing infusion reaction

How should I take levocetirizine?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral dosage forms, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid. Oral syrups should be measured using a medical-grade measuring cup, not a household spoon.

For parenteral dosage forms, only a licensed healthcare professional should administer it.

How do I store levocetirizine?

Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using levocetirizine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe to take levocetirizine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it is likely safe to take. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A= No risk
  • B= No risk in some studies
  • C= There may be some risk
  • D= Positive evidence of risk
  • X= Contraindicated
  • N= Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of levocetirizine?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Tachycardia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Convulsion
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Bronchospasm
  • Rash
  • Pruritus

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with levocetirizine?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Other antihistamines
  • Sedative-hypnotics (e.g. benzodiazepines)

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with levocetirizine?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Do not take this medication or other antihistamines with alcohol as it may induce excessive drowsiness. Taking food with cetirizine may reduce its absorption and efficacy. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with levocetirizine?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Lesions in the spinal cord
  • Kidney impairment
  • Urinary retention

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Allergic Conditions

Take 2.5 to 5 mg once a day.

What is the dose for a child?

Allergic Conditions

6 months to 5 years: Give 1.25 mg once a day in the evening.

6 to 11 years: Give 2.5 mg once a day in the evening.

Over 12 years: Same as the adult dose.

How is levocetirizine available?

Levocetirizine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, Oral: 5 mg, 10 mg;
  • Solution, Oral: 0.5 mg/mL, 2.5 mg/5mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Cetirizine https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/cetirizine?mtype=generic Accessed July 1, 2021

Cetirizine https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/cetirizine/ Accessed July 1, 2021

Cetirizine https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Cetirizine Accessed July 1, 2021

Pharmacology of Antihistamines https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667286/ Accessed July 1, 2021

Cetirizine (Systemic). Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed July 1, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jul 01
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