Know the basics
What is levocetirizine used for?
Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, sneezing, hives, and itching. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.
How should I take levocetirizine?
Take this levocetirizine by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the evening.
If you are using the liquid form of levocetirizine, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take levocetirizine more often than directed.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
How do I store levocetirizine?
Levocetirizine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store levocetirizine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of levocetirizine that may have different storage needs. 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 levocetirizine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. 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 taking levocetirizine,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to levocetirizine, cetirizine (Zyrtec), or any other levocetirizine.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription levocetirizine, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; levocetirizine for anxiety, mental illness, or seizures; ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); sedatives; sleeping pills; theophylline (Theochron, Theolair); and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your levocetirizine or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or ever have had kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking levocetirizine, call your doctor. Do not breast-feed while you are taking levocetirizine.
- You should know that levocetirizine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how levocetirizine affects you.
Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking levocetirizine. Alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by levocetirizine.
Is it safe to take levocetirizine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using levocetirizine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking levocetirizine. Levocetirizine 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,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of levocetirizine?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using levocetirizine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- feeling like you might pass out;
- nosebleed (especially in a child);
- pain or fullness in your ear, hearing problems;
- depression, agitation, aggression, hallucinations;
- numbness or tingling around your lips or mouth;
- jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
- painful or difficult urination;
- dark-colored urine, foul-smelling stools; or
- fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite.
Other common side effects may include: drowsiness, weakness; tired feeling; stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat, cough; vomiting, diarrhea, constipation; dry mouth; or weight gain.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with levocetirizine?
Levocetirizine 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. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
- Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by levocetirizine.
- Tell your doctor about all levocetirizine you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with levocetirizine, especially: ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra); or theophylline (Aquaphyllin, Asmalix, Elixophyllin, Theolair, Theosol).
Does food or alcohol interact with levocetirizine?
Levocetirizine 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 drug with alcohol as it may induce excessive drowsiness. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with levocetirizine?
Levocetirizine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Enlarged prostate;
- Lesions in the spinal cord—Use with caution. May increase risk for urinary retention.
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects of levocetirizine may be increased because of slower removal from the body.
- Kidney disease, severe;
- Kidney failure—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Urinary retention (problem passing urine)—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using levocetirizine.
What is the dose of levocetirizine for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Conditions
2.5-5 mg once daily.
What is the dose of levocetirizine for a child?
Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Conditions
6 months-5 years: 1.25 mg once daily.
6-11 years: 2.5 mg once daily in the evening.
>12 years: Same as 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 your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of levocetirizine, 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.