Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Cetirizine.

  • Comment

VOL: 101, ISSUE: 19, PAGE NO: 55

Generic and proprietary names

- Cetirizine.

- Benadryl.

- Zirtek.

Action

- Blocks histamine binding, preventing allergy symptoms.

Classification

- Functional: antihistamines (second generation, peripherally selective).

- Chemical: Piperazine H1 histamine antagonist.

Indications

- Symptom relief from nasal allergies such as hay fever.

- Symptom relief from insect bites and skin rashes.

Contraindications

- Hypersensitivity.

- Lactation.

- Not recommended for children under two years of age.

Cautions

- Hepatic disease.

- Renal impairment.

- Epilepsy.

Common side-effects

- The incidence of sedation and antimuscarinic side-effects is low, especially compared with older, sedating antihistamines, because cetirizine only penetrates the blood-brain barrier to a slight extent.

- Children and older people may be more sensitive to side-effects.

- Dry mouth.

- Headache.

- Psychomotor impairment.

- Blurred vision.

- Sore throat.

- Gastrointestinal disturbances.

Rare side-effects

- Palpitations.

- Arrhythmias.

- Hypotension.

- Hypersensitivity.

- Extrapyramidal effects.

- Sleep disturbances.

- Depression.

Interactions

- Antimuscarinic and sedative effects are increased with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.

Administration

- Tablets.

- Oral solution.

Nursing considerations

- Assess symptoms and record baseline before and during treatment.

- Assess respiratory status, such as wheeze or tightness of the chest.

- Cetirizine is good at reducing rhinorrhoea and sneezing, but less effective at reducing nasal congestion.

- Other products such as eyedrops and inhalers may be required to control severe hay fever.

- Evaluate therapeutic response.

- If allergy-testing is planned, medication should be stopped 48 hours before testing.

Patient teaching

- Ensure patients are aware that this medication may make them drowsy. If affected they should not drive or operate machinery.

- Alcohol can increase any drowsiness.

- Patients who have missed a dose should take it as soon as they remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose. Double doses should not be taken.

- Health education advice should be given regarding limiting exposure to allergens.

Nurses should refer to manufacturer’s summary of product characteristics and to appropriate local guidelines

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.