Cetirizine (Zyrtec)

What is it?
First Aid
Safety Tips
Woman with runny nose
Cetirizine is used to treat allergies

What is cetirizine?

Cetirizine is an antihistamine medication used to treat allergies. It reduces the itchiness and redness caused by hay fever and other allergies.

Cetirizine is best known by the brand name Zyrtec. It is available over the counter, without a prescription from a health care provider.

What happens if you take too much cetirizine?

Cetirizine is a very safe medication. For most people, taking too much cetirizine will not cause any unwanted effects. For some people, taking a lot of cetirizine can make them feel drowsy or disoriented.

What should you do if you take too much cetirizine?

If you feel drowsy, do not drive or do other activities where you need to be alert for safety.

Other than that, there is nothing you need to do except watch for anything unusual. Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511 if you are worried.

How can I prevent medication poisonings?

Use medications safely:

  • Always read the label on your medication bottles. It will tell you what the medication is and how much to take. Check the label each time you take the medication.
  • If you have any questions about your medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist or contact the poison center—call 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.
  • If you are taking more than one medication, keep track of them with a written schedule. Also keep a medication list to share with your doctors and pharmacist.

Store medications safely:

  • Always keep medication in its original container, or in a child-resistant pill reminder box. Never store medication in a household container like a sandwich bag or a film canister.

Get rid of medications safely:

See our medication page for more medication safety tips, including information on keeping young children and teens safe.

Last Updated: Monday August 22nd 2016