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Cetirizine (By mouth)

Treats hay fever and allergy symptoms, hives, and itching.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Brand names include
All Day Allergy, Children's All Day Allergy, Children's Cetirizine Hydrochloride, Children's Wal-Zyr All Day Allergy, Children's Zyrtec, Children's Zyrtec Allergy, Equate Children's Allergy Relief, Good Neighbor Pharmacy All Day Allergy, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Children's All Day Allergy, Good Sense All Day Allergy, Good Sense Children's All Day Allergy, Leader Children's All Day Allergy, Ohm Cetirizine Hydrochloride, Rite Aid Allergy Relief, Rite Aid Cetirizine Hydrochloride
Drug classes About this
Antihistamine Combination, Respiratory Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Drug Class Review: Newer Antihistamines: Final Report Update 2 [Internet]

Antihistamines inhibit the effects of histamine at H1 receptors. They have a number of clinical indications including allergic conditions (e.g., rhinitis, dermatoses, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, hypersensitivity reactions to drugs, mild transfusion reactions, and urticaria), chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), motion sickness, vertigo, and insomnia.

Sublingual and Injectable Customized Allergy Immunotherapy: Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines [Internet]

The purpose of this Rapid Response report is to review the evidence of comparative clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of subcutaneous (or injectable) immunotherapy (SCIT), sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), and oral antihistamines in patients with allergies, and to identify published, evidence-based guidelines on the use of SCIT or SLIT for allergies.

Dementia: A NICE-SCIE Guideline on Supporting People With Dementia and Their Carers in Health and Social Care

This guideline has been developed to advise on supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of health and social care professionals, a person with dementia, carers and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to practitioners and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for those with dementia while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for people with dementia and carers.

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Summaries for consumers

Comparing New Antihistamines

How do newer antihistamines compare in treating allergic rhinitis?

H1‐antihistamines for chronic spontaneous urticaria

Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a condition characterised by a rash of red itchy raised weals or hives, which appear for no identifiable reason. Other names include chronic idiopathic or chronic ordinary urticaria. 'Spontaneous' differentiates this type of urticaria from 'inducible' or 'physical' urticaria, for which there are specific triggers such as cold or pressure. 'Chronic' indicates that the condition has continued for at least six weeks. Hives may be intensely itchy, and the appearance may be unsightly and distressing to sufferers. In some cases, hives can be accompanied by deeper swelling, known as angio‐oedema, which is most common around the eyes and mouth.

Anti‐histamines for prolonged non‐specific cough in children

Children with non‐specific cough are commonly treated with a variety of medications to treat the symptom of cough. The objective of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of anti‐histamines in children with prolonged cough that is not related to an underlying respiratory disease, that is, non‐specific chronic cough. We included three therapeutic studies with 182 randomised participants. Two studies found that chronic cough significantly improved in both treatment and placebo groups with no difference between the two groups. One small study however described that children who had chronic cough associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis treated with cetirizine improved significantly more than children on placebo and this difference was evident by two weeks. Four studies that evaluated safety profiles included 3166 randomised participants and described a non significant increase in cough in participants who received the active medication. Despite the limitations of this review, our findings are similar to the review on anti‐histamines for acute cough which showed no good evidence for or against the use of anti‐histamines. In contrast to recommendations in adults with chronic cough, anti‐histamines cannot be recommended as empirical therapy for children with chronic cough. Further research examining the effects of this treatment using child appropriate cough outcome measures is needed.

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