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Zyrtec Allergy Syrup

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 4 minutes read

Zyrtec Allergy Syrup is a reliable medication that contains cetirizine, a non-drowsy antihistamine widely used to alleviate various allergy symptoms. This syrup effectively targets allergies triggered by pollen (commonly known as hay fever), dust, animal dander, and insect bites.

In addition, it can provide relief for individuals suffering from contact dermatitis and atopic eczema. Cetirizine in Zyrtec Allergy Syrup is specifically formulated to combat itching, sneezing, runny nose, skin rashes, and eye symptoms such as redness, itchiness, and watery eyes. Suitable for adults and children aged two and above, Zyrtec Allergy Syrup offers a safe and convenient solution for managing allergy symptoms. While cetirizine is classified as a non-drowsy antihistamine, it is important to note that it may still cause drowsiness in some individuals. Therefore, it is advised to refrain from activities like driving or consuming alcohol if drowsiness occurs.

Doctor’s advice

How does it work?

During an allergic reaction, the immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which is responsible for the onset of allergy symptoms. Antihistamines such as cetirizine work by counteracting the actions of histamine. They achieve this by blocking histamine from binding to its target sites in the body. What sets non-drowsy antihistamines apart is their chemical structure, which reduces their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, they are less likely to cause drowsiness compared to other antihistamines.

Who is it for?

Zyrtec Allergy Syrup is a suitable option for most adults and children over the age of two who experience minor allergy-related symptoms. It is particularly beneficial for individuals who have difficulty swallowing tablets, as the liquid formulation allows for quicker absorption. This feature makes Zyrtec Allergy Syrup an ideal choice for those seeking fast-acting relief.

Dosage and timing

For adults and children over 12 years, Zyrtec should be taken as a 10 mg once-daily dose unless directed differently by your doctor. Children aged 6 - 12 years can take 5-10 mg every 24 hours, and children aged 2 - 6 years can take 2.5 mg every 12 hours or 2.5-5 mg every 24 hours.

Timing of Administration

Determining the best time to take Zyrtec Allergy Syrup depends on the specific triggers of allergic symptoms. For instance, if an individual experiences hay fever, it is advisable to take the syrup approximately half an hour before the symptoms typically worsen. In the case of a pet allergy, it is recommended to take the medication before encountering the pet, if possible.

Possible side effects

As with any medication, some individuals may experience side effects while using Zyrtec Allergy Syrup. However, it is worth noting that most users do not encounter any adverse effects. In the event that bothersome side effects occur, it is advisable to discontinue the medication and consult with a healthcare professional. Common side effects associated with cetirizine may include headache, dizziness, restlessness, dry mouth, sore throat, diarrhea, stomach ache, and nausea.

Who Should Avoid the Medication?

To ensure safe usage, it is crucial to avoid taking Zyrtec Allergy Syrup if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Individuals who have previously had an allergic reaction to a different antihistamine should also refrain from using this medication. Moreover, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking Zyrtec Allergy Syrup if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have specific medical conditions such as liver or kidney problems, an enlarged prostate, intolerance to certain sugars, epilepsy, or are at risk of having convulsions, it is important to discuss the suitability of the medication with your doctor.

It is worth noting that cetirizine can interfere with the results of an allergy skin test. Therefore, if you are scheduled to undergo such a test, it is recommended to discontinue the medication at least three days prior to the test.

Possible Drug Interactions

Cetirizine, the active ingredient in Zyrtec Allergy Syrup, may interact with other medicines. Some examples of medications that can interact with cetirizine include betahistine, certain antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and dalteparin. If you are taking any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medicines, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to ensure the safe and appropriate use of Zyrtec Allergy Syrup.


Zyrtec Allergy Syrup contains the following active ingredient: cetirizine dihydrochloride (1 mg/ml).

Other ingredients in the syrup include: glycerol, propylene glycol, sorbitol (E420), sodium acetate, acetic acid, methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216), sodium saccharin, flavor, purified water.

Zyrtec Allergy Syrup with cetirizine as its active ingredient offers a comprehensive solution for the management of allergic symptoms. By effectively countering the actions of histamine, Zyrtec Allergy Syrup provides relief from itching, sneezing, runny nose, skin rashes, and eye symptoms. With its suitability for both adults and children aged six and above, this liquid formulation offers convenience and ease of administration. However, it is important to follow the recommended dosage, timing, and precautions to ensure the safe and optimal use of Zyrtec Allergy Syrup. As with any medication, if you experience any bothersome side effects or have concerns, it is always best to consult with your healthcare professional for further guidance.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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