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Zyrtec Syrup (cetirizine) is a fast-acting, long-lasting antihistamine suitable for use in allergy-sufferers age 2 years old and up. It is a second-generation antihistamine, meaning it is less likely to produce side effects such as drowsiness, and when side effects do occur they tend to be milder than those experienced with older, first-generation antihistamines.
The original Zyrtec syrup has a grape flavoring to make it more appealing to children. There are also quite a few generic versions of the product available on the market today, however, with a broader assortment of flavors.
While typically marketed towards children with allergy symptoms, adults can also use Zyrtec Syrup if unable to swallow Zyrtec Tablets, or simply out of personal preference; the different forms of the medication are virtually identical as far as speed of relief, duration of effects and effectiveness at alleviating symptoms.
The primary benefit of Zyrtec Syrup over older, first-generation antihistamines is its reduced risk of side effects, which children in particular tend to be sensitive to. If use of other antihistamines cause drowsiness, stomach issues, headaches and other disruptive adverse reactions, Zyrtec is definitely worth a try.
In all ages Zyrtec Syrup alleviates:
Zyrtec Syrup is equally effective for seasonal, outdoor allergies and year-round, indoor allergies. In all cases it quickly stops allergy symptoms caused by pollen, animal dander, dust, mold and many other commonly-encountered allergens.
How to Use
Dosage depends largely on age. In children under 2 years of age dosage should be determined by a doctor. In other patients standard dosage is:
Note that generic version of this product may have slightly different instructions---read labels before use!
The above guidelines work fine for most patients, but children under 12 do tend to metabolize the medication quicker than adults. If Zyrtec Syrup is not providing sufficient relief or effects are not lasting the full 24 hours, doses may be split into two smaller doses or an additional full dose may be given. In both cases the two doses should be split as evenly apart as possible, for example morning and evening. If these techniques do not provide significant relief, alternative treatments should be considered.
While second-generation antihistamines are less likely to produce side effects than first-generation antihistamines, that does not mean the risk is non-existent. However, side effects are not only less likely, they're also typically less severe. Relatively common side effects include:
Very rarely more serious reactions are experienced which warrant medical attention:
Some people should use Zyrtec Syrup (and any other antihistamine) with caution, preferably after speaking with a doctor about potential risks and dosage adjustments, particularly when:
The vast majority of patients take Zyrtec Syrup without any problems, but if any alarming symptoms do develop during treatment do not hesitate to seek medical attention.
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.