Concept

Cétirizine

Résumé
Cetirizine, sold under the brand name Zyrtec among others, is a second-generation antihistamine used to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever), dermatitis, and urticaria (hives). It is taken by mouth. Effects generally begin within thirty minutes and last for about a day. The degree of benefit is similar to other antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, which is a first-generation antihistamine. Common side effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, headache, and abdominal pain. The degree of sleepiness that occurs is generally less than with first-generation antihistamines because second-generation antihistamines are more selective for the H1 receptor. Compared to other second-generation anti-histamines, cetirizine can cause drowsiness. Second-generation antihistamines that do not cause drowsiness are fexofenadine, and loratadine. Therefore, it is important to avoid driving, and other dangerous scenarios while taking cetirizine. Use in pregnancy appears safe, but use during breastfeeding is not recommended. The medication works by blocking histamine H1 receptors, mostly outside the brain. Cetirizine can be used for paediatric patients. The main side effect to be cautious about is somnolence. It was patented in 1983 and came into medical use in 1987. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. It is available as a generic medication. In 2020, it was the 52nd most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 13 million prescriptions. Cetirizine's primary indication is for hay fever and other allergies. Because the symptoms of itching and redness in these conditions are caused by histamine acting on the H1 receptor, blocking those receptors temporarily relieves those symptoms. Cetirizine is also commonly prescribed to treat acute and (in particular cases) chronic urticaria, more efficiently than any other second-generation antihistamine. Cetirizine is available over-the-counter in the US in the form of 5 and 10 mg tablets. A 20 mg strength is available by prescription only.
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