Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Levocetirizine

Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used for the treatment of allergic conditions, mainly hay fever and skin conditions.

0

Levocetirizine is the active ingredient of Xyzal.

General information

Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used for the treatment of allergic conditions, mainly hay fever and skin conditions. It is chemically very similar to levocetirizine, another drug marketed for the treatment of allergies. Unlike many older antihistamines, levocetirizine has very little sedative effect, meaning that you won't probably feel drowsy after taking it.

Levocetirizine has a long-term effect and only needs to be taken once a day.

How does Levocetirizine work?

When you are exposed to an allergen, your body reacts by producing a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms that we associate with allergy. These include itchy, red, watery eyes; sneezing and a runny, itchy nose; postnasal drip; and an itchy, sometimes visibly red skin.

Levocetirizine is an antihistamine, meaning that it counteracts the action of histamine to help relieve you of the symptoms of allergy.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 2

Available as: Tablets.

What does it do? Levocetirizine has an anti-allergy effect.

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? No

Available on prescription only? No

User information

Onset of effect: Within 2 hours.

Duration of action: Up to 24 hours.

Dietary advice: Levocetirizine can be taken with or without food.

Stopping this medicine: Levocetirizine can be safely stopped when no longer needed.

Prolonged use: No special precautions.

Special precautions

Alert your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have kidney or liver disease,
  • you have a known allergy to the product, or
  • you are taking other medication.

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how it may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: Safety and efficacy of this medication has not been established for children under the age of 2.

Elderly: Age-related kidney function impairment may require a reduction in dose.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how it affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may cause severe sedation.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Drowsiness

x

x

Fatigue

x

x

Headache

x

x

Dry mouth

x

x

Increased appetite

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Barbiturates

Potential for enhanced sedation

Benzodiazepines

Potential for enhanced sedation

Hypnotics

Potential for enhanced sedation

Sedatives

Potential for enhanced sedation

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have kidney or liver disease, or if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include drowsiness and nausea.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 5mg once daily.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.