Allergies Home > Zyrtec Warnings and Precautions

To ensure a safe treatment process, be sure you understand the warnings and precautions with Zyrtec before starting treatment. For example, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how the drug affects you. Zyrtec warnings and precautions also extend to women who are breastfeeding and people who are 65 years of age or older.

Zyrtec: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zyrtec® (cetirizine hydrochloride) if you have:
  • Liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Zyrtec Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Zyrtec include the following:
  • Even though Zyrtec is classified as a "non-sedating" antihistamine, it can still cause significant drowsiness in some people. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how the drug affects you.
  • It is a good idea to avoid alcohol while taking Zyrtec, since using them together could cause problems, such as severe drowsiness.
  • Zyrtec can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Zyrtec Drug Interactions).
  • If you have liver or kidney disease, your body may not handle the drug as well as it should. Check with your healthcare provider before taking Zyrtec, as you may need a lower dosage.
  • The label of Zyrtec recommends that people age 65 and older should with their healthcare providers before taking the drug in order to determine the best dose. It is common for liver and kidney function to decline with age, and a lower Zyrtec dosage may be recommended.
  • Zyrtec is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Zyrtec and Pregnancy). Always check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug during pregnancy.
  • It is not known if Zyrtec passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Zyrtec and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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