There are several uses for Zyrtec. For example, common uses of the antihistamine include the treatment of sneezing, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms. Other Zyrtec uses include the treatment of itching due to hives, which may or may not be caused by allergies. Certain forms of the drug are approved for children as young as two, and there are currently no off-label uses.
What Is Zyrtec Used For?Zyrtec® (cetirizine hydrochloride) is a non-prescription medication approved to treat allergies in adults and children as young as two years old. The drug was originally available by prescription only, but is now available over-the-counter (see Zyrtec OTC). Zyrtec is also available in combination with a decongestant (see Zyrtec-D for more information).
Zyrtec belongs to a group of medications known as non-sedating antihistamines, which means it is less likely to cause drowsiness, although people can still experience this side effect when taking the drug. Zyrtec is approved to treat the following allergy symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Itchy nose or throat
It is also approved to treat itching due to hives, which may or may not be caused by allergies.
Zyrtec Uses for AllergiesAllergies are the immune system's specific reaction to normally harmless substances, such as pollens, certain foods, or medicines. Allergies can be seasonal or perennial. Seasonal allergies (such as hay fever) occur at specific times of the year, while perennial allergies can occur throughout the year. Allergies can affect various parts of the body, and symptoms are particularly common in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Nasal allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis) mostly affect the nose and eyes.
Combined with strategies to minimize a person's contact with allergens, allergy treatment can make life bearable for even the worst allergy sufferer. Treatment often includes allergy shots or medications. Zyrtec is a particularly useful allergy medicine, as it is less likely to cause drowsiness, compared to older allergy medications, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®).