Levocetirizine

Generic Name: levocetirizine (LEE voe se TIR a zeen)Brand names: Xyzal, LEVRIX, XYZALL

What is levocetirizine?

Levocetirizine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Levocetirizine is used to treat symptoms of year-round (perennial) allergies in adults and children who are at least 6 months old. It is also used to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

Levocetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by chronic urticaria (hives) in adults and children who are at least 6 months old.

Levocetirizine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about levocetirizine?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levocetirizine or cetirizine (Zyrtec). Do not take levocetirizine if you have end-stage kidney disease or if you are on dialysis. Any child under 12 with kidney disease should not take levocetirizine.

Before taking levocetirizine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have kidney or liver disease, or gallbladder problems.

It is very important not to give a child more than the prescribed dose of this medication. A child's body absorbs twice as much of the same dose size of levocetirizine as an adult's body. Levocetirizine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of levocetirizine. Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as other cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by levocetirizine. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they get worse, or if you also have a fever.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levocetirizine?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levocetirizine or cetirizine (Zyrtec). Do not take levocetirizine if you have end-stage kidney disease or if you are on dialysis. Any child under 12 with kidney disease should not take levocetirizine.

Before taking levocetirizine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • gallbladder problems.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Levocetirizine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.

How should I take levocetirizine?

Take this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

It is very important not to give a child more than the prescribed dose of this medication. A child's body absorbs twice as much of the same dose size of levocetirizine as an adult's body.

You may take this medication with or without food. Levocetirizine is usually taken once per day, in the evening.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they get worse, or if you also have a fever. Store levocetirizine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Levocetirizine dosage in more detail

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include feeling restless or agitated, and then feeling drowsy.

What should I avoid while taking levocetirizine?

Levocetirizine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of levocetirizine. Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as other cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by levocetirizine.

Levocetirizine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • nosebleed (especially in a child);

  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts;

  • numbness or tingling around your lips or mouth;

  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);

  • dark-colored urine, foul-smelling stools; or

  • fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, weakness;

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat, cough;

  • tired feeling;

  • dry mouth; or

  • weight gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Levocetirizine Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria;5 mg orally once daily in the evening

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria:

Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria;5 mg orally once daily in the evening

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

Seasonal allergic rhinitis:12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening2 to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the eveningPerennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria:12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening6 months to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the evening

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urticaria:

Seasonal allergic rhinitis:12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening2 to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the eveningPerennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria:12 years or older: 5 mg orally once daily in the evening6 to 11 years old: 2.5 mg orally once daily in the evening6 months to 5 years old: 1.25 mg orally once daily in the evening

What other drugs will affect levocetirizine?

Before you take levocetirizine, tell your doctor if you also take ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra).

There may be other drugs that can interact with levocetirizine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about levocetirizine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 09/09/2009 3:36:08 PM.
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