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How Does Zyrtec Work to Treat Hives?
Zyrtec, being now available without prescription, has definitely firmly occupied the highest positions in the lists of the most popular drugs against allergies.
The popularity of Zyrtec may be explained by its effectiveness in fighting the symptoms of troublesome allergic reactions and the safety of the drug, which is not expected to be harmful even to an unborn baby and may be used by as little children as 6 months of age. Furthermore, many people prefer this drug to the others, because it is proven to be less sedative than some other allergy medications.
The most common indications for Zyrtec use are seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria; however, chronic itching and asthma may also be treated with this drug. The active ingredient of the medication is cetirizine hydrochloride, which is a selective H1-receptor antagonist. That means that the drug is actually an antihistamine capable of blocking the release of histamine – a chemical responsible for the outbreak of such unpleasant symptoms as stuffy nose, watery eyes, scratchy throat, sneezing and skin itching. The latter are reduced due to the activity of the medication.
At the same time, one should be aware that Zyrtec is not indicated for the prevention of urticaria (hives) or allergic reactions outbreaks. Although the drug can block the release of histamine in the body, it cannot affect the amount of chemical, which has already been released.
The most common side effects of Zyrtec are drowsiness, dizziness, headache, fatigue and dry mouth. Other possible reactions may include nausea, upset stomach, changes in the bowel habit, nosebleeds, sore throat, cough, and nervousness. Adverse reactions may be severer if Zyrtec is taken with alcohol.
People suffering from kidney or liver diseases may need the reduced dose of this antihistamine, or may be recommended against the use of the drug. Elderly (over 65) may also be advised to take lower doses of Zyrtec in order to avoid possible sleepiness, confusion, and the occurrence of adverse reactions. Pregnant women should ask their doctors about the possibility to be treated with this medication, while breastfeeding mothers are not recommended to take the drug, since it is known to pass into the breast milk.
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Zyrtec list of benefits includes the fact that this drug is less likely than other antihistamines to interact with different medications and food supplements. Nevertheless, a patient taking any drug should always inform a doctor in order to evaluate the situation in every particular case.
Finally, one more advantage of Zyrtec is that the drug comes in the form of tablets, chewable tablets, and liquid, which make it easier for different patients to choose the most comfortable treatment option.

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