What is LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
(LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE) Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, and sneezing. It is also used to relieve itching and hives. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Levocetirizine does not prevent hives or prevent/treat a serious allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis). If your doctor has prescribed epinephrine to treat allergic reactions, always carry your epinephrine injector with you. Do not use levocetirizine in place of your epinephrine.
How should I use LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
If you are taking the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read and follow all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed. This medication is taken by mouth with or without food, usually once daily in the evening. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed. If your condition does not get better or if it gets worse, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
Before taking levocetirizine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to cetirizine; or to hydroxyzine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: difficulty urinating (such as due to an enlarged prostate), kidney disease. This drug may make you drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Liquid products may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this medication safely. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or other antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine, promethazine). Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. Do not use with any other antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray) because increased side effects may occur. Levocetirizine is very similar to hydroxyzine and cetirizine. Do not use these medications while using levocetirizine. This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as allergy skin testing), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
What if I miss a dose of LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
If you are taking this medication on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
Drowsiness, tiredness, and dry mouth may occur. Fever or cough may also occur, especially in children. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficulty urinating, weakness. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep LEVOCETIRIZINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE?
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.