Levocetirizine hydrochloride

Levocetirizine hydrochloride is an antihistamine.

Pronunciation: LEE-voe-se-TIR-a-zeen

What are levocetirizine’s uses?

Levocetirizine is used to treat the symptoms of allergic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, including a runny, itchy nose and sneezing. It reduces the effects of the natural chemical histamine.

Its other benefits include the treatment of eczema (atopic dermatitis) and chronic hives (urticaria).

What dosage should you take?

For an adult, the typical oral dosage is 5mg once daily (at night).

For children over 12, the dosage is the same as for adults. It is not recommended in children younger than 12 years old as its safety and efficacy has not been established.

However, always check the correct dosage with your Clicks pharmacist first.

What special precautions should you take?

  • In the elderly, low doses should be used.
  • Avoid during breastfeeding as it is excreted into breast milk.
  • Avoid during pregnancy, and be advised to inform your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
  • Avoid alcohol when using it.

Levocetirizine should be avoided if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Porphyria (a group of rare genetic disorders that affect mainly the skin or nervous system)
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Liver ailments
  • Glaucoma (an eye disorder that results in optic nerve damage)
  • A hydroxyzine allergy or allergy to drugs in the piperazine family
  • Sugar intolerance

Levocetirizine should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Kidney impairment (including age-related kidney impairment)
  • Epilepsy

What drug interactions could you experience?

To avoid adverse drug interactions, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take.

What are levocetirizine’s side effects?

Side effects could include:

  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation
  • Increased appetite
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Skin reactions (rare)
  • Swelling in the deeper layers of the skin, also known as angio-oedema (rare)

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor or an ambulance immediately if you suspect an overdose and notice the following symptoms:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in April 2015