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Levocetirizine, Oral Tablet

Highlights for levocetirizine

  1. Levocetirizine oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug Brand name: Xyzal.
  2. It also comes in an oral solution.
  3. It is used to treat the symptoms of seasonal and year-round allergies. It’s also used to relieve itching caused by hives.
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Important warnings

Important warnings

Increased tiredness warning: This drug can cause tiredness. Don’t drive, use machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how this drug affects you. Also, don’t drink alcohol or take other medications that may cause you to feel tired. It could make your tiredness worse.

About

What is levocetirizine?

Levocetirizine oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Xyzal. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Levocetirizine also comes in an oral solution.

Why it's used

Levocetirizine is used to treat the symptoms of seasonal and year-round allergies. It’s also used to relieve itching caused by hives (patches of red, swollen, itchy skin).

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

How it works

Levocetirizine belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Levocetirizine works by blocking the release of a chemical called histamine from the cells in your body. This helps relieve symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, and red, watery, itchy eyes. This drug also helps relieve itching caused by hives.

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Side effects

Levocetirizine side effects

Levocetirizine oral tablet may cause drowsiness. This occurs more often during the first few hours after you take the drug. It may also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

Side effects of levocetirizine can vary according to age.

In adults and children ages 12 and older, the more common side effects that can occur include:

  • tiredness
  • dry mouth
  • sore throat
  • nasopharyngitis (redness and inflammation in the nose and throat)

In children ages 6–11 years, the more common side effects that can occur include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sleepiness
  • nose bleeds

In children ages 1–5 years, the more common side effects that can occur include:

  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • ear infections

In children ages 6–12 months, the more common side effects that can occur include:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:
    • rash
    • itching
    • hives
    • swelling of your lips, tongue, face, or throat
  • Kidney problems. Symptoms can include:
    • trouble urinating
    • changes in the amount you urinate
    • blood in your urine
  • Blurry vision

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Interactions

Levocetirizine may interact with other medications

Levocetirizine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Levocetirizine can cause drowsiness. The use of drinks that contain alcohol raises your risk of drowsiness. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with levocetirizine oral tablet are listed below.

Asthma or COPD drugs

Theophylline is used to treat symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Using this drug with levocetirizine can cause increased amounts of levocetirizine in your body. This raises your risk of side effects.

HIV drugs

Ritonavir is used to treat HIV. Using this drug with levocetirizine can cause increased amounts of levocetirizine in your body. This raises your risk of side effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

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Other warnings

Levocetirizine warnings

Levocetirizine oral tablet comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • rash
  • itching
  • hives
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, face, or throat

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or cetirizine before. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Warnings for people with certain conditions

For people with kidney disease: More of this drug may stay in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Don’t use this drug if you have severe kidney problems or are on hemodialysis.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: This drug is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children: It isn’t known if this drug is safe or effective for children younger than 6 months of age.

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Dosage

How to take levocetirizine

This dosage information is for levocetirizine oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Forms and strengths

Generic: levocetirizine

  • Form: Oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg
  • Form: Oral solution
  • Strengths: 2.5 mg/5 mL

Brand: Xyzal

  • Form: Oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg
  • Form: Oral solution
  • Strengths: 2.5 mg/5 mL

Dosage for seasonal and year-round allergies

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The typical dosage is one 5-mg tablet once per day in the evening.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

The typical dosage is one 5-mg tablet once per day in the evening.

Child dosage (ages 6–11 years)

The typical dosage is one half-tablet (2.5 mg) once per day in the evening.

Child dosage (ages 5 years and younger)

Dosage for levocetirizine oral tablet hasn’t been established for children younger than 6 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for chronic itching

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The typical dosage is one 5-mg tablet once per day in the evening.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

The typical dosage is one 5-mg tablet once per day in the evening.

Child dosage (ages 6–11 years)

The typical dosage is one half-tablet (2.5 mg) once per day in the evening.

Child dosage (ages 5 years and younger)

Dosage for levocetirizine oral tablet hasn’t been established for children younger than 6 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

The typical dosages for people with kidney problems include:

  • Mild kidney disease: 2.5 mg once per day.
  • Moderate kidney disease: 2.5 mg once every other day.
  • Severe kidney disease: 2.5 mg twice per week (taken once every 3–4 days).
  • End-stage kidney disease and on hemodialysis: Do not take Xyzal.

Warnings

Don’t take more than the recommended dose of Xyzal. There is an increased risk of sleepiness at higher doses.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

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Take as directed

Take as directed

Levocetirizine oral tablet is used for short-term treatment of seasonal allergies and long-term treatment of chronic itching. It comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: If you’re taking this drug to treat allergy symptoms, these symptoms may not be controlled or may get worse. These symptoms can include sneezing, runny nose, and red, watery, itchy eyes.

If you’re taking this drug to treat itching caused by hives, this itching may not be controlled or may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • increased drowsiness (adults)
  • agitation and restlessness, followed by drowsiness (children)

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: If you’re taking this drug to treat allergy symptoms, these symptoms should improve. These can include sneezing, runny nose, and red, watery, itchy eyes.

If you’re taking this drug to treat itching caused by hives, this itching should improve.

Important considerations

Important considerations for taking this drug

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes levocetirizine oral tablet for you.

General

  • You can take this drug with or without food.
  • You should take this drug in the evening. This can help prevent daytime drowsiness. You can cut or crush the tablet.
  • Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.

Storage

  • Store this drug at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may monitor your kidney function to make sure it’s safe for you to take this drug. If your kidney function gets worse, your doctor may have you stop taking this drug. They may switch you to a different medication.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

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Alternatives

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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