For starters, Zyrtec (generic name Cetirizine) is a medication indicated for the treatment symptoms caused by allergy such as a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, itching and hives. It belongs to a class of medicines known as antihistamines and works by blocking the activities of a substance that occurs naturally in the body called histamine.
Note – While Zyrtec may reduce the intensity of allergy symptoms, it does not work for severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.
Zyrtec and Pregnancy
Because Zyrtec can be bought over the counter without a prescription, it is readily available to pregnant women. The question, however, is whether it is safe for expectant mothers.
Zyrtec and other medications used to treat the symptoms of allergy are at times recommended during pregnancy. However, as is, the case with any other drug, be sure to consult your doctor before taking it.
Among other things, the physician will consider the benefit of the medicine to your body and the risk it poses to the unborn baby.
Zyrtec is a category B drug. Repeated studies in animals show that it does not pass from the mother to the fetus and therefore is considered safe during pregnancy. Even though there is no assurance that it will not cause harm to the baby, Zyrtec is s one of the best options for women who want to treat allergy symptoms during pregnancy.
How Do Use Zyrtec During Pregnancy?
Zyrtec is used as prescribed by the doctor. If you bought it over the counter without a prescription, be sure to follow the dosage information on the label. Do not use more of the drug than what’s indicated on the dosage guide.
Check the active ingredient to see if you are allergic to any of them. If you have an allergy toward any of the ingredients, avoid the medicine altogether and seek other forms of treatment.
Zyrtec is typically taken once every day. If you happen to skip a dose, take your medication as soon as you remember. However, DO NOT take double Zyrtec doses as a way of making up for the missed dose.
Taking more take more than the recommended dosage increases the likelihood of severe side effects which by extension puts the unborn baby at risk. To avoid skipping a dose, take your medication around the same time every day.
Does Zyrtec Cause Any Side Effects?
Yes, even though these are mild side effects which will subside as the body gets used to the activities of the drug. The intensity of side effects may vary from one patient to the other. In fact, some may not experience side effects at all.
It is important to note, however, that Zyrtec can delay reaction time. Thus, do not drive or carry out other duties that may require your attention.
Are There Any Foods/ Substances You Should Avoid While Taking Zyrtec?
You should not take alcohol if you’re using Zyrtec. As a matter of fact, pregnant women should avoid alcohol because it’s known to cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
Zyrtec interacts with certain medicines and substances. If you’re taking any of the following medications, seek your doctor’s advice first before using Zyrtec.
- Butisol Sodium
- Guaifenesin … (This is not an exhaustive list of all medicines that may interact with Zyrtec. Consult your doctor for more info).
To avoid Zyrtec interaction, share a list of all drug and substances as well as herbal remedies that you may be using with your doctor. That way, you will help the physician monitor the possible interactions on your behalf.
Zyrtec Safety During Pregnancy
While Zyrtec can pass from the mother to the infant through breastfeeding, animal studies show that it may not have adverse effects on the baby.
Allergy symptoms are relatively common. When you’re pregnant and suffer from seasonal allergy reactions, seeking treatment is essential. Zyrtec happens to be one of the most common medications you’ll use to counter the symptoms.
As outlined above, Zyrtec is safe during pregnancy as long as you use it as per the instructions of the doctor or the drug’s label. Another important thing to remember is that you should not take your medications longer that prescribe. If your condition doesn’t improve, seek attention from the doctor.