According to the FDA, active ingredients includes those components of the product that may undergo chemical change during the manufacture of the drug product and be present in the drug product in a modified form intended to furnish the specified activity or effect.
An active ingredient in a medication is defined as the ingredient in a drug that is biologically active. The similar terms active pharmaceutical ingredient and bulk active are also used in medicine, and the term active substance may be used for natural products.
What is the Active Ingredient in Zyrtec?
Cetirizine is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Zyrtec. Cetirizine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. An antihistamine is a substance that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. It was patented in 1981 and came into medical use in 1987. In 2018, it was the 55th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 13 million prescriptions.
Zyrtec is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose. Cetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by hives. Cetirizine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this article.
What side effects can the active ingredient in Zyrtec cause?
Cetirizine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- excessive tiredness
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptom is uncommon, but if you experience it, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Cetirizine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cetirizine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cetirizine, hydroxyzine (Vistaril), or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants, medications for anxiety, medications for mental illness, medications for seizures, other medications for cold and allergy, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and theophylline (Theo-24, Theolair). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking cetirizine, call your doctor.
- you should know that cetirizine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.