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Cetirizine is an antihistamine treatment used in allergies. It is the generic versions of Zirtek and Benadryl One a Day. 

You can easily buy Cetirizine online using our secure UK pharmacy service. Once your order has been approved, it will be shipped to you by special next-day courier.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

26 April 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 26 April 2022
Product information

Cetirizine is a tablet medicine used in allergies, called an antihistamine. It is the generic version of the branded treatments Zirtek (UCB) and Benadryl One a Day (McNeil). Cetirizine doesn’t require a prescription, and can be issued by our pharmacist. However, when you buy Cetirizine online, we’ll ask you to fill in a short medical questionnaire, just to make sure that the treatment is suitable for you.

According to Allergy UK, 44% of adults have at least one type of allergy; globally, it’s thought that allergies affect between 10% and 40% of the world’s population. In the UK, hay fever is thought to be one of the most common forms of allergy. This is triggered by exposure to pollen, and can cause rhinitis (swelling and irritation of the nose, and watery eyes). Dust mites, pet hairs and animal dander can cause a very similar reaction; this is known as perennial allergic rhinitis, as symptoms may be present all year round.

It’s also possible for some people with allergies to experience urticaria, or hives. This is where red raised bumps develop on the skin, often causing itchiness and discomfort. Urticaria can be triggered by a number of stimuli, including pollen, pet hair or dust mites as described above; and it can also be the result of a dermal reaction to heat, insect bites or certain types of detergent.

In some cases, hives can be an early indicator of a more serious type of allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis (for which medical attention should be sought immediately); but most of the time it will be largely self-limiting, and gradually dissipate after contact with the allergen has been stopped.

Similarly, rhinitis symptoms are not usually serious when they occur on their own; but they can cause considerable discomfort, and exacerbate other conditions such as asthma.

There are several treatments available which can alleviate discomfort associated with allergies, and help the body to recover from symptoms more quickly.

Cetirizine is a type of drug called an antihistamine. This type of medicine works by blocking the action of a chemical in the body called histamine, which causes symptoms. Why some people have allergic reactions and others do not is not fully understood, however it is known that the immune system plays an integral part in this.

In people with allergies, the body perceives certain things in the environment, be it pet hair, pollen or dust mites, as a threat. This then causes the immune system to release histamine, as part of its natural defence mechanism. It’s histamine that causes swelling and inflammation in the areas that come into contact with the offending allergen (for example the nose, eyes or mouth). Cetirizine reduces symptoms by interfering in this process.

If you’re looking to buy Cetirizine online, we can help. Click ‘buy now’ to be taken to our online consultation. Once complete, our pharmacist will review your order. Medications are dispensed at our UK pharmacy, before being delivered by next-day parcel.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022

Follow the instructions given to you by our pharmacist when taking this medication.

  1. The usual dose for adults is 10mg per day, as needed.
  2. This is equivalent to one tablet per day.
  3. Taking more than this isn’t likely to be more effective, and may cause you to experience more side effects such as drowsiness.
  4. If you have any type of illness which impairs kidney function, you should not use this medicine and speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  5. Tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.
  6. How long you use the medication for depends on the nature of your allergy. If you are not sure, ask your pharmacist for guidance.
  7. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
  8. If you miss a dose, you can take it when you remember. However, you must wait until at least 24 hours after this before taking your next one.

Please note that this is only a summary of the instructions provided in the patient information leaflet. Make sure you read this leaflet fully before use.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Cetirizine 10mg

Side effects

Side effects

If you notice any signs of an severe allergic reaction (such as swelling of the face, tongue, lips or throat), you should seek medical attention right away.

In very rare cases, people using this medicine have experienced suicidal thoughts. If this happens, stop using the treatment and speak to a doctor immediately.

You should read the patient information leaflet for your treatment fully before use, so that you are aware of the potential side effects associated with the version you are using.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Tiredness, headache, feeling sick, sore throat, dry mouth, diarrhoea, dizziness, blocked or runny nose.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Itchy rash, abdominal pain, weakness, feeling unwell, agitation, tingling hands and feet.

Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):

Increased heartbeat, swelling due to water retention, convulsions, changes in liver function, weight gain, hives, becoming aggressive, confusion, feeling depressed, hearing or seeing things that are not there, insomnia.

Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):

Sight problems such as blurred vision, rotation of the eyes, fainting, bruising or bleeding more than normal, rash, bad taste in the mouth, bed wetting, problems with urination, tremor, tics, muscle spasms, swollen skin in the face.

Not known:

Feeling more hungry more often, loss of memory, vertigo, being unable to empty the bladder, intense itching, joint pain, or hives after finishing the medicine.


Conditions to look out for

You should not use Cetirizine if you are allergic to any of the constituents in the medicine, have an allergy to other similar types of drug, or have severe kidney failure.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any of the following, as the treatment may not be suitable for you, or your dose may need to be adjusted: kidney problems; problems passing urine such as spinal cord or prostate or bladder problems; epilepsy; or an intolerance to any type of sugar (such as lactose or sucrose).

Taking it with other medications

It is not thought that the tablet version will cause interactions with other drugs. However, non-tablet versions may interact with theophylline or certain types of antidepressant. Let your pharmacist or doctor know about any other medicines you are taking during consultation.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

This treatment should not be used during breastfeeding, and may not be suitable for use during pregnancy. Ask your pharmacist for advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and are experiencing allergy symptoms and seeking treatment.

Driving and using machines

It is unlikely that this medicine will affect your capacity to drive or use machines.

Lactose intolerance

Cetirizine tablets contain lactose. If you are lactose intolerant, ask your pharmacist for advice.

Allergy skin tests

You should stop using Cetirizine for three days beforehand if you are due to have an allergy skin test.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Cetirizine 10mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

It is not advisable to drink alcohol if you have allergy symptoms.

Will I still be able to drive?

Your ability to drive should be inhibited by this medicine.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

Consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you are pregnant before using this medicine. It should not be used by women who are breastfeeding.

How should I store it?

Store at room temperature below 25˚C, away from the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Always read the information leaflet carefully before use.

Is it available over-the-counter?

Yes. However, when you buy this treatment from our site, we will need to ask you some questions before our pharmacist can issue it to you, just to make sure it is suitable for you to use.

How can I buy Cetirizine online?

Take our questionnaire to order Cetirizine tablets online using our confidential pharmacy platform. After your order is checked and approved by our pharmacist, our team will dispense your treatment and ship it to you by special delivery; in most cases, you’ll receive your treatment in one working day.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
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