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Cetirizine hydrochloride is a medication used for the treatment of allergies, hay fever, angioedema, and hives. It is a second-generation H1-receptor antagonist antihistamine and works by blocking H1 histamine receptors. It is a major metabolite of hydroxyzine, and has the same basic side effects, including dry mouth.

It has long duration of action
Zyrtec Drug
No reported cardiac toxicity associated with the use of this drug
Minimal penetration of the blood-brain barrier
Only mild sedating effects, although more than some other non-sedating antihistamines
The medication is produced by UCB, a Belgian pharmaceutical company. The drug is marketed under the following brand names: Zyrtec in the USA, Zirtek in the United Kingdom, Zyrlex in many other European countries, Reactine in Canada (all by Pfizer ), and as Virlix in Mexico and parts of Europe (by GlaxoSmithKline ). It can be found under a variety of other brand names in other countries .

Like many other antihistamine medications, cetirizine is commonly prescribed in combination with pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, a decongestant. These combinations are marketed using the same brand name as the cetirizine with a "-D" suffix (Zyrtec-D, Virlix-D, etc.)

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