About Zirtek

Do you have allergy problems throughout the year? For some of us, allergies are not just the cause of a flower-promising summer, but around the clock troubles. If you’ve been having problems with a constantly stuffy nose, sneezing, and restless nights with a blocked nose, then Zirtek is for you. Zirtek helps control hayfever and also provides symptom relief for skin, dust, and pet allergies. Best of all, while other antihistamines may cause you to feel drowsy and less than your best, Zirtek does not cause any drowsy feelings and is a 2nd generation antihistamine which is available in different formats to suit the needs of your whole family.

What is Zirtek used for?

  • Zirtek can be used for treating hayfever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, in adults and children over the age of six years.
  • It may also be used to treat inflammation of the nasal lining that occurs due to other allergies, called perennial allergic rhinitis, throughout the year.
  • Zirtek can be used to treat ongoing rash with no known cause, also known as chronic idiopathic urticaria, in adults and children over six.

How does Zirtek work?

These allergy relief tablets contain the active ingredient cetirizine, a non-sedating antihistamine that prevents the actions of histamine. What is histamine? Histamine is the substance produced by the body as part of its defence system. This substance is stored in mast cells in almost every tissue of the body. When the body reacts to a foreign substance, or allergen, the mast cells are stimulated by the allergen and release their stores of histamine.

When the histamine is released it binds to its receptors (H1 receptors) and causes a reaction which results in symptoms of an allergy. This chain reaction increases the blood flow to the area of the allergy and releases other chemicals that add to the allergy. Histamines cause different allergic symptoms. For example, in hayfever, a histamine causes inflammation of the nose, skin or airway, itchy or watery eyes, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing.

The cetirizine in Zirtek works by blocking histamine H1 receptors. Cetirizine does not prevent the complete release of histamine from the mast cells, but it does stop it from binding to its receptors and causing allergic symptoms.

Cetirizine is a non-sedating antihistamine and it does not affect the brain. In some cases it may cause a very slight drowsiness, but it the effect is not as intense as other allergic relief drugs.

How much Zirtek do I need?

Adults and children over the age of 12 years may take one tablet once a day. Children between 6 and 12 years should only be given half a tablet twice a day. Zirtek should not be used for children under 6 years. These tablets should be swallowed down with water and can be taken with or without food. If allergic symptoms persist even after taking Zirtek, get medical advice from your pharmacist or healthcare provider.