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What is Levocetirizine?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Levocetirizine is an antihistamine medication a doctor may prescribe to treat hay fever, hives, and other allergy issues. It is an example of a third generation antihistamine, and notably causes less sedation than earlier generations of these drugs, making it safer for patients to take. The dosage varies, depending on the patient, and it can come in a number of forms, including in combination medications where the manufacturer packages two drugs together to provide more complete relief.

This medication works by blocking histamine receptors. Mast cells can continue to release histamine, but since it cannot connect with the receptors, the cascade of allergy symptoms stops in its tracks. Patients can avoid watery eyes, rashes, runny noses, congestion, and other allergy problems by taking this medication regularly, usually in a once-a-day dose. It is important to try to take the medication on time, although if people miss a dose, they can go ahead and make it up unless they are close to the scheduled time for the next one.

Patients on levocetirizine are less likely to experience asthma attacks and other severe allergy symptoms. This medication will also increase comfort for people with seasonal allergies and can limit time lost at work or school by making sure people can continue to work during allergy season. The lack of sedative effects can make the drug safe to take at any time, rather than limiting patients to taking their medication when it is safe to feel sleepy or sluggish.

People with kidney problems should not take levocetirizine. Some patients may experience an allergic reaction to the drug, and they should be careful to discuss their medical history with a doctor before receiving a prescription. There may be conflicts with existing drugs a patient takes, or a doctor could be concerned about comorbidities. Common levocetirizine side effects can include dry mouth, fevers, and nosebleeds. Although the medication is less likely to cause fatigue than other antihistamines, some patients do feel drowsy or tired while on this drug.

It is important to take the correct dose at the right time and to avoid sharing this medication. A patient who has not met with a doctor might be at risk by taking prescription medications like levocetirizine, as there is a chance of allergic reaction, conflicts with other drugs, and other issues. Furthermore, symptoms patients attribute to allergies sometimes are actually signs of a different problem, and a doctor needs to evaluate the patient to make sure the problem really is allergies.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
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