Levocetirizine hydrochloride is a medication prescribed to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies and hives. These symptoms can include sneezing, a runny nose, and watering eyes, as well as itching and rashes. This antihistamine can help alleviate allergy symptoms by inhibiting the actions of the chemical histamine in the body.
Patients will usually take one dose of levocetirizine hydrochloride in the evening. It may be taken with or without food. This medicine is available as a tablet or as a liquid syrup for patients who have trouble swallowing pills. It is essential to measure the liquid dosage for children correctly, because a child will absorb much more of the medication than an adult will.
This antihistamine medication may cause some side effects, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they persist or become bothersome. Patients may experience drowsiness, fatigue, and weakness. A fever or a cough may develop, along with dry mouth and sore throat. Sinus pain, a stuffy nose, and mild nosebleeds have also been reported. Weight gain may also occur.
Rarely, an allergic reaction to levocetirizine hydrochloride may occur, which requires immediate medical care. Signs of a possible allergic reaction can include hives, itching, and problems breathing. The patient's face may also show signs of swelling, as well as the throat, lips, and tongue.
Other serious side effects may also rarely occur from the use of levocetirizine hydrochloride. Patients should go to the emergency room if they experience hallucinations, unusual thoughts, or feeling as though they may faint. Other potential side effects can include numbness around the lips, jaundice, and stomach pain. Dark urine, confusion, and severe dizziness have also been reported rarely.
Before using levocetirizine hydrochloride, patients should discuss their other medical conditions with the prescribing physician. Those who have severe kidney disease or who are on dialysis may be unable to use it. Other medical conditions that may preclude its use can include gallbladder problems and liver disease. Levocetirizine hydrochloride may pass into breast milk and should not be used while breastfeeding. It is not expected to harm an unborn baby.
Patients must also disclose all other medications and supplements they take to ensure their safety. Muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medicines, and narcotic pain relievers may interact with this antihistamine. Sleeping pills, anxiety medications, and certain psychiatric drugs may also interact with it. In addition, those who are undergoing medical diagnostic tests, such as allergy tests, should inform the doctor that they are taking levocetirizine hydrochloride, as it may interfere with the results.