Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride

Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride is a medicine suitable for children aged 6 years and adults. This is used to relieve symptoms of hay fever or called seasonal allergic rhinitis and nasal allergies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription.

How does Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride work?

Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride is a type of medicine called a non-sedating antihistamine. It works by preventing the actions of histamine – a substance produced by the body when it reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen or pet fur. These are the allergen. Histamine acts on histamine receptors, causing a chain reaction that results in allergic symptoms.

In allergic reactions like hay fever, histamine causes inflammation of the nose, eyes or airways that result in a runny, blocked or itchy nose and itchy, watery eyes. In allergic skin reactions histamine causes skin rashes, inflammation, and itching.

Levocetirizine blocks histamine receptors and so stops the chain reaction that causes the symptoms of the allergy. It usually starts to work within an hour after taking a dose.

What is seasonal allergic rhinitis and nasal allergies?

Seasonal allergic rhinitis

This is a group of symptoms affecting the nose. People with this type of allergy generally experience symptoms after breathing in an allergy-causing substance. When a sensitive person inhales an allergen, the body’s immune system may react with the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Puffy and swollen eyelids
  • Itching usually in the eyes, mouth, nose, or throat
  • Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion

Symptoms also may be triggered by common irritants such as:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cosmetics
  • Strong odors such as perfume or hair spray and fumes
  • Laundry detergents
  • Cleaning solutions, pool chlorine, car exhaust and other air pollutants 

Seasonal allergic rhinitis can occur in summer, spring, and early fall. They are usually caused by sensitivity to airborne mold spores or to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds.

Perennial allergies

This is a chronic allergic condition that does not subside throughout the year. This causes nasal congestion and a runny nose. You may feel like you have a permanent cold that won’t go away.  Nasal inflammation is the hallmark symptom of perennial allergic rhinitis. You may have some or a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal obstruction or stuffiness

If your condition has progressed to sinusitis or the growth of abnormal tissue you may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Facial pain or fullness
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Toothaches
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Postnasal drip
  • Your runny nose amy be foul-smelling or an abnormal color

How to use Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride?

Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride tablets can be taken either with or without a meal. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response.  If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

You can continue to use this medicine daily to relieve symptoms for as long as you are exposed to the allergen. Follow the instructions given by your doctor, carefully. If symptoms persist despite treatment, seek medical advice from your doctor. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication unless you are totally fine. You should follow the full prescription of your doctor. 

What are the side effects of Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride?

Common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild sleepiness or feeling tired
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Inform your doctor if these side effects occur:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling weak and lacking energy or strength
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visual disturbances such as blurred vision
  • Skin reactions such as rash, hives, or itching
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pins and needles sensations
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Tremor
  • Difficulty sleeping or also known as insomnia
  • Depression or hallucinations
  • Agitation or aggression
  • Weight gain
  • Liver problems such as inflammation of the liver or abnormal liver function

If there are side effects that get worse, call your doctor or for medical help right away.

Warnings

  • The safety of Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride for use during pregnancy has not been fully established. It should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother outweigh any potential risks to the developing baby. However, certain other antihistamines or locally acting medicines like nasal sprays are usually preferred for treating pregnant women who cannot tolerate their hay fever symptoms. Ask your doctor for further advice.
  • Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride may pass into breast milk. Although the effects of this on a nursing infant are not known, it could potentially make the baby drowsy or irritable. It should only be used by women who are breastfeeding if the benefits to the mother outweigh any potential risks to the nursing infant. Certain other antihistamines or locally acting medicines like nasal sprays are usually preferred for treating breastfeeding women who cannot tolerate their hay fever symptoms. Ask your doctor for further advice.
  • Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here doesn’t mean that all people taking this antihistamine will experience that or any side effect. Children and elderly people tend to be more susceptible to the side effects of antihistamines.
  • This should not be taken by people with severe kidney failure and rare inherited blood disorders
  • This is not recommended for use in children under six years old,
  • The medicine should not be used if you are allergic or intolerant to any of its ingredients. Check the ingredients listed in the leaflet that comes with the medicine if you know you or your child have specific allergies or intolerances.
  • Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride needs a lower dose and extra monitoring in people with kidney problems, who have difficulty passing urine, and with epilepsy.
  • This drug may make you drowsy. You should not drive, do anything that requires your alertness, or use any machinery until you can do it safely.
  • While having this treatment, avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can make you drowsier.
  • Before having any other surgery, let your doctor know if you have any other medications (herbal/food supplements or vitamins).