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ALERT

Generic Name

 Cetirizine HCl           

Therapeutic class

Anti-allergic

Pharmacological Class

Selective H1 antagonist (Second Generation)

Composition

Alert tablet:

 Each film coated tablet contains Cetirizine HCl 10 mg.

Alert Syrup:  

Each 5 ml contains Cetirizine HCl 5 mg.

Pregnancy category

‘B’

Presentation

Alert Tablet:

Available in the pack size as 10 tablets X 15 blisters

Alert Syrup :      

 Available in 30 ml with a measuring cap

What is Alert? 

Alert, available as 10 mg film coated tablets and 30 ml syrup (each 5 ml containing 5 mg) of Cetirizine HCl which is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. 

In what conditions can Alert be used?  

Alert is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose. It is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by hives.

  •  Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

  • Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR)

  • Pollen Allergy

  • Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR)

  • Upper respiratory tract hypersensitivity reaction (site unspecified)

  • Rhinovirus infection

  • Kimura’s Disease

                                    

How does Alert work?            

Activation of receptors of histamine on various tissues produces various allergic symptoms e.g. runny nose.

 Alert prevents the attachment of histamine on receptors and its activation thus working to manage the symptoms of allergy and related conditions. 

How to take Alert?

Alert tablets should be administered orally and the whole tablet has to be swallowed with water (Crushing or chewing the tablet should be strictly avoided.)

 

The usual dosage is:

Adult: 10 mg once a day

Child: >6 months and <6 years of age: 5 mg once daily.

                                  

                                                                                               

What to do if a dose is missed?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t remember until it’s nearly time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Never take two doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.

If you often forget doses, it setting an alarm might be helpful to remind you.

 

What do you need to know before you take Alert?

 

·         Your doctor should determine if you need a different dose.

Talk to your doctor about dosage for people who:

§  are 2 to 6 years old

§  are older than 65 years

§  Liver or kidney disease. 

·       Talk to your healthcare provider before use if you are taking tranquilizers or sedatives.

·       Alert cannot be used by patients with:

§  Urinary Retention

§  Closed angle glaucoma

 

Do not hesitate to provide information to your healthcare provider about the underlying health conditions that you have and also about other medicines that you are currently taking.

                            

Warnings and Precautions:

·       If you have problems passing urine (like: spinal cord problems or prostate or bladder problems) please ask your doctor for advice.

·       If you are an epileptic patient or a patient at risk of convulsions, you should ask your doctor for advice.

·       If you are scheduled for allergy testing, ask your doctor if you should stop taking Alert for several days before testing. This medicine may affect your allergy test results.

·       Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of Alert such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with Alert. 

 

Can Alert be taken during pregnancy?

As a precautionary measure, Alert is not recommended during pregnancy. However you may consult with your healthcare provider in case of unavoidable use.

                                        

Can lactating mothers consume Alert?

Use of Alert during breastfeeding is not recommended. This is because the drug passes into breast milk.

                                                                   

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

 Even though Alert doesn’t usually cause drowsiness, some people respond differently when taking it, especially in the first few doses. Be cautious, and don’t drive your car or use machinery until you know for sure how your body will respond to Alert.

 

Possible Side effects

Alert is a newer, second-generation antihistamine. Unlike first-generation antihistamines, cetirizine is less likely to cause side effects such as dangerous drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and overheating.

Alert can cause adverse effects, such as:

·       excessive tiredness

·       drowsiness

·       dry mouth

·       stomach pain

·       diarrhea

·       vomiting

 

Tell your doctor about any unexpected side effects that you have while taking Alert. Also, discuss any ongoing or bothersome side effects. These effects are usually not emergencies.

Pharmacodynamics

Cetirizine, a metabolite of hydroxyzine, is an antihistamine drug. Its main effects are achieved through selective inhibition of peripheral H1 receptors. The antihistamine activity of cetirizine has been shown in a variety of animal and human models. 

Cetirizine, the active metabolite of the piperazine H1-receptor antagonist hydroxyzine, minimizes or eliminates the symptoms of chronic idiopathic urticaria, perennial allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, physical urticaria, and atopic dermatitis. The clinical efficacy of cetirizine for allergic respiratory diseases has been well established in numerous trials.

 

Pharmacokinetics               

Absorption: Well absorbed with bioavailability >70%; bioavailability has been found to be similar between the tablet and syrup dosage forms. 

Volume of distribution: Apparent volume of distribution: 0.44 +/- 0.19 L/kg. 

 

Protein Binding: The mean plasma protein binding of cetirizine is 93%

Metabolism: Cetirizine is metabolized partially by oxidative O-dealkylation to a metabolite with insignificant antihistaminic activity. The enzyme or enzymes responsible for this step in cetirizine metabolism have not yet been identified.

Route of elimination: Between 70 – 85% of an orally administered dose can be found in the urine and 10 – 13% in the feces.

Half-life: Plasma elimination half-life is 8.3 hours.

                                  

Drug Interactions

  • There is a possibility of a drug interaction between cetirizine and theophylline.

  • Any type of tranquilizer, sedative, or sleep aid when taken along with cetirizine may amplify the sedation.

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