10 Differences Between cetirizine and levocetirizine

What is Cetirizine?

Cetirizine is an antihistamine commonly used to relieve symptoms caused by allergies, such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance produced in the body during an allergic reaction.

Examples of Cetirizine

Cetirizine is available under various brand names, including Zyrtec, Aller-Tec, and Wal-Zyr. It is typically sold over-the-counter as tablets, capsules, or as a syrup for children.

Uses of Cetirizine

Cetirizine is primarily used to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies (hay fever), such as itching, sneezing, and watery eyes. It can also be used to alleviate symptoms of allergic skin conditions like hives or urticaria. Cetirizine is not effective in treating cold symptoms.

What is Levocetirizine?

Levocetirizine is an active enantiomer of cetirizine, meaning it is one specific form or mirror image of cetirizine. It has a similar mechanism of action as cetirizine, acting as an antihistamine to reduce allergic reactions and their associated symptoms.

Examples of Levocetirizine

Levocetirizine is commonly sold under the brand name Xyzal. It is available in various oral formulations, such as tablets, chewable tablets, and oral solution.

Uses of Levocetirizine

Levocetirizine is primarily used to relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion. It can also be used to alleviate symptoms of chronic idiopathic urticaria (chronic hives with an unknown cause).

Differences between Cetirizine and Levocetirizine

Difference Area Cetirizine Levocetirizine
Enantiomer Not an enantiomer, racemic mixture Active enantiomer of cetirizine
Timing of Action Takes about 1 hour to start working Starts working within 20 minutes
Duration of Action May last up to 24 hours May last up to 24 hours
Effect on Drowsiness May cause drowsiness in some individuals Less sedating than cetirizine
Dosage Forms Tablets, capsules, syrup Tablets, chewable tablets, oral solution
Approved Age for Use Children aged 2 years and above Children aged 6 months and above
Metabolism Metabolized in the liver Partially metabolized in the liver
Excretion Excreted in the urine Excreted in the urine and feces
Drug Interactions May interact with certain medications May interact with certain medications
Cost Generally less expensive Generally more expensive


In summary, cetirizine and levocetirizine are antihistamines used to treat allergies. While both medications have a comparable duration of action and similar uses, levocetirizine starts working more quickly, is less sedating, and can be used in younger children. However, cetirizine is available at a lower cost compared to levocetirizine.

People Also Ask

Q: Are cetirizine and levocetirizine safe during pregnancy?
A: Both cetirizine and levocetirizine should be used with caution during pregnancy, and it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before using these medications.

Q: Can cetirizine and levocetirizine be taken together?
A: It is generally not recommended to take cetirizine and levocetirizine together unless specifically advised by a healthcare professional. They have similar mechanisms of action and could lead to an increased risk of side effects.

Q: Can I drink alcohol while taking cetirizine or levocetirizine?
A: Consumption of alcohol may enhance the sedative effects of cetirizine and levocetirizine. It is best to avoid or limit alcohol intake while using these medications.

Q: Can cetirizine or levocetirizine be used for the common cold?
A: No, cetirizine and levocetirizine are not effective in treating symptoms of the common cold. They are intended for relieving allergy symptoms.

Q: Can I take cetirizine or levocetirizine if I have liver or kidney problems?
A: If you have liver or kidney problems, you should consult a healthcare professional before taking cetirizine or levocetirizine. Dose adjustments may be necessary to avoid potential complications.

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