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Cetirizine (Zyrtec) Dosage Table

Cetirizine (Zyrtec) Dosage Table

Child's AGE (years) 2-6  6-12  12+  years 
Liquid 5 mg/1 teaspoon (tsp)  1/2  tsp 
Liquid 5 mg/5 ml  2.5  10  ml 
Chewable 5 mg tablets   --  tablets 
Tablets 10 mg  --  --  tablets 

Indications: Treatment of nasal or eye allergies, hives, itching and other allergic symptoms.

Table Notes:

  • AGE LIMITS: For allergies, don't use under 2 years of age (Reason: not FDA approved). For AGE 2 - 6 years, discuss with your child's doctor before using. For colds, not recommended at any age (Reason: no proven benefits). 
  • DOSAGE: Determine by finding child's age in the top row of the dosage table. 
  • MEASURING the DOSAGE: Syringes and droppers are more accurate than teaspoons. If possible, use the syringe or dropper that comes with the medication. If not, medicine syringes are available at pharmacies. If you use a teaspoon, it should be a measuring spoon. Regular spoons are not reliable. Also, remember that 1 level teaspoon equals 5 ml and that ½ teaspoon equals 2.5 ml. 
  • FREQUENCY: Give once daily in the morning. 
  • ADULT DOSAGE: 10 mg 
  • BRAND NAMES: Zyrtec, generic cetirizine 
  • ADVANTAGES: Causes less sedation than older antihistamines (Benadryl and chlorpheniramine) and is long-acting (lasts up to 24 hours). 
  • DISADVANTAGES: Doesn't control allergy symptoms as well as Benadryl or chlorpheniramine. Use Cetirizine mainly if drowsiness from Benadryl or chlorpheniramine interferes with function. 
  • COST: Use a generic or store brand of Cetirizine. Reason: Costs less than Zyrtec brand.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.

Copyright: Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Revised: 8/13/2011 3:11:52 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version Year: 2012

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