Cetirizine for Hay Fever in Kids: Dosage, Uses, Side Effects and Precautions


Feeling tired and sleepy, headache, dry mouth, nauseated feeling, dizziness, diarrhoea, itching or rash, agitation, constipation and sore throat are some of the cetirizine for hay fever in kids.

The medicines which work just fine for adults may not have the same effect on kids. So, before you give any medicine to your little one make sure it is safe.

A Guide for Usage of Cetirizine for Hay Fever in Kids


What is Cetirizine?

Cetirizine is one of the medicines for hay fever in kids. It comes under various brand names such as Zyrtec, Benadryl,Piriteze, Aller-tec and Alleroff  and is easily available on medical stores. It is a safe and effective drug but before you give a dose of cetirizine to your little one you must be aware of certain warnings and precautions. So let us explore the dosage, uses, side effects and precautions for cetirizine for kids.

Uses of cetirizine for kids

Hay fever is an allergic reaction caused by pollens. When your kids body comes in contact with this allergen, a chemical called histamine is released which leads to certain symptoms such as sneezing, running or blocked nose, teary, red and itchy eyes. The effect of histamine can be lowered by giving a dose of cetirizine which is an antihistamine. Thus, the effects of histamine are blocked and the symptoms of hay fever are reduced to some extent.

So, if your kid is allergic to certain pollen you must make sure that you give him a dose of cetirizine in the allergy season, that is, the time when the pollen density is high. This will keep the symptoms of hay fever away from your child.


Cetirizine Dosage for kids

Cetirizine is available in the market in form of tablets as well as syrup. The tablets are of 10 mg while the syrup contains 5 mg cetirizine in 5 ml if syrup. The syrup is recommended for kids above the age of 2 years while the tablets is prescribed only to kids above the age of six years.

The dose of cetirizine for kids above the age of six is normally 10mg, that is, one tablet in a day. Sometimes doctors may recommend to take two doses of 5 mg each in the day. But for kids of the age group 2-6 years, you should consult the doctor first. The dose of cetirizine for little kids can be variable as per the severity of the situation and their age.

Within 30-60 minutes you will notice some relief in your kid as cetirizine starts showing its effects.

Side- effects of Cetirizine for kids

I’m sure you are aware that medicines can quickly cure your problems but at the same time they can cause some side effects. It is possible that some of the components of the medicine may not suit your child. Cetirizine being a second generation antihistamine does not have severe side effects. The possible adverse effects of taking cetirizine are:

Feeling tired and sleepy

It is possible that your child may feel sleepy or tired for a few hours after taking a dose of cetirizine, so if that is the case and your child has to attend school during the day, you can switch the timing of giving the medicine. Instead of giving the medicine in the morning, it can be giving in the evening.


It is quite possible that a mild headache may arise as a side effect of cetirizine in the initial days but it subsides within a week. If the headache prolongs more than a week, it is advisable to consult the doctor.


Dry mouth

Dry mouth is a possible side effect of cetirizine in children. Eating citrus fruits, toffee or chewing-gum can be of help in this case.

Nauseated feeling

In case your child feels nauseated after taking cetirizine then it is better to give him the tablet with food itself. Also, avoided rich and spicy food will make the situation better.


This is another common side effect of cetirizine. Advise your little one that if he feels dizzy it is better to sit for a while unless he feels better or else he may faint.


Cetirizine may cause diarrhoea and dehydration in children. Drinking lot of water can be of help in this case. If you see symptoms of dehydration such as dark pee or less pee, you must consult the doctor immediately.

Itching or rash

Consult the doctor if rashes appear after you start taking this medicine, as this can be a side effect.


If your child starts feeling agitated and irritated after taking cetirizine, it would be best to give him the dose before he goes off to sleep.



Instead of avoiding the medicine, in case your child is constipated, you should encourage him to drink lots of water and eat food that contains fiber.

Sore throat

Well, if symptoms of sore throat and cold arise, you should let the doctor decide your next step.

Precautions of Cetirizine for kids

As it is said, prevention is better than cure. Here we are with some precautions for you to keep in mind while giving cetirizine to your little one.

  • Avoid any medicine that has some side effects similar to that of cetirizine, as this might make the side effects worse.
  • Drinking a lot of water will be of great help to subside some of the side effects.
  • It is advised to give cetirizine at the same time everyday.
  • Always consult the doctor before you start giving your little one cetirizine, as the advice of the doctor is extremely necessary regarding the dosage of the medicine and other information.
  • Do not give cetirizine again if your child has had a history of severe health condition due to this medicine.


Cetirizine being an antihistamine can be of great help for curing symptoms of hay fever in your child. Now that you are clear about the uses, side effects and precautions related to it, make sure to consult the doctor before starting any medication. Happy parenting!





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