Is Zyrtec Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can accompany a lot of complications and you need to stay safe and healthy every time. With the change in hormonal levels, pregnant mothers are prone to some common health related issues including sneezing, watery eyes, itching, and runny nose, among others.

It is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug to treat allergy symptoms, and no prescription is needed by patients to take the medicine.

But, is Zyrtec safe to take during pregnancy?

Let’s get the details uncovered…

What is Zyrtec?

Just like Benadryl, Zyrtec, also referred to as Cetirizine is a medication that comes under the class of Anti Histaminic.

To make it clear, Zyrtec is an antihistamine that fights against the histamines produced and released into out body in response to substances or particles that produce allergy.

Allergens like dust and pollen can release excessive histamines causing patients to suffer from anaphylactic or several allergic reaction.

A category B drug according to the FDA, Zyrtec is available in chewable tablets and syrups and can be taken before or after food, as prescribed by the doctor.

This medication is generally prescribed for patients with seasonal allergies, however, it is also used as a complimentary treatment for conditions that include allergies with food and asthma.

Zyrtec is available in almost all drug stores and has been made accessible to the public for over a decade already. Though considered safe during pregnancy, the FDA has not labeled the drug to be completely free from any side effects and not much research has been done to explore the impact it can cause.

Side effects of Zyrtec during pregnancy

A test carried with Cetirizine carried out on rats showed no effects on the fertility and this has labeled the drug to have almost no associations with birth malfunctions.

However, a prolonged use of the drug can come up with some complications which can be fatal to the mother as well as the baby.

Zyrtec can cause gastrointestinal problems

Prolonged consumption of Zyrtec has been associated with several gastrointestinal problems including dry mouth, nausea or vomiting, dyspepsia and increased appetite.

Zyrtec can cause hepatic problems

Though rare, hepatic side effects causing liver abnormalities has also been reported by the prolonged use of this drug.

Zyrtec can cause respiratory problems

Rare reports of sinusitis, asthma, coughing and wheezing have been recorded.

Here are some less serious side effects of Zyrtec:

  • dry mouth
  • nausea and constipation
  • headache
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • Fatigue, etc.

Zyrtec is found to have strong association with the alteration in thinking. It is found to affect alertness in some patients and it is strongly advised to not drive, operate machines or perform heavy duty tasks that require attention when on Zyrtec dosage.

Some less common but serious side effects of Zyrtec are:

  • Problems related to urination
  • Hyperactivity
  • Weakness, sleeplessness, and insomnia
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Blurry vision, etc.

When to avoid Zyrtec during pregnancy?

There are several conditions at which you need to avoid taking Zyrtec to stay on the safe side. If you are addicted to alcohol (though you should never drink alcohol during pregnancy), you should avoid the medication as the side effects like confusion, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness and drowsiness can increase.

If you are addicted to alcohol (though you should never drink alcohol during pregnancy), you should avoid this medication as the side effects like confusion, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness and drowsiness can increase.

Similarly, pregnant women who have difficulty in thinking, or have poor motor coordination should also avoid Zyrtec at any cost as it further disturbs mental alertness. Here are a few cases when you need to stay aware of taking this medication:

  • Mental problems
  • Addiction to alcohol or alcohol-related products
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of face
  • Liver problems, etc.

Is it safe to take Zyrtec while breastfeeding?

No fatal cases of effects on the rate of live births or stillbirth have been recorded yet. Similarly, no associations of Zyrtec with gestational age, neonatal distress and mean birth weight is seen.

However, Cetirizine is excreted into human milk and it has been strongly recommended that nursing mothers should avoid the use of Zyrtec to stay away from the potential risks associated with an infant.

Have you faced any complications because of Zyrtec during pregnancy? Write us in the comments below!

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