The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
In Brief: Cetirizine OTC
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Cetirizine (Zyrtec, and others) and cetirizine/pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D) are becoming available without a prescription this month for treatment of allergic rhinitis and urticaria in adults and children. Cetirizine is the second of the second-generation H1-antihistamines to become available over the counter. Loratadine (Claritin, and others) was the first.

Cetirizine has been shown to be more effective than loratadine in suppressing histamine-induced wheals in healthy volunteers (W Carey et al. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2002; 28:243), but no well-controlled clinical trials have established that any second-generation H1-antihistamine is more effective overall than any other ... more      

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