Cetirizine - Ophthalmic

Pronunciation: se-TIR-i-zeen

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

This medication is used to prevent itching of the eyes due to allergies. Cetirizine is an antihistamine. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that causes allergic symptoms.

Do not use this medication to treat red or irritated eyes due to wearing contact lenses. Contact your doctor for further instructions if this occurs.

How To Use

Use this medication in the affected eye(s) as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily (about 8 hours apart).

To apply eye drops, wash hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface.

If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops. Wait at least 10 minutes before replacing your contact lenses. Do not wear contact lenses if your eyes are red.

Do not open the single-use container until just before you are ready to use it. After use, throw away the remaining contents of the container right away.

Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and place one drop into the pouch as directed by your doctor. Look downward, gently close your eyes, and place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose). Apply gentle pressure for 1 to 2 minutes before opening your eyes. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink or rub your eye. If directed to use this medication in both eyes, repeat these steps for your other eye.

If you are using another kind of eye medication (such as other drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.

Do not use this product if it becomes contaminated (for example, if drops turn a dark color). Using contaminated eye medication can cause infection, serious damage to the eye, or loss of vision. Contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better in a few days or if it gets worse.

Side Effects

Mild and temporary burning/stinging of the eyes may occur when you apply this medication. If this effect lasts or gets worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using cetirizine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

After you apply this drug, your vision may be temporarily unclear. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Ask your doctor about ways to reduce your symptoms even more (such as using cold compresses and lubricating eye drops, and avoiding allergens).

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature. Keep this product in the original foil pouch to protect it from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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