|Cetirizine (Zyrtec) Dose Table|
|Child's AGE (years)||2-6||6-12||12+||years|
|Liquid 5 mg/1 teaspoon (tsp)||½||1||2||tsp|
|Liquid 5 mg/5 ml||2.5||5||10||ml|
|Chewable 5 mg tablets||--||1||2||tablets|
|Tablets 10 mg||--||--||1||tablets|
When to Use. Treatment of nasal or eye allergies, hives, itching and other allergic symptoms.
- AGE LIMITS. For allergies, don't use under 2 years of age. (Reason: not FDA approved). For AGE 2 - 6 years, talk with your child's doctor before using. For colds, not advised at any age. (Reason: no proven benefits).
- DOSE. Find the child's age in the top row of the dose table. Look below the correct age for the dose based on the product you have.
- MEASURE the DOSE. Syringes and droppers are better to use than teaspoons. If possible, use the syringe or dropper that comes with the medicine. If not, you can get a med syringe at a drug store. If you use a teaspoon, it should be a measuring spoon. (Reason: regular spoons are not reliable). Keep in mind 1 level teaspoon equals 5 ml and that ½ teaspoon equals 2.5 ml.
- HOW OFTEN. Give once a day in the morning.
- ADULT DOSE. 10 mg
- BRAND NAMES. Zyrtec, generic cetirizine
- PLUS SIDE. Causes less sedation than older allergy medicines (like Benadryl and chlorpheniramine.) It is long-acting and lasts up to 24 hours.
- DOWNSIDE. Doesn't control allergy symptoms as well as older allergy medicines. Use Cetirizine mainly if drowsiness from Benadryl interferes with function.
- COST. Use a store brand of Cetirizine. Reason: Costs less than brand name, Zyrtec.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Content Set: Child Symptom Checker
Child Symptom Checker