What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Zyrtec (Cetrizine)

Also Known as Reactine,Cirrus


Zyrtec (Cetrizine)


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Generic Equivalent - Zyrtec (Cetrizine)


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  • Product Details


    Zyrtec (cetrizine)

    Zyrtec is used to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. 

    Zyrtec is also used to alleviate symptoms of chronic allergies caused by dust mites, animal dander, and molds. 

    Zyrtec is also used to treat hives.

    Zyrtec is available in 5 mg and 10 mg oral tablets. It's also available in a 5 mg/5 mL oral syrup.

    The generic name for Zyrtec is cetirizine.


    Take Zyrtec as your doctor has prescribed. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

    Each patient's dose is based on age and severity of symptoms.

    Recommended starting dose:

    • Adults and children who are at least 12 years old: 5 mg to 10 mg by mouth once daily
    • Children 6 to 11 years old: 5 to 10 mg (1 to 2 teaspoons of Zyrtec syrup) by mouth once daily
    • Children 2 to 5 years old: 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) of Zyrtec syrup by mouth once daily, up to a maximum dose of 5 mg (1 teaspoon) per day or 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) twice daily
    • Children 6 months to less than 2 years old: 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) of Zyrtec syrup by mouth once daily. Children who are between 12 and 23 months old may take a maximum dose of 2.5 mg (½ teaspoon) every 12 hours


    Cetirizine hydrochloride, an antihistamine, is the active ingredient contained in Zyrtec.

    Inactive ingredients in the tablets include lactose, magnesium stearate, povidone, titanium dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, and corn starch.

    Inactive ingredients in the syrup include banana flavor, glacial acetic acid, glycerin, grape flavor, methylparaben, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium acetate, sugar syrup, and water.


    Do not take Zyrtec if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

    Fact Table




    US FDA


    Well-absorbed (greater than 70%)

    Legal status


    Chemical Name


    Elimination half-life

    Mean: 8.3 houts, Range: 6.5-10 hours

    Dosage (Strength)

    10mg (40 or 100 tablets), Syrup (100mL)


    Consult a doctor


    Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Allergy, Children's Zyrtec Hives Relief

    Protein binding


    PubChem CID






    ATC code






    Routes of administration

    By mouth


    • Before you start treatment with Zyrtec, be sure to tell your doctor about:
      • All the medications you take
      • Your allergies
      • Your health history and current health problems
      • Your pregnancy or breastfeeding status
    • Zyrtec can make you feel drowsy; therefore, you should not drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you.

    Side Effects

    Zyrtec side effects include drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth. If you develop any bothersome or persistent side effects, contact your doctor right away. 


    Zyrtec. New York, NY: Pfizer Labs; 2002.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 19

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