Allergies are the bane of the existence of many who suffer from them, and with the deteriorating quality of air and other elements, the number of people suffering from allergies is on the rise. Medication used to treat symptoms of allergies is known as an antihistamine, as they work by inhibiting the action of allergy-causing substances called ‘histamines’. One such antihistamine is levocetirizine dihydrochloride, which is widely employed in the medical arena to treat allergic reactions in patients suffering from symptoms such as hives, wheezing, and the like.
While levocetirizine dihydrochloride is generally safe for consumption by most people, certain precautions need to be observed while taking the medication. Essentially, levocetirizine is an antihistamine that is non-sedative (it does not induce a state of unconsciousness and/or does not require the patient to be sedated prior to administration of the medicine) that is used to treat various allergy symptoms. It is sold over the counter in various pharmacies either under a specific brand name or in the form of generic packaging. The general consensus about the use of levocetirizine dihydrochloride suggests that it is safe for use in adults and even children, provided the dose of children is adjusted according to their specific medical situation.
Uses & Benefits of Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride:
Given below are some of the symptoms that are treatable by levocetirizine dihydrochloride:
- Symptoms caused due to allergy from pollen
- Itches and rashes caused by hives and/or pet allergy
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Since levocetirizine dihydrochloride is an antihistamine, it is used to treat seasonal and year-round allergies. However, it does not provide focused relief from specific symptoms; instead, it aims to inhibit the action of the allergy-causing substance. For more focused (and in some cases, prompt) relief, the doctor may prescribe you symptom-specific medication.
Side Effects of Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride:
There are some undesirable side effects associated with the use of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in patients, other than its desired effect. A few of the possible side effects of levocetirizine dihydrochloride are:
- The prolonged use of this medicine may induce drowsiness/sleepiness that may interfere with your ability to concentrate.
- Higher doses of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in patients diagnosed with ailments related to the kidney may cause the situation to worsen, or even introduce new symptoms.
- It may cause inflammation of the throat, and/or irritation in the nasal passage.
- Abdominal pain and nausea are also common side effects of the medicine.
Common Dosage of Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride:
The levocetirizine dihydrochloride tablet is to be swallowed whole while ingestion, without biting into it, or chewing it. The general dose of levocetirizine dihydrochloride among adults is one tablet per day, but the dose must always be administered to the patient after thorough consultation with a doctor that is well aware of the patient’s medical situation.
Composition and Nature of Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride:
As far as the nature of levocetirizine dihydrochloride is concerned, it falls in the category of medicines known as antihistamines. Medication that is considered antihistamines is capable of blocking and/or reducing the action of histamines. This ability of such medicines helps in reducing allergy symptoms in patients.
The main active constituent of levocetirizine dihydrochloride medicine is levocetirizine that is responsible for blocking histamine action and alleviating allergy symptoms. While it is mostly safe for use by the general public, patients who may be sensitive to the chemical (or any related chemical) should consult the doctor before consumption. Levocetirizine dihydrochloride also contains lactose in some quantity. Hence, people who are lactose intolerant should consume levocetirizine dihydrochloride only after consulting with their doctor.
How Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride works?
The usefulness of levocetirizine dihydrochloride is dependent on the action of its ingredient levocetirizine, which works by blocking the allergy-causing substance from completing its reaction within the body of the patient.
Levocetirizine inhibits histamines from acting on the patient’s body, which helps in reducing the overall effect of the allergic reaction.
Precautions and Warning – When to avoid it?
- It is strongly advised by medical experts to not mix levocetirizine dihydrochloride with alcohol, since alcohol may suppress or even nullify the action of the medicine on the person’s body.
- An overdose of levocetirizine dihydrochloride may cause skin complications that are usually linked to kidney-related medical ailments.
- The administration of levocetirizine dihydrochloride is often associated with increased fatigue and drowsiness, hence driving while on the medicine is not advised.
- In patients with kidney problems, overdose or even prolonged use of this drugs can even result in severe kidney failure in some cases.
- The medicine should not be kept in direct sunlight to prevent deterioration and/or alteration of its original composition.
Substitutes for Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride:
Possible substitutes for levocetirizine dihydrochloride may be brand name medicines like Xyzal, or any other medicine that contains levocetirizine or cetirizine as its main active ingredient.
Cetirizine is a less-sedative antihistamine that induces little to no drowsiness/fatigue in the patient post-consumption. It is also safe for consumption by children, and hence is fast emerging as a popular alternative to levocetirizine dihydrochloride.
Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride Interactions with Other Drugs:
The components of levocetirizine dihydrochloride may possibly interact with the following chemicals:
- Medications related to HIV or AIDS may interfere with the functioning of levocetirizine dihydrochloride.
- Chemicals like theophylline are used to treat asthma patients. Use of levocetirizine dihydrochloride along with theophylline may increase the occurrence as well as the severity of side effects caused due to increased amounts of levocetirizine in the person’s body.
- Interaction of levocetirizine dihydrochloride with alcohol are known to suppress the action of the medicine.
Ans: There are no known studies that suggest adverse effects of levocetirizine dihydrochloride on the expecting mother as well as the fetus, hence it is largely safe for use by pregnant women.
Ans: Levocetirizine dihydrochloride does not induce any significant side effects on the lactating mother. However, prolonged use of levocetirizine dihydrochloride may increase toxicity in the mother’s milk, and/or decrease the milk supply.
Ans: For children between the ages of 6 to 11 years, the suggested dose of levocetirizine dihydrochloride is 2.5mg, which is to be administered once a day.
Ans: In the case of levocetirizine dihydrochloride, the dose must be kept low to prevent kidney failure and other related problems.