Levocetirizine: dose, uses, side effects and properties

Levocetirizine is an H1 antihistamine that is used to treat a variety of allergic conditions. It is the active R-enantiomer of cetirizine. Levocetirizine do not cross blood-brain barrier. As compared to cetirizine, it is effective at half the dose and appears to cause less sedation and lack of anticholinergic side effects. Cetirizine and levocetirizine have additional mast cell–stabilizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It is indicated in upper respiratory allergies, urticaria, atopic dermatitis, pollinosis and also used as adjuvant in seasonal asthma.

Drug class

H1 antihistamine, 2nd generation

Available preparation

levocetirizine dihydrochloride

  • Tablet: 5 mg, 10 mg
  • Syrup: 2.5 mg/5 ml

Dosage

  • Adult: 5 – 10 mg daily (preferably at night)
  • Children: 2.5 – 5 mg daily

Common uses

  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Pruritis
  • Seasonal asthma
  • Urticaria and atopic dermatitis
  • Pollinosis

Side effects

  • Decreased alertness and concentration
  • Mild headedness
  • Dryness of mouth  

Pharmacological characteristics (PK, PD)

  • Half-life (t1/2): 7-10 hours
  • Duration of action: 12-24 hours
  • Only 1% (approx.) metabolized by CYPs, less potential for drug interactions
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