Zyrtec, sold generically as certirizine, is a medication used to treat hay fever, allergies and cold symptoms such as runny nose and sneezing. If you like to drink wine or other alcohol-containing beverages with your meals, it is important to modify these habits with Zyrtec use. Combining alcohol with Zyrtec can lead to numerous and even lethal side effects.
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Serious Side Effects
Zyrtec can lead to harmful side effects that may require immediate medical help. According to Drugs.com, these side effects include arrythmias (irregular heartbeats), tachycardia (fast heartbeat), restlessness, hyperactivity and confusion. You may also experience vision problems, decreased urination, weakness and trouble sleeping.
Gastrointestinal Side Effects
Zyrtec is also associated with causing gastrointestinal (stomach or intestinal) problems. RxList.com states that users may experience constipation, dyspepsia (indigestion), flatulence (gas) and increased appetite. Rectal bleeding, melena (dark stools or vomit), tongue swelling and eructation (belching) are other gastrointestinal side effects.
If you are allergic to Zyrtec's ingredients, you may experience an allergic response to it, states Drugs.com. You may develop trouble breathing, hives and swelling of your face, lips and throat. Get immediate medical help in order to rapidly reverse these serious side effects.
Psychiatric Side Effects
Zyrtec can affect your psychological state in various ways. You may have abnormal thoughts, feel anxious and depressed. Zyrtec is also associated with difficulty concentrating, nervousness, sleeping trouble and decreased libido (sex drive).
If you take more Zyrtec than the package instructions recommend, you may experience symptoms of an overdose. These symptoms include restlessness, nervousness and drowsiness, according to Drugs.com.
Other Physical Side Effects
When you take Zyrtec, your skin may become flushed, dry or itchy, according to RxList.com. You can develop hearing problems, migraines, numbness, paralysis and tingling sensations on your skin. At times, your eyes may become droopy (ptosis) and you develop such visual problems as eye pain and even blindness. In some instances, Zyrtec can lead to loss of taste, menstrual problems, dehydration, diabetes mellitis (condition of elevated blood sugars) and hepatitis (liver disorder).
You should be aware that Zyrtec can lead to somnolence (sleepiness). Refrain from driving or handling dangerous equipment as this can lead to serious accidents. Alcohol and drugs can also increase somnolence, so it is important to discontinue using them when taking Zyrtec.