Cetirizine and Levocetirizine Use in Children

Marcia L. Buck, Pharm.D., FCCP, FPPAG


Pediatr Pharm. 2010;16(6) 

In This Article

Dosing Recommendations

The recommended dose for cetirizine in adults and children 6 years of age and older is 5 to 10 mg given once daily. Children between 2 and 6 years of age should begin therapy with 2.5 mg of the oral solution taken once daily. If necessary to control symptoms, the dose can be increased to 5 mg once daily or 2.5 mg given every 12 hours.[3–5]

The dose of levocetirizine in adults and children 12 years of age and older is typically 5 mg taken once daily. Some patients may experience satisfactory symptom control with a lower 2.5 mg dose. The recommended dose for children 6 to 11 years of age is 2.5 mg taken once daily, and the dose for children 6 months to 5 years of age is 1.25 mg given once daily. The manufacturer recommends that levocetirizine be taken in the evening. As an alternative, a dose of 0.125 mg/kg may be given twice daily in children less than 2 years of age who do not respond or do not tolerate the once daily regimen. A 2.5 mg dose may be given twice daily in children over 2 years of age. Both cetirizine and levocetirizine can be taken with or without food.[3–5]

Adults and children over 12 years of age with renal dysfunction should receive a reduced dose. The dose for adults with mild renal impairment is 2.5 mg once daily. For moderate renal impairment, the dose is 2.5 mg every other day, and for severe renal impairment, levocetirizine should be administered no more frequently than every 3 to 4 days. Use in younger children with renal dysfunction is not recommended.[3–5]


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