Xizal and Zirtek, the choice of drug

Xizal and Zirtek are not interchangeable medicines and decide what is best for each particular patient should be a doctor, since each antihistamine has contraindications and can cause a number of undesirable reactions.

Xizal and Zyrtec are antihistamines and are used to stop allergy attacks. But despite the general indications, each medication has its own characteristics that you need to know before starting therapy.


Xizal is available in drops and tablets, which contain levocetirizine dihydrochloride as the main component.


The tablets are oval in shape, on one side they have the letter “Y”. Their color is white or almost white.

The composition of the tablets includes the following additional components:

  • Milk sugar.
  • MCC.
  • Aerosil.
  • E576.

The shell of the tablets is formed by the following substances:

  • Propylene glycol.
  • E171.
  • Hypromellose.

Drops are a colorless, slightly opalescent liquid.

They include the following inactive ingredients:

  • Sodium acetate.
  • Glycerol.
  • Acetic acid.
  • Macrogol.
  • E216.
  • E218.
  • Water.
  • Sodium saccharinate.

The drug affects the histamine-dependent stage of allergy, reduces vascular permeability and the movement of eosinophils, and prevents the release of inflammatory mediators. The drug prevents the onset and facilitates the course of allergies, exhibits antiexudative and antipruritic effect.

After oral administration, the drug is rapidly absorbed from the digestive tract. Eating slows the rate of absorption, but does not change its degree. The bioavailability of the drug is 100%. The maximum concentration in the blood in adult patients is observed after 0.9 hours. Up to 90% of the dose taken is associated with plasma proteins. The drug is practically not metabolized in the liver. The drug is excreted mainly in the urine, therefore, in patients with impaired renal function, the half-life of the drug increases.


Zyrtec is available in drops and tablets. As a therapeutic component, they contain cetirizine dihydrochloride.


White pills. They are oblong, biconvex in shape, on one side they have a risk, the letter “Y” is above and below the risks. They have the same composition of auxiliary components as Xizal tablets.

Drops are a colorless, clear liquid. It smells of acetic acid and contains the same inactive components as Zyrtec drops.

The active substance is a metabolite of hydroxyzine and a competitive histamine antagonist. It prevents the occurrence and facilitates the course of allergies, relieves itching, has an antiexudative effect. Ceterizine affects the early and late stages of allergies, reduce the migration of neutrophilic, basophilic and eosinophilic granulocytes, reduces capillary permeability, relieves spasm of smooth muscle tissue, stabilizes the membrane of mast cells, prevents the occurrence of edema. It reduces bronchospasm in mild asthma, which is caused by histamine, and also eliminates the skin reaction provoked by it.

After oral administration, the effect of the drug is observed in half of the patients after 20 minutes, after an hour in 95% of allergy sufferers. After discontinuation of therapy, the effect of the medication persists for 72 hours.

The medicine is rapidly absorbed after ingestion, the maximum concentration in the blood is noted after an hour. Up to 93% of the drunk dosage combines with proteins. The drug is practically not metabolized and 2/3 of the drunk dosage is excreted unchanged in the urine. The half-life for people over 18 years old is about 10 hours, for children aged 6 to 12 years it is 6 hours, for preschool children 2-6 years old – 5 hours, for babies under 2 years old – 3.1 hours.

The elimination half-life increases with pathologies of the liver and kidneys.

What is common between drugs

Zirtek and Xizal have the following similarities:

  • The drugs are used to relieve year-round and seasonal allergic rhinitis, dermatosis and conjunctivitis, urticaria, hay fever, angioedema.
  • Both anti-allergic drugs are contraindicated in pregnant and lactating patients, with individual intolerance to their composition, with severe kidney pathologies, in which the glomerular filtration rate is less than 10 ml per minute. With caution, they should be taken by the elderly and those with chronic renal failure.
  • Xizal and Zirtek tablets are allowed from 6 years.
  • The effect of medication persists for a day.
  • In therapeutic dosages, Xizal and Zyrtec do not have a sedative effect.
  • Both drugs can cause allergies, weight gain, palpitations, headaches, drowsiness, aggression, agitation, hallucinations, dry mouth, seizures, depression, impotence, fatigue, weakened vision, abdominal pains, nausea, and indigestion increasing the activity of liver enzymes.
Difference comparison

Between antihistamines there are the following differences:

  1. Zyrtec drops are allowed from 6 months. Xizal drops are available for children from 2 years.
  2. Xizal is a prescription drug, Zirtec is not.
  3. Zirtek tablets need to be stored at temperatures up to 30 degrees, drops at temperatures up to 25 degrees for 5 years. Xizal tablets does not lose its properties at a maximum temperature of 25 degrees for 4 years from the date of issue. In drops, the drug can be stored at ambient temperature up to 30 degrees for 36 months from the date of production, but after opening the bottle they are allowed to use 3 months.
  4. Zyrtec should be drunk with caution in case of impaired liver function.
  5. Xisal may cause muscle pain and shortness of breath. Zyrtec can cause dizziness, tics, trembling of certain parts of the body, confusion, fainting, impaired sensation and accommodation, runny nose, pharyngitis, urinary incontinence, edema, and urination disorders.

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