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Zyrtec and Alcohol Interaction: Can You Drink Alcohol With Zyrtec?


Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 2/01/2022

Zyrtec is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine that is used to treat allergy symptoms such as itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and hives. It works by blocking the histamines that your body makes during an allergic reaction.

Zyrtec is available in chewable or rapidly dissolving tablet forms as well as liquid medication. The most common dosage for tablets is one 10 mg tablet once every 24 hours.

What Are the Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Zyrtec?

There are many side effects that occur when mixing alcohol and Zyrtec. However, some people might not experience side effects. Ultimately, it depends on the person and how much alcohol is consumed.

Some of the most common side effects of Zyrtec are listed below.

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Rash
  • Itching or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat
  • Severe dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Impaired motor function
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment
  • Blackouts
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Seizures
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Impaired liver function

These are only a handful of the side effects that occur when drinking alcohol with Zyrtec. Always consult with your doctor before mixing alcohol with medication.

Does the Zyrtec and Alcohol Interaction Affect the Liver?

Yes, the interaction of Zyrtec and alcohol can affect the liver. While rare, there is the possibility that the interaction between these two drugs can cause acute liver damage. Zyrtec (even without alcohol) has the chance to cause damage to the liver.

Alcohol, especially in cases of abuse, is known to severely impair the liver over time. Mixing these two drugs can put an additional strain on the liver, leading to further complications. Ultimately, Zyrtec and alcohol can damage the liver.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek help from a medical professional.

Does Zyrtec Affect the Taste of Alcohol?

There is no evidence to suggest that Zyrtec affects the taste of alcohol; however, there is a chance that the rapidly dissolving tablets may leave a slight aftertaste in the mouth that should go away over time. Once the medication dissolves or it’s swallowed there should be no aftertaste.

If you notice an aftertaste when mixing alcohol and Zyrtec, you should consult with a doctor immediately. It can be a sign of a serious side effect.

Can the Mixture of Alcohol and Zyrtec Lead to Death?

The mixture of alcohol and Zyrtec is unlikely to result in death but at high doses it’s possible. The chance for side effects such as extreme drowsiness and difficulty breathing are amplified with alcohol interaction and can be indicative of an overdose. An alcohol overdose requires medical attention or the individual can enter a coma or die.

Other alcohol death statistics suggest that medications like Zyrtec increase the risk of alcohol-related problems. For this reason, mixing alcohol and Zyrtec is dangerous.

Is the Alcohol Amount Important for Interaction with Zyrtec?

Depending on the person, Zyrtec can become dangerous to mix with alcohol after only one standard drink. In other cases, it might take several drinks before Zyrtec becomes dangerous to mix with alcohol. Ultimately, it depends on the person.

While alcohol should be avoided while taking Zyrtec due to the chances of serious side effects, the amount of alcohol can also affect the severity of those side effects.

There is no specific amount of alcohol consumption that is deemed safe as you may become more intoxicated with lower amounts of alcohol when the two are mixed. In this case, even drinking in moderation may prove to be a problem. When mixing alcohol and Zyrtec, extreme caution should be used as you may begin to feel the effects of alcohol intoxication as well as the side effects of the interaction more quickly and more severely.

Additionally, when Zyrtec and alcohol are mixed in any amount it may be difficult to distinguish which drug is causing the side effects you may be experiencing, as well as the severity of those side effects.

Who Should Not Take Alcohol and Zyrtec?

While it is recommended that everyone should avoid mixing alcohol and Zyrtec, those who are more at risk are listed below.

  • Those with a known allergy to cetirizine (Zyrtec), hydroxyzine, or levocetirizine
  • People with diabetes
  • Pregnant woman
  • Individuals with underlying liver problems

There are also other reasons to avoid the combination of alcohol and Zyrtec. In fact, family history can also play a role.

Are All Types of Alcohol Harmful with Zyrtec?

Yes, all types of alcohol can be harmful when mixed with Zyrtec. That said, alcoholic beverages with high alcohol percentages are more dangerous than beverages with low alcohol percentages. Therefore, liquor can be more dangerous to mix with Zyrtec than beer or wine.

The recommended daily amount of alcohol is 1 standard drink for women and 2 standard drinks for men. One standard alcoholic drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.

How Much Zyrtec Can be Dangerous to Take with Alcohol?

Any amount of Zyrtec can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol; even less than 100 milligrams of Zyrtec. The interaction between Zyrtec and alcohol has several serious side effects and also raises the chance that you may become more intoxicated with lower amounts of alcohol consumption.

Additionally, being that both drugs are metabolized by the liver, mixing the two puts an increased strain on your liver. When the liver is strained over long periods life-threatening conditions like fatty liver disease and liver failure can occur. Unfortunately, there short-term and long-term consequences for mixing alcohol and Zyrtec.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Zyrtec will Work?

No, alcohol does not affect how well Zyrtec will work. While alcohol does not affect how well Zyrtec will work, it can reduce the amount of time you are experiencing the benefits of Zyrtec.

The liver, when faced with Zyrtec and alcohol, will prioritize metabolizing the alcohol. When the liver does this it causes a delay in the time that Zyrtec is being metabolized. The delay has a chance to cause a build-up of the medication within your system and poses the risk of toxicity or overdose.

How Long After Taking Zyrtec D Can I Drink Alcohol?

To decrease the chance of serious side effects, it is recommended that you wait 24 hours after your last dose of Zyrtec before consuming alcohol. Zyrtec remains in the body for a few hours, even after its effects wear off, so it’s important to wait for at least one day.

It also depends on how often you’re taking Zyrtec. Taking Zyrtec daily for many weeks or months can influence how long it remains in your body. For these cases, it’s important to wait for a few days.

If you’re unsure about when to drink alcohol after taking Zyrtec, make sure you speak with your doctor. They can provide guidance based on your situation.

What Are Other Drugs That Are Dangerous To Use with Alcohol?

Antihistamines (like Zyrtec) are known for being dangerous when mixed with alcohol. For this reason, Zyrtec is one of the most dangerous drugs to mix with alcohol. Even in low doses, Zyrtec can cause many problems for the stomach, liver, and digestive system.

Still, Zyrtec is not the only drug that becomes dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Several drugs can cause life-threatening side effects when mixed with alcohol, so it’s important to know how medications interact with alcohol before mixing them.

Some other drugs that are dangerous to mix with alcohol are listed below.

These are only some of the most dangerous drugs to use with alcohol. In fact, any drug has the potential to cause a dangerous interaction if used with alcohol.

If you are unsure of the potential side effects of a medication and its interaction with alcohol, contact your healthcare professional to ensure that you are aware of the risks associated with the interaction.