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Allergies Health Center

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FDA OKs Over-the-Counter Zyrtec

Allergy Drug Zyrtec May Be Sold Without a Prescription
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 19, 2007 -- The FDA has approved over-the-counter sales of the allergy drug Zyrtec, according to McNeil Consumer Healthcare, which sells nonprescription Zyrtec.

Zyrtec is approved to relieve allergy-related sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, as well as itching due to hives. Zyrtec's most common side effects include drowsiness, tiredness, and dry mouth.

The FDA's approval of nonprescription Zyrtec follows the FDA's Nov. 9 approval of over-the-counter sales of Zyrtec-D.

Zyrtec-D will be kept behind pharmacy counters because it contains the nasal decongestant pseudoephedrine, sales of which are restricted by the Combat Methamphetamine Act.

Zyrtec isn't subject to those restrictions because it doesn't contain pseudoephedrine.

Nonprescription Zyrtec will be available in 5-milligram and 10-milligram tablets, 5-milligram and 10-milligram chewable tablets, and as a syrup.

Nonprescription Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D will be available in stores in January, states McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

(Do you have allergies? How will this news affect you? Talk with others on WebMD's Allergies Support Group message board.)

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