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Cetirizine, a piperazine derivative and carboxylated metabolite of hydroxyzine, is a potent antihistamine with distinguishing features like:
- Exquisite anti-H1 specificity: Cetirizine appears unique in being devoid of action on receptors other than the H1-receptor
- Potency: at unit dose Cetirizine is the most potent antihistamine in the skin and lungs & Absence of metabolism. Therefore, Cetirizine is the choice of H1 antagonist for the management of the immediate allergic reactions.
Cetirizine, a new second generation H1-antagonist, is the only antihistamine that possesses activity against both the histamine mediated 'early' phase of the allergic reaction and the 'late' phase response of immediate hypersensitivity characterize by migration of inflammatory cells to the site of the reaction. It is an effective and well tolerated treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria.