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Zerviate (Generic Cetirizine Ophthalmic)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution) is an antihistamine eye drop used for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids, due to an allergic reaction.

Cetirizine, the active ingredient in Zerviate, is an antihistamine that works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance released by the body in response to allergens. Histamine is responsible for many allergy symptoms, including itching.

Zerviate is specifically designed for ocular use, meaning it is meant to be applied directly to the eyes. It helps alleviate symptoms such as itching, redness, and tearing associated with allergic conjunctivitis.

How should this medicine be used?

The usage instructions for Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution) may vary, and it’s essential to follow the specific guidance provided by your healthcare provider or the instructions on the prescription label. However, here are general guidelines for the use of Zerviate:

  • Wash Hands: Before applying Zerviate, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Shake the Bottle: If the medication comes in a bottle, shake it well before using to ensure that the solution is well-mixed.
  • Instill the Drops: Tilt your head back and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper tip close to your eye without touching it. Squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the pocket formed by the lower eyelid. Be careful not to touch the tip of the dropper to your eye or any other surface to prevent contamination.
  • Close Eyes: Close your eyes gently and apply light pressure to the inner corner of your eye with your finger for about 1 to 2 minutes. This helps to prevent the medication from draining into the tear duct, which can reduce the risk of systemic absorption.
  • Avoid Contamination: Avoid touching the tip of the dropper or allowing it to come into contact with any surface. This helps prevent contamination.
  • Contact Lenses: If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying Zerviate. Wait at least 10 minutes before reinserting your contact lenses.
  • Frequency: Follow the prescribed dosing schedule. Typically, Zerviate is applied twice daily, but your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate frequency for your specific condition.
  • Continue Use: Use Zerviate regularly as prescribed, even if your symptoms improve. Do not stop using the medication without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

It’s crucial to adhere to your healthcare provider’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about the proper use of Zerviate. If you experience any adverse effects or have concerns about the medication, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

Other uses for this medicine

Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution) is specifically indicated for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. It’s important to note that medications can be prescribed “off-label” for uses other than those approved by regulatory agencies. However, using a medication off-label should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions and considerations for Zerviate may include the following:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider of any known allergies to cetirizine or any other antihistamines. Also, disclose any allergic reactions to other substances, including preservatives in eye drops.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using Zerviate with your healthcare provider. It’s important to consider whether the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks to the fetus or nursing infant.
  • Medical Conditions: Provide a comprehensive medical history to your healthcare provider, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. This information will help determine if Zerviate is suitable for you.
  • Contact Lenses: If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying Zerviate, and wait at least 10 minutes before reinserting them. Some eye drops can contain preservatives that may be absorbed by soft contact lenses.
  • Systemic Absorption: While Zerviate is an eye drop, there is a possibility of systemic absorption, especially if the drops drain into the tear duct. This absorption can lead to systemic effects similar to those seen with oral antihistamines. Inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any other medications, particularly sedatives, tranquilizers, or other central nervous system depressants.
  • Adverse Reactions: Be aware of potential adverse reactions, including eye irritation, burning, stinging, and blurred vision. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of Zerviate in pediatric patients have not been well established, and its use in children should be determined by a healthcare professional.

Remember that information may have changed since my last update in September 2021, so it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for the most current and personalized guidance based on your health status and any potential updates in medical information.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There were no specific dietary instructions associated with the use of Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution). However, it’s always essential to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Medications can be affected by food or dietary considerations, and your healthcare provider will provide guidance based on your individual health needs.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Since benzoyl peroxide is usually applied once or twice daily, if you forget a dose, you can follow these general guidelines:

  • Apply as Soon as Possible: If you forget a dose, apply it as soon as you remember.
  • Skip If Close to Next Dose: If it’s almost time for your next scheduled application, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
  • Avoid Double Dosing: Do not apply extra benzoyl peroxide to make up for a missed dose. Applying more than the recommended amount can increase the risk of irritation.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution) may cause side effects, and it’s important to be aware of potential reactions. Keep in mind that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may tolerate the medication well. Common side effects associated with Zerviate can include:

  • Eye irritation: This may include burning, stinging, itching, or redness in the eyes.
  • Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches as a side effect.
  • Blurred vision: Vision may become temporarily blurred after using the eye drops.
  • Taste disturbance: A temporary change in taste is a less common side effect.
  • Increased tearing: Paradoxically, some individuals may experience an increase in tear production.
  • Other ocular reactions: This may include dry eye, eye discomfort, and watery eyes.

It’s important to note that these side effects are generally mild and transient. However, if you experience persistent or severe side effects, you should contact your healthcare provider.

In rare cases, individuals may experience more serious side effects. Seek medical attention if you notice signs of an allergic reaction (such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing) or if you develop severe eye pain or changes in vision.

As with any medication, there may be other side effects not listed here. If you have concerns about the side effects of Zerviate or if you experience any unusual symptoms after using the medication, consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on whether to continue the medication or if any adjustments to the treatment plan are needed.

Keep in mind that medication information is subject to updates, and it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or check more recent sources for the latest information on Zerviate or any other medication.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution) at room temperature between 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
  • Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
  • Protect the medication from light.


  • Dispose of Zerviate according to local regulations and guidelines. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it into a drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information on safe disposal methods, such as through a drug take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of accidental ingestion or overdose, seek emergency medical attention or contact a poison control center immediately.
  • Symptoms of overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, or hallucinations.

What other information should I know

  • Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as herbal supplements.
  • If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using Zerviate and wait at least 10 minutes before reinserting them.
  • Do not touch the tip of the dropper to any surface, including your eye, to avoid contamination.
  • If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Follow the prescribed dosing schedule and do not stop using Zerviate without consulting your healthcare provider.

As medication information can change, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for the most up-to-date guidance and to address any specific concerns or questions you may have. Always follow the instructions provided with the medication and seek medical attention in case of emergency or if you suspect an overdose.

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