Medication Monday: Zyrtec


It’s Medication Monday! 💊 Today I’m talking about Zyrtec, a second generation antihistamine.

Is it safe when lactating? 👍🏻

Is it safe when pregnant? 👍🏻

Is it safe for baby? 👍🏻

Is is safe for SUPPLY? 👍🏻

Zyrtec, or cetirizine, is the preferred antihistamine in lactation. Second generation antihistamines are used for allergies and allergic reactions. Other second generation antihistamines include Claritin, Allegra, and Xyzal. 

Antihistamines work by preventing histamine from binding to its receptors and causing immune responses, like runny nose, runny eyes, hives, itching, etc. Since Zyrtec helps to decrease secretions, many people think Zyrtec will decrease supply since breastmilk is technically a secretion. However, no studies to date have shown that Zyrtec alone will decrease supply. Histamine is not involved in the milk-making process and since Zyrtec was designed to reduce side effects seen with first generation antihistamines, it’s unlikely to decrease supply. However, everyone is different. Anecdotally, I’ve taken Zyrtec up to 40mg daily during my allergy shots and haven’t had an issue with supply. I did have one friend who noticed a decrease but supply rebounded after stopping her antihistamine. If you notice supply drops, stop the antihistamine for a day or two and see if the medication caused the decrease.

Two big points - it’s important not to mix up Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D, because Zyrtec-D contains Sudafed (the “D” stands for “decongestant”) and Sudafed can decrease supply. Also, first generation antihistamines like Benadryl DO have the ability to decrease supply if used at high doses and for long durations. Best to use those sparingly if at all. 

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