Q:

What are cetirizine hydrochloride and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride?

A:

Quick Answer

Cetirizine hydrochloride and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride are both medicines. Cetirizine hydrochloride is classified as an antihistamine used to treat symptoms related to allergies and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride is a sympathomimetic drug used as a nasal decongestant or stimulant aid.

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Full Answer

When a person experiences an allergic reaction, the body releases a substance called histamine. Histamine causes symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. Cetirizine hydrochloride reduces the amount of histamine in the body, helping to treat those symptoms. It can also be used to treat the itching and swelling caused by hives. Cetirizine hydrochloride is sold under the brand name Zyrtec.

Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride is a stimulant compound of the substances phenethylamine and amphetamine, which mimic the actions of neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Not only can it be used to treat nasal congestion, it can also help treat symptoms of hay fever, the common cold and can act to promote drainage of the sinuses.

In 2006, the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act was added as an amendment to the U.S. Patriot act, as the U.S. Congress recognized pseudoephedrine hydrochloride's use in the manufacture of methamphetamine. While the drug is still available for purchase, the law states that each purchase must be individually recorded and the identity of each purchaser must be verified. It also limits the amount that individuals are able to purchase in a month.

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