Last update Dec. 30, 2021

Cetirizine Hydrochloride

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

A second generation antihistamine, derived from piperazine and hydroxyzine metabolite, with minimal sedative effects and very low toxicity even at high doses. Indicated in allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria. Oral administration in a single daily dose.

It is excreted in breast milk in clinically insignificant amounts (Wilkerson 2021). Their pharmacokinetic data (high volume of distribution and high percentage of plasma protein binding) probably explain the negligible excretion observed in breast milk.

No problems in the short or long term have been observed in infants whose mothers have taken it.(Wilkerson 2021, Gashlin 2016, Westermann 2012)

Cetirizine has been used in nursing mothers to treat persistent neuropathic breast pain.(Muddana 2018)

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology and other experts consider it safe during breastfeeding.(Hale, Middleton 2020, Briggs 2015, Schaefer 2015, Butler 2014, Powell 2007)


  • Loratadine ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Cetirizine Hydrochloride is also known as

Cetirizine Hydrochloride in other languages or writings:


Cetirizine Hydrochloride belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Cetirizine Hydrochloride in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 70 %
Molecular weight 462 daltons
Protein Binding 93 %
VD 0.56 l/Kg
pKa 3.36 -
Tmax 1 - 2.2 hours
8.3 hours
Theoretical Dose 0.003 - 0.007 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 1.7 - 4.1 %


  1. Hale TW. Medications & Mothers' Milk. 1991- . Springer Publishing Company. Available from Consulted on April 10, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Wilkerson H, Datta P, Rewers-Felkins K, Baker T, Hale TW. Maternal Transfer of Cetirizine Into Human Milk. J Hum Lact. 2021 Feb;37(1):135-138. Abstract
  3. Middleton PG, Gade EJ, Aguilera C, MacKillop L, Button BM, Coleman C, Johnson B, Albrechtsen C, Edenborough F, Rigau D, Gibson PG, Backer V. ERS/TSANZ Task Force Statement on the management of reproduction and pregnancy in women with airways diseases. Eur Respir J. 2020 Feb 6;55(2). pii: 1901208. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Muddana A, Asbill DT, Jerath MR, Stuebe AM. Quantitative Sensory Testing, Antihistamines, and Beta-Blockers for Management of Persistent Breast Pain: A Case Series. Breastfeed Med. 2018 May;13(4):275-280. Abstract
  5. Gashlin LZ, Sullo D, Lawrence RA, Rosen-Carole C. Treatment of Narcolepsy with Sodium Oxybate While Breastfeeding: A Case Report. Breastfeed Med. 2016 Jun;11:261-3. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  6. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Towers CV, Forinash AB. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk. Wolters Kluwer Health. Tenth edition (acces on line) 2015
  7. Butler DC, Heller MM, Murase JE. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: Part II. Lactation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Mar;70(3):417.e1-10; quiz 427. Abstract
  8. Westermann L, Hügel R, Meier M, Weichenthal M, Zillikens D, Gläser R, Schmidt E. Glucocorticosteroid-resistant pemphigoid gestationis: successful treatment with adjuvant immunoadsorption. J Dermatol. 2012 Feb;39(2):168-71. Abstract
  9. Powell RJ, Du Toit GL, Siddique N, Leech SC, Dixon TA, Clark AT, Mirakian R, Walker SM, Huber PA, Nasser SM; British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI). BSACI guidelines for the management of chronic urticaria and angio-oedema. Clin Exp Allergy. 2007 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. del Cuvillo A, Mullol J, Bartra J, Dávila I, Jáuregui I, Montoro J, Sastre J, Valero AL. Comparative pharmacology of the H1 antihistamines. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2006;16 Suppl 1:3-12. Review. No abstract available. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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