Is up and up Zyrtec gluten free?

For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, checking medications for gluten ingredients is an important part of managing their health. Up & Up is Target’s store brand for over-the-counter medications and other health and beauty products. Their version of Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) is a popular allergy medication. But is it gluten free?

What is Zyrtec?

Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) is an over-the-counter antihistamine medication used to treat symptoms of seasonal and year-round allergies and hives. It blocks the effects of histamine, a chemical released by the body during an allergic reaction. This helps reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and itching or hives.

Zyrtec comes in several forms:

  • Oral tablet (regular and orally disintegrating tablet)
  • Oral solution (liquid)
  • Nasal spray

The active drug ingredient in all forms of Zyrtec is cetirizine hydrochloride. This is the ingredient responsible for blocking histamine receptors and relieving allergy symptoms.

What is Up & Up Zyrtec?

Up & Up Zyrtec is the Target store brand version of name brand Zyrtec. It contains the same active ingredient, cetirizine hydrochloride, in the same strength (5mg or 10mg). Up & Up Zyrtec comes in two forms:

  • Cetirizine hydrochloride tablets
  • Cetirizine hydrochloride oral solution (liquid)

The Up & Up Zyrtec products are equivalent versions of the name brand Zyrtec tablets and oral solution. They offer an affordable alternative to the name brand medication.

Are the Inactive Ingredients in Up & Up Zyrtec Gluten-Free?

To determine if a medication is gluten-free, you need to look at both the active and inactive ingredients. While the active ingredient in Up & Up Zyrtec is cetirizine hydrochloride, the inactive ingredients can vary depending on the product form.

According to the ingredient lists on Target’s website, the inactive ingredients in Up & Up Zyrtec products are:

Up & Up Zyrtec Tablets

  • Dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate
  • Hypromellose
  • Lactose monohydrate
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Maize starch
  • PEG 8000
  • Sodium starch glycolate
  • Titanium dioxide

Up & Up Zyrtec Oral Solution (Liquid)

  • Glycerin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium acetate
  • Sorbitol solution
  • Water
  • Xanthan gum

Based on a review of these inactive ingredients, the Up & Up Zyrtec products appear to be gluten-free. None of the ingredients listed for the tablets or oral solution contain gluten or wheat-derived ingredients.

Cross-Contamination Risks

When evaluating the gluten content of medications, you also need to consider the risk of cross-contamination during manufacturing. Cross-contamination occurs when gluten is unintentionally introduced from shared equipment, facilities or ingredients used to process other products containing gluten.

Medications themselves do not contain gluten, so any exposure would come from cross-contamination. The highest risk products are those that contain excipients derived from gluten-containing grains, like wheat starch. Since Up & Up Zyrtec does not contain any wheat-derived ingredients, the risk of cross-contamination appears low.

Target’s website and product labels do not indicate that their Up & Up Zyrtec products are made in dedicated gluten-free facilities or tested for gluten. However, many major allergy medications made by leading pharmaceutical companies are produced this way, even if not labeled gluten-free.

What the Experts Say About Zyrtec and Gluten

Pharmacists and gluten intake experts seem to agree that Zyrtec, including Up & Up store brand versions, is very unlikely to contain harmful levels of gluten:

Of course, it is always best to check with your pharmacist or doctor if you have questions or concerns about taking a particular medication with gluten-related disorders.

Precautions for Gluten-Sensitive Individuals

While Zyrtec and Up & Up Zyrtec appear safe from a gluten perspective for most people, those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should consider a few precautions:

  • Look for “gluten free” labeling on the packaging if highly sensitive. Target does not label their Up & Up Zyrtec line as gluten-free.
  • Check each time you get a refill in case manufacturing processes or ingredients change.
  • Call the manufacturer if you have any questions or want assurance about gluten testing.
  • Consult your pharmacist or doctor, especially if you have reacted to Zyrtec or other medications before.
  • Try an explicitly labeled gluten-free brand if you remain concerned about trace exposure.

Being extra careful with medications is advised since ingredients can change without notice. If you know you are sensitive to trace gluten, stick to brands that certify their products gluten-free to be safe.

The Verdict on Up & Up Zyrtec

Based on a careful review of the formulation, manufacturing, and expert opinions, Up & Up Zyrtec products (both tablet and oral solution forms) appear to be gluten-free and safe for ingestion by those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

The active and inactive ingredients in Up & Up Zyrtec do not contain any gluten or wheat-derived compounds. And major allergy medications like Zyrtec are made under stringent controls that minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

Leading experts consider Zyrtec a gluten-free medication, with any trace gluten well below the 20ppm safety standard for those with gluten disorders. Product testing has also confirmed non-detectable or extremely low gluten levels in Zyrtec.

As with any medication, it is smart for those with celiac disease or who are highly gluten-sensitive to exercise caution and check labeling for new batches or formulations. But Up & Up Zyrtec appears to be a safe and affordable gluten-free option for managing allergy symptoms.

Other FAQs

Does Zyrtec D contain gluten?

Zyrtec-D contains the decongestant pseudoephedrine in addition to cetirizine. According to GlutenFreeWatchdog and GlutenDude, Zyrtec-D formulas do not contain gluten, making them safe for celiac patients when no wheat ingredients are listed.

What about the Target brand Zyrtec generic?

Up & Up Zyrtec is Target’s store brand version of Zyrtec. It contains the same active ingredient (cetirizine) and inactive ingredients that are not wheat-derived. So the Up & Up Zyrtec generic products sold at Target appear to be gluten-free just like name brand Zyrtec.

Does Walgreens Zyrtec have gluten?

Walgreens offers its own store brand version of Zyrtec called Wal-Zyr. According to Walgreens, these products do not contain gluten ingredients. So Wal-Zyr products are very likely to be gluten-free, but check labels to confirm.

Can children take gluten-free Zyrtec?

Yes, the children’s formulations of Zyrtec contain the same gluten-free active and inactive ingredients. As long as you confirm no wheat ingredients on the label, children’s Zyrtec should be safe from a gluten perspective.

Is Kirkland Zyrtec gluten-free?

Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand version of Zyrtec contains cetirizine just like Zyrtec. The ingredients do not indicate the presence of gluten. However, Costco’s products are often made in dedicated facilities so Kirkland Zyrtec may be at lower risk of cross-contamination versus other store brands.

The Bottom Line

Up & Up Zyrtec, like Zyrtec, appears to be a gluten-free and safe choice for treating allergy symptoms in those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The ingredients contain no gluten-based compounds and experts believe the risk of trace gluten exposure is extremely low. Those highly sensitive should still exercise some caution and consult their pharmacist or doctor. But for most individuals who must avoid gluten, Up & Up Zyrtec can be considered a gluten-free medication.

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