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I started taking Zyrtec around 15 years ago. I was put on it by my allergist because I had severe allergies and asthma. It seemed to help the allergies. The doctors took me off it around 6 months of taking it. Trying to get a different combination of meds to help my asthma as well. After being off it for more than a day, I broke out in horrible extremely itchy hives. So I was put back on it and have been taking it daily until about a year ago, I realized I was still taking it and didn’t feel like I needed to because the allergies were better. Not even 24 hours and I got very nauseous with a really bad headache and was sick to my stomach. The itching came in full force too. I didn’t get the hives this time but, the itching was so severe! It was mainly in my palms, feet, and face. I knew all this was coming from not taking Zyrtec because that was the only change.
The symptoms got so bad I had to take one and within an hour I felt completely better. I was determined to get off this awful pill. So I gradually weaned off, cutting it into a half, a quarter, even down to a quarter of a quarter. It took almost a year to get completely off Zyrtec. Some of the withdrawal symptoms stopped but I still have severe itching in my scalp. I’ve been off Zyrtec almost 3 months and my scalp still itches. I’m hoping it just takes time for histamine levels to balance out or whatever needs to happen for the body to get back to normal. I’m desperate for the itching to stop but I would never take Zyrtec again. I mentioned this to my doctor and they act like I’m crazy. The only verification I've got is through other people’s reviews.
Do not start taking this drug if you can help it. The withdrawal if you ever stop taking it once you have started is unbearable. Sporadic and then constant itchiness, all over your body is the result. There is no warning on the label for the over the counter version in the US, even though other countries like the Netherlands require it. For me, every time I attempted to stop taking it, the itching started within 3 days - my legs, my scalp, my arms, my stomach, everywhere. And no, I never experienced any kind of itching allergy before I started taking it. My pharmacist recommended it for a runny nose that I couldn’t get rid of. I have woken up with bruises and bloody scratches from trying to relieve the itch in my sleep. I tried weaning myself off, but could never get past taking it at least every 3 days. Currently attempting to switch to a different antihistamine to ride out the itching and make it to the other side of this hell.
I took Zyrtec for 4-5 years after starting it to go along with allergy shots. Every time I've tried going off it in the past 2 years, I get itching of my palms and soles of my feet within 48 hours. The itching is intense. Currently trying to taper it using **. This is ridiculous. It is insane that neither Zyrtec or the FDA have addressed this as a side effect. There are thousands of people reporting the same online.
I have been on Zyrtec then switched to ** by allergist for hives. It's been 6 years or so and I wanted to try and stop the meds. Every time I tried I could not go 24 hrs without my hands turning red and incredibly itchy that I would scratch until I bleed. I would not recommend anyone to start or use this medicine. Had I known it would be like this I would've never started!!!!
I first tried quitting Zyrtec ** in February 2012. I'd been taking it since sometime in 2009, best I can remember -- after it became available over the counter. I never had a prescription for it. I switched to Zyrtec because ** wasn't doing enough to combat my respiratory allergy symptoms anymore, and Zyrtec was billed as the new OTC wonder allergy drug. When my doctor added ** to my asthma regimen, he told me to continue taking the Zyrtec because the two drugs block different histamine receptors. It worked so well I didn't have any reason to question it until February 2012, when an annual checkup revealed elevated blood pressure. One of the things that can cause that is OTC allergy meds, so I decided to drop the Zyrtec and see if that helped.
I was fine the first day, but on the second morning I got out of bed and my feet immediately began to itch abominably, tops and bottoms. It was as though I had an invisible, excruciating heat rash. I also had less maddening, but still very irritating, itching over the rest of my body. My feet and my hands -- especially my palms -- continued to itch badly off and on all that day, and the rest of my body followed suit, though not as intensely. By dinnertime, I was suspicious because quitting Zyrtec was the only thing that had changed in my routine. So I went online and did some searching.
I found more than just a few people having the same problem. And not just the itching! Zyrtec had also affected me mentally. Depression, rage issues, fatigue -- all these things had crept over me through the years I was taking the drug, and I hadn't even realized it. I didn't want to get out and do things. I was very short with my family members. I felt angry all the time. I didn't want to get up in the morning because nothing seemed worth being awake. I didn't even realize this was happening until I weaned myself off Zyrtec and realized my entire personality and outlook had improved. Zyrtec had been killing me inside and I didn't even know it until I started reading others' horror stories.
The next day I went to the local Walgreens pharmacy and spoke to the pharmacist, who told me itching is not a normal side effect of quitting Zyrtec. His recommendation was to "just keep taking the Zyrtec," and if I was serious about quitting, I should wean myself with half a pill for a week or two, then drop down to a quarter pill. Considering the number of testimonials I'd read in the previous 18 hours about the itching side effects alone, I wanted to punch him when he told me to keep taking it. Thankfully, not even the Zyrtec could turn me into THAT kind of person.
At least his weaning-off advice sounded good, so I did, starting with half a pill per day for a couple weeks, then a quarter, then none. By sometime in April 2012, I was completely off Zyrtec, but it was a very difficult transition, and improvement over the following months was terribly slow. Now, more than seven full years after kicking it, I still experience the itching sensation at least once a week on my feet, palms, and upper chest/neck area. Sometimes it happens for no apparent reason. Other times it seems to be triggered by heat or high emotion (or both). Sometimes just stepping into bright sunlight makes me break out in a rash.
Let me be very, very clear: I never, EVER, had problems like these before taking Zyrtec. I took it for respiratory allergy symptoms only. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably never be completely symptom-free, physically speaking. I believe Zyrtec did things to my nervous system that are irreparable. And it often seems as though the only people who completely believe me are those who are suffering/have suffered through Zyrtec withdrawal themselves. But we're not imagining it, and obviously, we're not alone.
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I started taking Zyrtec roughly 1 year ago and have decided to request allergy shots to help me. I’ve also decided I prefer to not take meds for allergies. I’ve come off Zyrtec now for 3 days and have been having a terrible headache and itching all over. The itch is like a pin prick and hurts. You can’t stop the itch no matter what you do. I don’t see anyone else mentioning the headache but I do have one. I’m also nauseous. I’m chalking it all up to withdrawals and it’s not fun. I don’t know why this isn’t discussed when you’re prescribed it. My ENT put me on it. I’ll be discussing this with my allergist in a week when I have my allergy testing done again. This stuff is terrible. But YES it helped my allergies but doesn’t seem to be helping after long term use. Thus wanting to see the allergist for a more lifelong solution. My main allergies that I know of from previous allergy testing are grass, mold, mites and cats. Hope this helps someone.
I stated earlier that I was suffering many of the same Zyrtec withdrawal symptoms as many other people, but I want to list a few more specifically. Since I started taking 1 Zyrtec tablet daily for minor allergy issues I am experiencing tingling in my face, legs, feet, and toes. I have diminished feeling in my legs and numbness in my legs and toes which affects my balance. I sometimes have searing pain in my feet. My vision is very blurry despite being seen by an ophthalmologist and being told he could not see any obvious reason for the blurry vision. I cannot sleep. I abruptly wake up with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. I have frequent episodes of feeling very hot (like boiling from the inside out). I’ve been having memory issues.
Because of these symptoms I have had multiple MRI scans of my head and neck (and had to be surgically sedated for them because I am terribly claustrophobic) facial & jaw CAT scan, a nerve study, a punch biopsy of the tissues on my legs and other medical tests to try and figure out what is happening to me. I’ve had to pay thousands of dollars in insurance deductibles for these tests. I am trying to wean off the drug. I am laying in bed with intense itching and blisters all over my neck, feet and hands. I have been poisoned by this drug! I demand the FDA do something! It is truly harming people and doctors need to be informed about its dangers. I don’t think I will ever feel normal again.
I’ve been taking Zyrtec for my allergies and after a prolonged period of being on Zyrtec I decided to stop and just deal with my seasonal allergies. After two days of not being on Zyrtec I get so unbelievably sick and my heart is racing. I can’t even stand up and I’m dry heaving. It is the worst feeling I’ve ever had to endure. I imagine this is what a ** addict must feel like. I literally feel like I have motion sickness. I have tried weening the dosage down but it still happens once I’ve stopped the Zyrtec completely and that 2nd day hits then on comes the withdrawals. I’ve told my doctor and she looks at me like I have two heads and says that shouldn’t be happening from Zyrtec. As if all of the symptoms are in my head.
I’ve had family and friends say I’m crazy. That there’s no way an over the counter medication can do this to me. If anybody is thinking about taking Zyrtec I would just recommend you really think twice about ever putting that poison in your body !!! I’ve been stuck taking this for years because I cannot live with the withdrawals... my heart literally races and I feel like I’m going to die when I stop Zyrtec! If there is anyone out there that was able to get off Zyrtec I would really love to know what you did because I need to get off of this medication.
I’ve been taking Zyrtec for the last 2 years. It does cause me to have drowsiness & to be thirsty. Within 2 days of stop taking I started itching. I have finally figured out that since I am not taking an antihistamine it is causing the itch. Hope it doesn’t last much longer as it is awful.
My allergist required me to stop taking Zyrtec five days prior to allergy testing. Within 24 hours I was miserable scratching my entire body! The itching was generalized for no reason. No rashes, allergic reactions to anything, just ravaged with itching on palms, legs, upper arms, scalp, etc. It has reached the point where I have bruises on my body because it's so bad! Zyrtec and the FDA are well aware of this, as well as allergists, but no one is saying anything! I told my allergist and he responded with a validation nod, but wouldn't say a word. I'm on day 6 of scratching. One can't help being consumed with it. You can't even stand your clothes touching you and feels like pins and needles/bug crawling on you. This is a serious side affect and there needs to truly be a class action lawsuit. I've seen where several have been started.
Zyrtec expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Available in tablet, gel cap, dissolving tablet and children’s syrup form, Zyrtec is an antihistamine that works within one hour of dosage to reduce the effects of natural chemical histamine in the bodies of adults and children. Zyrtec is available without a prescription at major pharmacies and retail chains nationwide.
Wide availability: Allergy sufferers can find relief without making a visit to the doctor’s office since Zyrtec is available at major pharmacies and stores without a prescription. Consumers can also buy Zyrtec online at several major retailers.
Zyrtec app: Download the Zyrtec app for free on your mobile device to get updated allergy forecasts, keep track of your symptoms and find out how the pollen count is affecting allergy sufferers in your part of town. You can also customize your notifications to be alerted whenever pollen is high in your location.
Allergy resources: Visit Zyrtec’s webpage for information on how to minimize indoor allergies, how to deal with allergies to dogs and other furry animals and more.
Available for children: Children as young as two years old who suffer from allergies can find relief with Zyrtec’s specially formulated children’s dissolving tablets or syrup. Consult with your child’s pediatrician before using on a child younger than two years old.
Indoor and outdoor relief: Zyrtec can relieve both indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms, so you only need to take one pill instead of several to effectively manage all of your allergy symptoms.
Best for: Zyrtec is best for adults and children who need antihistamine relief.
Zyrtec Company Information
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