Itching Withdrawal From Cetirizine Or Zyrtec

Carole Says:

I want to know how many are suffering from withdrawal from this drug that causes itching all over the body. At the people's pharmacy there is an article about this very problem, yet Zyrtec doesn't list the information on their web site. This is my third attempt to get off of this med and I'm going crazy from the itching.

717 Replies (36 Pages)

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Verwon Says:

If you take any medication for a long period of time, you will experience some withdrawal effects. This is just as true of allergy medications, as it is of any other.

One of the most common withdrawal effects are rebound effects, so for an allergy medication, this can include itching.

Have you spoken to your doctor about it?


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Phil Says:

I keep getting itching after this. Not had it before, but it's the first time I've taken the medicine for more than a month (around 3 months this time).

I'm fiding that taking a half dose is enough to suppress the symtoms. I intend to drop it by half again next week and see if i can come off that way.

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Heather B Says:

I don't know about withdrawl symptoms, but I'm researching itchiness due to TAKING this medication.... I gave my daughter a first (and only) dose last night, and will NEVER give it to her again.... she is so itchy all over I've given her benadryl and she STILL can't go to school today for scratching. I'm afraid it wil freak out toher kids, lol. Obviously we won't be taking this medication again. I can only assume that the withdrawl symptoms of itchiness are temporary, but sure am oping my itchy little nine year old will stop itching soon! No more zyrtec for us!!!

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barbara may Says:

i have been taking zyrtec every night for 3 years following severe allergies and a skin condition i caught from my dogs.I stayed on it at Drs. advice. No where was there any info about withdrawal or the intense itching it would cause when i stopped taking it.Unbelievable and impossible to stop- lotion, cortisone cream, calamine lotion, a scratcher and anything else i could think of- There really should be a warning on the label. Very Lax on the company's part.

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Steve Says:

I just found out that intense itching is a withdrawal symptom from stopping zyrtec . . . even in its generic form!! I'm going cold turkey because I don't want ANY MORE of that stuff in my system. I'm told that the itchiness lasts about fifteen days. Hopefully I will remain sane until then.

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Linda Says:

Thank God I am hearing about this from you guys, I thought I was going nuts! I have been off Zyrtec for 2 days, and the itching is unbelievable. Everywhere. You name it, it itches. Out to the store tomorrow to pick up a pack and cut the dose in half and wean off - I can't keep this up for 2 weeks. Thanks all, hope you get better.

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Shel Says:

I am going thru the same thing. I'm on day 5 of withdrawal from cetirizine (generic Zyrtec) and I am going crazy with severe, SEVERE itching. I don't know if I can last 15 days, but I'm going to try my best. I feel just awful. I wasn't on it that long either.

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runnergal Says:

I'm in the same boat- I've been on Zyrtec for years now and every time I try to quit, I itch uncontrollably and forced to return to the drug! I've only tried doing it cold-turkey, so now I'm thinking about weaning myself off slowly. Makes more sense, actually.

For those of you who've tried that, did it work?

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Traci Says:

I am so grateful I saw all of these posts. Thought I was going crazy itching so much. I stopped Zyrtec about a week ago due to finances. The next day I am itching,it seems worse when I lay down at night too. I was getting worried I was allergic to my dogs or something. Thankful this will pass!

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Steve Says:

The Zyrtec Itch
It sounds as though a lot of you people are really in a nightmare with this Zyrtec itch thing. ÂI'm surprised we haven't heard of a class action suit yet. ÂHas anyone called the manufacturer to see if they have any suggestions about how to get off of Zyrtec without getting the itch side effect?

Hot water stopped my localozed itch. I've only been taking Zyrtec for one week - 10 mg every 12 hours. After only five days on the stuff I cut my dose to 10 mg once a day. ÂLast night about 9 hours after taking only the 10 mg dose my right inner wrist started itching like crazy. After having just read all the forums about the Zyrtec itch I knew exactly what it was. Tonight again, about 9 hours after my morning dose, my wrist started itching again. This must be some sort of withdrawal or half life wear off sort of thing. So, like bug bites that itch, I ran the hottest water on my wrist that could tolerate. I kept it there for a while and kept turning up the heat. Yippy, that worked but I don't know for how long yet. So far it's been a couple hours and no itch. For those hard to get under the faucet places on your body I suggest a VERY HOT washcloth.

Instead of Zyrtec, I'm going to try some Activated Quercetin with Bromelain to see if that will do me any good.

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NoMoreZyrtec Says:

Thank God for this post! Like others, I thought something was really wrong with me. I never thought Zyrtec was the cause of my itching and red hives until now. This is crazy!! I'm going to follow the advice about taking half a pill to try weaning myself off this drug!

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Steve Says:

The itching is not random, but definitely related to zyrtec withdrawal. The drug maker pretends to not notice that its cash cow causes addiction (does anyone remember cigarette companies with similar amnesia/deception tactics?). I have been toughing out cold turkey withdrawal for about three weeks now after almost 10 years of use, and it leaves me feeling that I will either beat this demon or go bonkers trying. The best advice I can give is that every time the urge to itch surfaces you have 2 choices: either give in and start scratching like a pathetic fleabag until the impulse temporarily goes away (this can take a long time) or refuse to give in to the urge and be aware that it will (again temporarily) go away if you do not scratch. I have good luck deliberately diverting my awareness to another task but you need to stay aware and avoid the stealthy itch impulses that sneak up on you , because it only takes a couple mindless scratches to intensify the sensation and that can lead to an extended bout of scratching.

The drug companies deserve hellish consequences when enough people finally catch on and make demands of restitution for their profit driven "health care". Meanwhile, I will report back once this side effect goes away since there is so little reporting of successfully having stopped and how long it takes to be rid of the itching after stopping.

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Steve Parquet Says:

Well, it's been 6 weeks since quitting Zyrtec. I only took the stuff for 1 week. Most of the painful itching has stopped but I still get pin prick itching now and then. I don't know what will work for you people, but I now take Chlorpheniramine 4 times a day. It does what I need it to do for my allergy. At my local grocery store pharmacy it only costs $3.00 for 100 pills. That’s ONLY 3 pennies a pill (12 cents a day).

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Andy Says:

This was very helpful. I figured it was withdrawals and am in day 4. They should put something on the medication that indicates you will have these symptoms when trying to get off Cetirizine (Zyrtec).

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Anon10000 Says:

Check out this blog It has very detailed information on the "withdrawal" symptoms experienced by way too many people!!

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Steve Says:

Carol, try runing extremely hot water on the itchy places (if you can get to them) for about 5 minutes. The amino acid suppliment called L-Lysine. I take one 500 mg capsule per day for a few days and it really helped me. But I never had all this itching as bad as it looks like everyone else has had it. I only took Zyrtec for a week, which was a couple months ago. Now all I have are little pin prick itch spots. they are getting less and less by the day.

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loyd Says:

thank god i found this info i though it was just me ive been takeing zyrtec for 12 years and ever time i try to stop iching drives me crazey i can't stand it i half to take it again to stop iching now i c everone taking it is doing it also never had any iching prob before taking zyrtec.

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Elizabeth Janet Says:

I have had the same problem with withdrawal from Zyrtec - severe itching that lasted about 3 weeks. That was in September/October. Now I get a rash/hives whenever I exercise or when I get cold. Doctors say hives are caused by too much histamine. I feel that Zyrtec somehow caused an imbalance of histamine in my body. I urge everyone to file a complaint with the FDA - this can be done online. Just go to, go to MEDWATCH, and file an report.

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Sera Says:

I have been taking Zyrtec for about 4 years due to allergies and its been very effective. When We decided to try and concieve I came across information recommending you stop taking antihistamines as they dry Cervical muscus making it difficult to conceive. with that information I decided to stop taking it with intentions of getting back to it after I concieved. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a big problem.... I started experiencing what seemed like a hangover the 1st day off zyrtec followed by alot of nauseous, headache, and nightly sweats extremely hot at night for the 1st couple of nights on the 2nd day I started getting really itchy but by the 3rd day I was so itchy and since I had an important meeting I decided to take the zyrtec within a short time the itch was gone. however by thur which is the 3rd day again the symptoms of itchiness were so severe I decided to look it up and it seems like the symptom are just starting. I dont know how long this will last. I hope I dont have to deal with this too long. this side effect should be listed. i was taking 10 mg every night.

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Amy Says:

I have been taking zyrtec and now the generic for over 10 years. I was just so glad I had found something that relieved me of the initial itching symptoms. My doctor prescribed this in the first place because I had moved to a dry climate and he said my histamines were out of whack. So after a year of itching - expensive lotions - oatmeal baths I was thankful that I had a discovery and resolution. I started out taking it once a week, now 10 years later I MUST take it everyday. I realize this is not going to sustain me for the rest of my life and that I will need to find a real solution. Once common thing I have noticed here is that everyone wants to wean off of it. I believe I need to also. However, I am not certain why everyone is trying to get off of it, if it helps control the first itchhing part. I do understand that you don't want to develop a dependency, but I am really afraid to wean off of it, because I have been so grateful for so many years. Someone tell me why I NEED/SHOULD stop taking it. I honestly don't think I can go a single day. I remember driving home over 10 years ago and I was itching so badly my foot slipped of the clutch and I almost had an accident. Another thing is why isn't there a class action lawsuit and can we start one. I had no idea I was putting myself in a worse postion by the continued use. My doctor even used to give my allegra by the bags. Wonder if allegra has is all the same like zyrtec. If not maybe I should go back to allegra???? I am so painfully confused and I don't know if I trust the doc's anymore. HELP PLEASE!!!

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Lesley Ann Says:

I am on week 4 of the horrific withdrawal itching , burning and pure torture. It is gradually getting better . The past week it has gotten better to the point I’m having the red hives now only about once a day if I scratch the itch. Painful Red streaks have been appearing when I scratch . It has been terrible. I will never take this poison again . I tapered down for months before stopping taking it but it did not seem to help with lessening the withdrawal because when I stopped the medication the severe side effects started exactly 2 days later with vengeance . I am praying that within another 2 weeks the side effects will be gone but that will be 6 weeks. You will just need to be strong and mind over matter . Hot showers would help when it got terribly out of control . Ibuprofen seemed to help some also .

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Lesley Ann Says:

Re: AsiLeD (# 653) Expand Referenced Message

I am on week 4 of the horrific withdrawal itching , burning and pure torture. It is gradually getting better . The past week it has gotten better to the point I’m having the red hives now only about once a day if I scratch the itch. Painful Red streaks have been appearing when I scratch . It has been terrible. I will never take this poison again . I tapered down for months before stopping taking it but it did not seem to help with lessening the withdrawal because when I stopped the medication the severe side effects started exactly 2 days later with vengeance . I am praying that within another 2 weeks the side effects will be gone but that will be 6 weeks. You will just need to be strong and mind over matter . Hot showers would help when it got terribly out of control . Ibuprofen seemed to help some also .

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Taskala Says:

I can thankfully say I have overcome those horrible effects of going off zyrtec cold turkey. For those of you still suffering, please hang in there and consider taking some of these steps for at least a month as you go off anti-histamines.

- Start healing your gut and stay away from eggs, dairy, processed sugar, processed meats, fermented foods, and gluten as much as possible.

- Eat freshly prepared foods as often as possible, and eat more vegetables.

- if you can, drink celery juice every morning for this period. It is a great healing food that helps to reverse inflammation.
- Take 1000mg of ester c twice daily (morning and night) for immune support.

- Take Mullein leaf and/or Stinging nettle leaf supplements twice a day, then taper down to once a day when you feel better. They are absolutely great for sinus health.

- Take Oil of Oregano. You can mix 6 drops of this in water and use it to swallow your supplements. It is a wonderful seasonal support supplement.

- Finally, I'd also recommend MSM powder or supplements. The sulfur helps to block the receptivity of histamine and may also rid the body of Candida, a fungus notorious for contributing to sinus and allergy problems.

-You can also help your liver by drinking dandelion tea with your meals.

I wish us all well as we pursue good health and wholesome lives.

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Bert Says:

Re: Steve (# 12) Expand Referenced Message

My symptoms are starting to abate after six months, but I still have some itching daily. Many of us have filed a report with the FDA and reported it to the manufacturer (who claims not to have ever heard of the withdrawal). I understand there is a law firm taking names for a class action but I don't know the firm name. Hang in there, it really does end sometime.

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EC Says:

Re: Bert (# 712) Expand Referenced Message

The withdrawal is brutal and prolongued. I have been Zyrtec free well over a year after tapering off. For months after the itching stopped I would still itch after showering and changing clothes after work at night. Annoying, but not horrible. Consider taking 1000 mg of ester C vitamin C Helps with allergies and the residual symptoms you are experiencing.

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Bert Says:

I stopped Zyrtec cold turkey six months ago, and the withdrawal symptoms started to lessen about three weeks ago. I thought I was crazy - first deep itching, then deep pins and needles (described as some as thousands of bug bites), sensitive skin, photosensitivity. My scalp still itches some days, and I still have some skin sensitivity on parts of my body. Doctors are no help - I saw every specialist possible - because none of them believe there can be a withdrawal.

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EC Says:

Re: LG (# 710) Expand Referenced Message

Sorry about the late reply!! The Claritin may well be throwing a wrench into your son’s ability to withdraw from Zyrtec. This is just my opinion, but I think that chronic use of all these antihistamines eventually backfires and makes the body hypersensitive/hyperreactive to any allergen exposure. In other words, they end up having the opposite effect of what was intended. Would work on SLOWLY weaning off the Claritin with the help of Ester C, omegas, NAC, etc. Occasional Benadryl for intolerable breakthrough probably ok, though I could only take it in very small amounts because it made me so sleepy.

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LG Says:

Re: EC (# 704) Expand Referenced Message

My son is down to 0.25ml. He takes it every morning ab 7am. He has breakthrough itching everyday. It's tolerable but uncomfortable. Tomorrow he's taking an ACT prep class from 9a-12p. I don't want him itching during the class or he won't be able to concentrate. I was thinking about sending him w half of a Benadryl (12.5mg) to take if he needs it. If he takes it, that means he will have taken the Claritin just hours before the Benadryl. I hate to double up on antihistamine, but I need a guarantee that he won't itch. Or I could skip the Claritin tomorrow morning & just give him a whole pill of Benadryl at 7am. What do you think would be best?

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Maegen Says:

Re: Allie (# 703) Expand Referenced Message

I'm currently having massive itching withdrawal from allegra... So I would be very sparing with it.. Just thought I'd let you know..

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Maegen Says:

Re: Amy (# 20) Expand Referenced Message

I am in the same itchy boat from Allegra... ?? I'm on 48 hours without taking anything and I'm miserable.. I will never take another antihistamine as long as I live

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