Caution: Zyrtec Withdrawal Side Effect

May 7th, 2014 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, BCTN, CN, CH, HHP

Caution: Zyrtec Withdrawal Side Effect

Cetirizine (Zyrtec) is an over-the-counter antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. Cetirizine is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or runny nose. Cetirizine is also used to treat itching and swelling caused by chronic urticaria (hives).

Many people (especially those who have been using Cetirizine for over 2-3 months) and when trying to get off Cetirizine (Zyrtec), find themselves experiencing an “abrupt Zyrtec withdrawal” side-effect of extreme itching. It’s amazing to note that this particular withdrawal side-effect of Cetirizine is not included in the medical literature. Thus many people continue taking Certirizine | Zyrtec because they believe it is supposed to help alleviate itchiness not cause it.

According to The People’s Pharmacy, they first notified the FDA about people reporting this withdrawal side-effect almost four years ago after receiving many complaints from users trying to get off of Zyrtec. However “there is still nothing in the medical literature or prescribing information about withdrawal symptoms.” And the “medical and scientific community seems equally indifferent.”

Unfortunately most doctors don’t know about this withdrawal side-effect from Zyrtec and other drugs that contain the ingredient Cetirizine. Taking your itching concern to your healthcare practitioner may get you comments like:”that’s the reason you need to keep on taking it” or “you cannot become addicted to an antihistamine.”

Know the Side Effects of Antihistamine Drugs

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Restlessness or moodiness (in some children)
  • Trouble urinating or not being able to urinate
  • Blurred vision
  • Fast, pounding or uneven heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Sleep problems
  • Weakness or tremors

Oregatrex oregano oil blend

Drug Interactions When Using Antihistamines

Tell your doctor about all the medications you may use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially: sleeping pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, medication for depression, seizure medications, narcotic pain relievers, other medications for colds/hay fever/allergies. Antihistamine use may also affect allergy testing. Do not start or stop any medicine without first checking with your healthcare practitioner.

Certainly these types of allergy drugs can be useful on a short-term basis, but they can become very problematic in the long-term.

The good news is that you can get off of cetirizine containing drugs, but it will take tapering off slowly as well as persistence and discipline.

Natural Remedies that may help one cope with the Zyrtec withdrawal side effects, primarily the itching (some are natural antihistamines)

  • Vitamin C
  • Quercetin
  • Aloe Vera (use topically and orally)
  • Natural Vitamin E (use topically and orally)
  • Hot showers (use a shower head that purifies the water)
  • Applying unrefined coconut oil to the skin
  • Wild Mediterranean Oregano Oil (use orally)
  • Butterbur (herb)
  • Drinking good amounts of purified water
  • Essential Oils (always use with a carrier oil) like Chamomile, Tea Tree, Geranium, Lavender, Eucalyptus

You can also find consumer complaints about cetirizine at

If you or a loved one have experienced this side effect from trying to get off of a product containing cetirizine, I would love to hear your experience.

Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopathic Practitioner (Traditional), Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She has studied and performed extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, non-toxic cancer support and is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.¬† A 14 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta is able to relate to both-sides-of-the-health-coin as patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness. Check out Oasis Advanced Wellness and our natural skin care site Oasis Serene Botanicals.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician of choice.





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