1

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Please help me wean off zyrtec!!!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM

I've got a big problem. I've been taking 5mg of zyrtec (levocetirizine) every evening. Yesterday, I decided to stop completely. There is one issue, however : I get insomnia. Oh, and I also start to get hives for a while too (on my face, and it looks absolutely horrible). I'm absolutely terrified of this. Especially because zyrtec doesn't say anywhere that those things can happen, while many people have the same problem.

I've decided to eat liver every other day, fish as often as I can, and as many veggies as I can find. If I still have insomnia, I'll take melatonin. What are your ideas?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 11, 2012
at 07:42 PM

It was easy for me, for some reason. Got slight skin issues right after I quit, and got very afraid it would get real bad, but it didn't happen. Some things you could try is using a lot of salt, maybe even calcium to counteract the histamine. Good luck Scarlet, hope everything's gonna be okay :) since stopping the zyrtec some of my blotchy skin patches have returned though, still working on finding a less chemical cure. zyrtec didn't make them fully disappear anyways. i hated that pill, it made me so depressed and lethargic. had no life on it at all.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on December 16, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Glad you figured it out!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 16, 2011
at 04:04 PM

You know, Dragonfly... You were absolutely right with this answer : I apparently have a histamine intolerance. Got eczema after introducing lemons in my diet. I function best when I eat mostly cooked foods ... So glad I have this website...

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 29, 2011
at 11:44 AM

Korion, how long have you been paleo?

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on November 29, 2011
at 05:03 AM

You stopped taking Zyrtec, which is an ANTIhistamine. One known to suppress hives. So, yes, you did get hives because of that. Why would your doctor have prescribed it for you (and you have taken it) if you had no allergy issues?

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:29 PM

maybe get a product like in the link which contains quercetin, bromelain and vitamin C: http://www.vrp.com/inflammation/quercetin-bromelain-and-vitamin-c-natural-antihistamines-for-allergy-support

A03f0d03067a43c61786481d91e5d3a0

(1078)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:58 PM

Sounds like making your diet non-vegan/paleo may have introduced something you were allergic to. That's a good starting point for figuring out what to eliminate.

A03f0d03067a43c61786481d91e5d3a0

(1078)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Non-food allergens perhaps. I'm allergic to cats and so when I visit my parents for a couple weeks each year my doctor-brother prescribes me zyrtec. I still have allergic reactions although they're milder. Even the things you listed you can be allergic to. People can apparently be allergic to even water! If you haven't had one done, you should get a doc to give you a skin prick test for some of the likely things in your environment.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Quercetin is a great idea though. Didn't know that it was an anti-histamine. Does it have any side effects?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Sugar cravings from zirtec :D? That's weird ... I only had fatigue...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Thanks a lot for your input, Carina! I'm browsing through iHerb right now. Insomnia isn't my biggest concern, but I sure would like to sleep well. Now that I think of it, when I was on a vegan diet I slept incredibly well and took zero supplements or medication. That was the only good part about that diet :)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Histamine intolerance can be a problem with different foods. I was just using eggs as an example.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:08 PM

No, I don't get hives because there are no anti-histamines anymore, I'm getting hives and insomnia because I stop taking zyrtec. Those are side effects.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:07 PM

I don't eat eggs :D. I should've mentioned what I eat. Vitamin C seems like a great idea!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:16 PM

Removing what allergens :D? I don't eat nuts, fruits, nightshades, starchy vegetables, ... I eat fish and liver, I eat grass-fed beef and low-starch veggies.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:16 PM

Doctor's prescription from last year. When I tried stopping it, I started to get side effects. I got afraid so I started taking it again. Now I don't have allergy issues or any other issues, but I wanna keep it that way.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:26 PM

What are you taking it for? Are you trying to go without allergy medicine at all? Or are you switching to something different?

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11 Answers

best answer

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine--get the ascorbic acid powder & mix it with water for better absorption. Or take the capsules, rather than tablets. Try small amounts (500 mg) frequently throughout the day

Magnesium citrate or glycinate works well for many for insomnia. I take 200-400 mg 1 hour before bed.

You may want to research histamine intolerance. I found out that eggs were an issue for me.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:07 PM

I don't eat eggs :D. I should've mentioned what I eat. Vitamin C seems like a great idea!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Histamine intolerance can be a problem with different foods. I was just using eggs as an example.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 16, 2011
at 04:04 PM

You know, Dragonfly... You were absolutely right with this answer : I apparently have a histamine intolerance. Got eczema after introducing lemons in my diet. I function best when I eat mostly cooked foods ... So glad I have this website...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on December 16, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Glad you figured it out!

2
244e1f82efb3fd15d2da39397488fb24

(549)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:00 PM

(My answer is a collection of advice for sleep, not for the hives)

I would take 5HTP instead, as it converts to serotonin and then melatonin. The serotonin, if not in balance, will elevate and make you feel de-stressed. The melatonin is a neurotransmitter that your brain needs in certain balanced amounts, and I like to let the serotonin turn into that naturally by taking 5HTP so that it has it in balanced amounts.

If you are fatigued all day but wake up at night (after 6:00) it is one of many signs of adrenal fatigue. I would see if you had the other signs and symptoms and then work to balance it out, perhaps by buying a good adrenal complex formula.

Make sure you turn out/dim your lights when it starts to get dark out. This tells your brain/hormones to start producing melatonin and to get ready for sleep. If the lights are on, your hormones think it's mid day and try to keep you powering through it. I completely covered up my bedroom windows so that streetlights don't pour through. It's so dark you can't see you hands in front of your face. I bought a nightlight for the washroom that is so dim it is like moonlight.

Don't work out at night, and don't consume any coffee or stimulants after 4:00. I can't sleep because of stress sometimes, and I take some GABA, which is actually a neurotransmitter, but I take it in small amounts and it calms me right down. l-tyrosine helps with emotional and psychological stress, and I take that sometimes too. I also take magnesium (actually, it's a good quality cal-mag by inno-vite) before bed which relaxes the muscles. Then I just close my eyes and try to fall asleep, I think of lying on the beach and listening to the shore at night. I imagine that it is pitch black and I just kind of drift to sleep. Sometimes I just imagine a white, lit candle, the flame undisturbed by the air. Or, you can count breaths, or instead of counting, think of which breath it is "in... out," and sometimes I just do some relaxing deep breathing... these ensure that you relax and you don't start thinking of what you have to do tomorrow and all that stressful stuff.

There are other things you can take to wind down before bed, like passionflower or valerian root. There are lots of complexes you can buy in the health food store that combine herbs, amino acids and minerals to relax your body and mind for sleep. Everybody is different, so keep changing it up to see what works. I actually tried a homeopathic one called "insomnia" and I found I fell asleep eventually, but it gave me some really crazy dreams (not in a bad way).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Thanks a lot for your input, Carina! I'm browsing through iHerb right now. Insomnia isn't my biggest concern, but I sure would like to sleep well. Now that I think of it, when I was on a vegan diet I slept incredibly well and took zero supplements or medication. That was the only good part about that diet :)

A03f0d03067a43c61786481d91e5d3a0

(1078)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:58 PM

Sounds like making your diet non-vegan/paleo may have introduced something you were allergic to. That's a good starting point for figuring out what to eliminate.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 29, 2011
at 11:44 AM

Korion, how long have you been paleo?

1
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on November 28, 2011
at 01:00 PM

Zirtec (UK name for Zyrtec) did help me sleep, but it gave me a huge appetite and sugar cravings. So for me it was very much worth stopping it. I am getting a lot fewer allergic symptoms on a low-ish carb, grain-free diet. (Less stress is also helping me sleep better).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Sugar cravings from zirtec :D? That's weird ... I only had fatigue...

1
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:52 AM

I was taking 2 Zyrtec for a while just to help me sleep through the night. But feeling like a zombie throughout the day was not how I wanted to live, so I cut back to one, then went to none (no melatonin either). There were some sleepless nights in the beginning, but my body was having to get used to falling asleep on its own so I expected it.

Have you tried taking Allegra? It's over the counter now.

1
A03f0d03067a43c61786481d91e5d3a0

(1078)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:38 AM

Have you thought about trying other anti-histamines? What about optimizing your sleep environment further and removing allergens? (What are you allergic to?)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:16 PM

Removing what allergens :D? I don't eat nuts, fruits, nightshades, starchy vegetables, ... I eat fish and liver, I eat grass-fed beef and low-starch veggies.

A03f0d03067a43c61786481d91e5d3a0

(1078)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Non-food allergens perhaps. I'm allergic to cats and so when I visit my parents for a couple weeks each year my doctor-brother prescribes me zyrtec. I still have allergic reactions although they're milder. Even the things you listed you can be allergic to. People can apparently be allergic to even water! If you haven't had one done, you should get a doc to give you a skin prick test for some of the likely things in your environment.

1
C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:31 AM

Can make you feel drowsy. Its an anti-histamine which blocks the effects of histamine. When histamine is blocked you won't get the allergic reaction like sneezing and hives. so you will get the hives if you stop taking. What exactly are you taking it for - hay fever? A natural anti-histamine is quercetin. Need to find out what causing reaction and eliminate it.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:29 PM

maybe get a product like in the link which contains quercetin, bromelain and vitamin C: http://www.vrp.com/inflammation/quercetin-bromelain-and-vitamin-c-natural-antihistamines-for-allergy-support

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:08 PM

No, I don't get hives because there are no anti-histamines anymore, I'm getting hives and insomnia because I stop taking zyrtec. Those are side effects.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Quercetin is a great idea though. Didn't know that it was an anti-histamine. Does it have any side effects?

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on November 29, 2011
at 05:03 AM

You stopped taking Zyrtec, which is an ANTIhistamine. One known to suppress hives. So, yes, you did get hives because of that. Why would your doctor have prescribed it for you (and you have taken it) if you had no allergy issues?

0
3d249c5c75d694dd1a23db4dce0ef702

on April 09, 2013
at 06:49 PM

Suffering from terrible insomnia the past few days since I stopped my seasonal allergy zirtec use. I noticed some of you are also talking about GERD which I was diagnosed with a few years ago, I would also have terrible hives on my feet, palms, and either on thighs or waistline. So I was thinking there was a connection with GERD, allergies, hives. My GERD has seemed to have mostly gone away over the years, treat it once in a while with Zantac, but this insomnia thing is unreal 2 hours sleep per night, unable to even nap later in the day. And the itching has begun.

0
3ecb05c1b428121b42806e3b86d7df93

on November 10, 2012
at 05:39 AM

Male, 36 10 years ago, I started having uncontrollable itching while attending college. If memory serves me, it went on for at least a couple weeks. Usually the palms of my hands and bottom of my feet would itch, or sometimes my thighs or chest, but it would itch so intensely that it was really debilitating. I started taking Bendryl and it would help for a few hours and then the itching would come back with a vengeance. I would also get really red wherever I scratched and it would stay that way for a while. So, I went to see my doctor (PCP) and he said, "Here, try this." I think we may have tried one other med first, but then settled on Zyrtec or cetirizine. I have taken it faithfully since then. If I missed a dose, I would know immediately. After roughly 36-48 hrs without it in my system, the itching would start to come back. About 6 months ago, I made a huge dietary change, and now eat a lot of raw and organic foods, fruits and veggies, etc. and have eliminated alcohol, cigarettes, meat, milk, soda, recently caffeine and sugar, etc. Now, to aide in the healthy new lifestyle even more, I decided I would go off my prescription meds, which were Dexilant for GERD/acid reflux and generic Zyrtec. Yesterday was my first day with no Zyrtec. No itchiness on Day 1. Today, on Day 2, itching is back in full force. I refuse to take it again regardless of how long this goes on for, thanks to reading other peoples comments. I need to rid my body of all these toxins, and never look back. Their are natural remedies that involve food, plants, herbs, etc. for almost every ailment out there, but they often require lifestyle changes. So, people go for the quick fix, but at what expense? Do some research folks and make positive changes in your life.

0
1c995a092cb458bbf46a161f1037bf40

on August 18, 2012
at 04:26 PM

I have taken one 10 mg Zyrtek every day for at least 10 years to help ward off allergy related Vertigo. Recently, I have started again to research Vertigo and allergies, just to see if any new information might be out there to help me. My husband was taking a vitamin/mineral product and begged me to research the founder and the product and just to try it for 30 days to see if I felt better (less Vertigo) and could possibly wean off the Zyrtek. I did do some study and convinced myself that $150.00 spent was nothing, if I could find some relief. So I first started on full doses (goes by body weight) of this vitamin combo product for 2 full weeks. I didn't get any Vertigo, but I don't always get it daily anyhow. So I wasn't sure if I should give credit to the vitamins quite yet. After two weeks, I continued the vitamin product and I took the Zyrtek every other day for two weeks. No problems, no Vertigo and now at the 4 week mark. This was scary GOOD for me. I still felt it was too soon to give these vitamins full credit. So now at 4 weeks, I had to reorder the vitamin products (they come in 30 days supply) and then weaned to Zyrtek every third day. I have done this now for a week and feel fine. Definitely no hives as a lot of folks, no insomnia, only one partial day of just a little Vertigo, but gone the next day. So I am ending 7 weeks now. I will continue on Zyrtek every third day for 3 more weeks, then I'll do one full month of Zyrtek (along with the vitamins) just on Sundays and Wednesdays. If all goes well, this should put me into the beginning of October, in which I will simply stop the Zyrtek completely. I could probably wean sooner, and just might do so, but so far, with no weaning side effects and mostly, no Vertigo, slower is better, and is working for me. If you are interested in the vitamins, please google search Dr. Joel Wallach first. Here a good youtube link you can listen to him speak:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxEAm4Cv2uo.

And for his products, here is a link, if you end up interested. Its the "Healthy Start Pack" for 159.00 that I am using.

https://missywholesale.my90forlife.com/shop/index.html?view=Products&Category=Products

Also, here is a great article that has given me some great understanding on allergies, and basically the effects of sugar on allergies. I will be cutting back my white sugar intake for a few months to see if this also assists in eliminating the Vertigo.

http://www.kingmaker.net/allergy-efa.htm

p.s. my husband takes these and has completely weaned off of his cholesterol and high blood pressure meds completely. He also lost some weight. (30 lbs)

Good luck, and I hope this helps someone......

0
225e55105028bd93a09a95e2af4fa69c

on July 10, 2012
at 12:01 AM

To the original poster:

I know this thread is old but I was wondering how you are doing with quitting Zyrtec? I'm experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that thousands of people are posting about on the web. It's been a week now and I still have the hives. It goes away when I take ZYrtec. I've been weaning myself off it. I wasn't even taking it everyday, I took 10 mg every 2 days. Now I'm down to 5ml every other day. I am miserable. The hives are so itchy. I know it's not something I ate because nothing has changed and I live a paleo lifestyle. I'd like to get allergy tests but that would mean coming off the Zyrtec cold turkey which I just can't handle. I get the insomnia too but I'm more bothered by the crazy itching, it's driving me nuts. Good luck and please post how you're doing.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 11, 2012
at 07:42 PM

It was easy for me, for some reason. Got slight skin issues right after I quit, and got very afraid it would get real bad, but it didn't happen. Some things you could try is using a lot of salt, maybe even calcium to counteract the histamine. Good luck Scarlet, hope everything's gonna be okay :) since stopping the zyrtec some of my blotchy skin patches have returned though, still working on finding a less chemical cure. zyrtec didn't make them fully disappear anyways. i hated that pill, it made me so depressed and lethargic. had no life on it at all.

0
2363042b46c579ddb543c7e7e45d93e7

on May 18, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Be cautious about Quercetin or other plant-based supplements with hives. You could be salicylate sensitive, and that 's in skins of fruit and most plant matter. Peel your fruit, never take aspirin or pepto-bismol. Many with hives have a hyper active auto-immune system, and no allergies at all. Once the system is triggered to release histimines, it just keeps going, sometimes for years. Triggers can be stress, viruses, foods, hormones (for me, a combination of all of the above will do it). Over time, the mast cells will settle down, but it may take months. I'm trying no nightshades, wheat, dairy, berries, eggs, most fruits. Basically down to rice and greens and beef. And boatloads of antihistimines.

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