Folks’s Pharmacy: Stopping Zyrtec led to itchy nightmare


By Joe Graedon, M.S., And Teresa Graedon and Ph.D.

King Options Syndicate

Q: About 18 years in the past, I moved to a area with excessive seasonal allergy triggers that affected me at the very least six months yearly. My physician prescribed Zyrtec and Flonase. They have been each prescription-only at the moment.

I used to be to take Flonase within the spring and Zyrtec daily year-round. I’ve been on Zyrtec for at the very least 10 years.

Because of weight achieve and mind fog, I made a decision to cease the Zyrtec and study to reside with my allergic reactions. Little did I do know what a nightmare it will be to cease this drug.

I finished chilly turkey. The extraordinary itching began round day three. Itching all over the place: scalp, underarms, inside ears, arms, legs, again. It appeared to loosen up after week two, however not a lot. It’s now week 5, and the itching is sort of as unhealthy as in week one.

Is my physique ever going to be able to dealing with histamine usually, or will I endure from this withdrawal impact for years?

A: Cetirizine (Zyrtec) is a well-liked antihistamine that’s now obtainable over-the-counter. On our web site, lots of of individuals have reported comparable issues after they stopped this drug out of the blue.

Some folks have discovered that switching to a special antihistamine reminiscent of fexofenadine (Allegra) or loratadine (Claritin) can ease the itching from cetirizine withdrawal. One reader shared this expertise: “I used fexofenadine for just a few weeks after stopping the cetirizine. It labored fairly effectively; after I stopped the fexofenadine, I had some gentle itching, but it surely went away in just a few weeks.”

Different readers have decreased the dose of cetirizine progressively as a substitute of stopping abruptly. This appears to ease the hives and itching, although it could take a number of weeks for them to vanish.

Q: Please make clear whether or not Voltaren Gel used topically on my knee or backbone carries the identical threat as NSAID tablets. I take advantage of a fingertip-size portion on a knee and a fingernail-size portion on one irritated vertebra as wanted.

A rheumatologist prescribed it. Neither he nor my different physician appears to learn about NSAID dangers with Voltaren Gel.

A: A evaluate of 61 research of topical NSAID ache relievers like Voltaren Gel concluded that these merchandise present “good ranges of ache reduction in acute situations reminiscent of sprains, strains and overuse accidents, in all probability just like that supplied by oral NSAIDs” (Cochrane Database of Systematic Critiques, June 15, 2015).

This evaluation discovered only a few systemic hostile occasions like digestive-tract irritation or cardiovascular issues. Nonetheless, some persons are extraordinarily vulnerable to NSAID uncomfortable side effects. Just a few readers have reported abdomen ache or belly cramps related to Voltaren Gel use.

We focus on topical NSAIDs and quite a lot of different remedies for painful, infected joints in our Information to Alternate options for Arthritis. It’s obtainable for buy on-line at

Q: I will probably be touring abroad quickly and am apprehensive in regards to the results of sitting for 10 hours on the aircraft. I’ve heard that aspirin may stop a blood clot in my legs. Is that this true?

A: Individuals who have skilled a blood clot of their legs (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) are extra susceptible to a different clot. Low-dose aspirin has been discovered to scale back the danger of recurrences (European Journal of Inner Drugs, January 2014). Ask your physician whether or not aspirin could be protected with another drugs you are taking.

Of their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon reply letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them through their Website online: Their latest e-book is “Prime Screwups Docs Make and Find out how to Keep away from Them.”


Supply hyperlink