13 September 2008


This season, I've determined that my problem allergens are juniper and grass. Before I had the cats, I could get through without antihistamine aid, and I think my hyper-acidity only made the whole thing worse this summer. Zyrtec is the only antihistamine that has actually worked for me, so I'm grateful. That said, quitting it is not much fun.

I have a comparatively mild case of what seems to be allergic dermatitis, primarily in my feet. This seems to be a common response to people going off of zyrtec. In my case, I've had these symptoms off and on from before taking Zyrtec, they've just never been this severe.

The itching started three days after I took the last pill. To test whether it was "Zyrtec withdrawal," I tried taking another Zyrtec. Near-instant relief. Three days later, the itching came again. It's worst when I lie down; I rarely notice it during the day. This time, I've made it almost five days, and I'm hoping not to need another Zyrtec until allergens flare up again. Junipers usually start producing pollen again in October, for instance. Probably if my reactions were as severe as some described at the links above, I would give it a miss, but the itching isn't constant and I've found a few products that provide relief:

*Benadryl Spray. I can't take Benadryl internally, as it mucks up my breathing, but the spray is good for controlling small, severe spots of itchiness. According to the link, taking alternate antihistamines internally also tends to prolong the withdrawal period, though. I'm hoping that external application will not.
*Lotions containing menthol and/or camphor.

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