Q. I stopped Zyrtec about five days ago. I started itching all over after day three.
I wish I’d known about the withdrawal symptoms before I started taking Zyrtec four years ago! Can you tell me how long the itching lasts?

A. As far as we can tell there have been no studies of this phenomenon and therefore no definitive answer. Your dermatologist may consider a short course of a corticosteroid if the itching is completely unbearable.
Based on reports from visitors to our website, the itching may begin to fade after two weeks or so. We wish the FDA required drug companies to investigate withdrawal from a range of medications so people would know how to discontinue them safely.

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  1. Walt

    So glad to know it’s not just me or that I’m crazy. I took Advil PM (Benadryl) over the course of about ten days in 2006 while traveling to Asia when desired as a sleep aid. Upon my return, I experienced body itching without any rash that typically started immediately after undressing, as if rubbing my pants over the skin of my legs was enough to set it off. The itching bouts would typically last about 20 minutes. It eventually became unbearable and I took Benadryl for relief. My doctor had me tested for allergies (all negative) and suggested I take Zyrtec instead. I started taking one tablet every five days and switched to 1/2 tablet every three days in an effort to wean myself off, but without success. This is the only medication I use and I hate being dependent. All antihistamines are evil.

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