logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine
Young woman's back has unbelievable itching with allergy skin problemAllergiesTerry Graedon - July 5, 2021
A bottle of generic delayed-release Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mgAnxietyJoe Graedon - May 6, 2021
Young woman's back has unbelievable itching with allergy skin problemAllergiesJoe Graedon - October 4, 2021 - 23 comments

Stopping Zyrtec (Cetirizine) Led to Itchy Nightmare

When people take cetirizine for allergy symptoms they do not think about side effects when they stop the drug. But reports of withdrawal itching continue!

Joe Graedon - July 6, 2020

Withdrawal Results from Refusal to Renew Alprazolam

Joe Graedon - June 22, 2020

Zolpidem for Insomnia | COVID-Related Anxiety

Terry Graedon - March 30, 2020

How to Sleep During Anxious Times

Joe Graedon - March 9, 2020

Gabapentin Risks for Persistent Shoulder Pain?

Joe Graedon - February 24, 2020

Prednisone Withdrawal: Can You Ever Stop Corticosteroids?

sleepy woman with alarm clock
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - October 21, 2019

Stopping Zolpidem (Ambien) for Insomnia Can Be Challenging

Have you ever had trouble getting a good night's sleep? Who hasn't? That's why sleeping pills are so popular. But stopping zolpidem can be a challenge.

A bottle of tramadol 50 mg
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - September 15, 2019

Stopping Ultracet (Tramadol + Acetaminophen) Led to Withdrawal

Because of the opioid epidemic many physicians have stopped prescribing drugs like hydrocodone. Is tramadol safer? Stopping Ultracet can be challenging.

Man uses a nasal spray for treatment
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - June 17, 2019

Decongestant Spray Addiction is Hard to Kick

Have you ever had a stufy nose? Were you tempted to use a nose spray? Did you develop decongestant spray addiction? Is there a way to kick the habit? Yes!

man with burning mouth syndrome breathing fire
Acid RefluxJoe Graedon - June 6, 2019

Why Popular Heartburn Drugs PPIs Are Linked to Premature Deaths

Acid-suppressing drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are go-to drugs for heartburn. Should you be concerned that PPIs are linked to premature deaths?

a bottle of Nexium 40mg
Acid RefluxTerry Graedon - May 27, 2019

Can You Get Off a PPI Without Suffering Heartburn?

One reader found a way to get off a PPI without withdrawal symptoms: Eat just one low-carb meal a day to reduce discomfort.

Hand with pen drawing the chemical formula of CBD (cannabidiol)
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - May 23, 2019

Will CBD Help Opioid Addicts Kick Their Habits?

A new study suggests that cannabidiol might help some people with drug-use disorder kick their habits. It seems to ease cravings and anxiety.

Gabapentin pills in a bottle, 300mg
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - April 4, 2019

New Concerns About Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) for Nerve Pain

Over 10 million people take GABA agonists for nerve pain. A recent report raises new concerns about gabapentin and pregabalin. What are the pros and cons?

Young woman hold her hands up in fear
AnxietyJoe Graedon - April 1, 2019

Benzodiazepine Dependence | A Hard Habit to Kick

Getting off benzos can be tough. Benzodiazepine dependence is more common than many people realize. Symptoms can be davastating. A SLOW taper is essential!.

depressed teen holding her head
DepressionJoe Graedon - March 18, 2019

How To Stop Venlafaxine: Very, VERY Slowly!

Are you surprised to learn that many antidepressant drugs are hard to stop? The discontinuation syndrome can be awful. Learn how to stop venlafaxine slowly!

Man uses a nasal spray for treatment
ColdsTerry Graedon - February 25, 2019

How to Beat Nose Spray Dependence One Nostril at a Time

Decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin or Sinex can lead to rebound congestion if they are overused. How can you overcome such nose spray dependence?

Dr. Aaron Carroll, author of The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully
PodcastsTerry Graedon - February 14, 2019

Show 1153: How to Listen to TV Drug Commercials

What do TV drug commercials tell you about the medicine you might be taking? What other sources do you use to learn about your drugs? Join the conversation.

Senior man in pajamas sits on bed unable to sleep
Back PainTerry Graedon - February 7, 2019

What Is the Other Drug Epidemic?

Researchers say there is another drug epidemic in addition to opioids. Doctors are prescribing more benzodiazepines than ever for longer periods of time.

Man uses a nasal spray for treatment
AllergiesTerry Graedon - August 19, 2018

Can You Overcome an Afrin Addiction?

One reader reports that spicy green chile salsa would open up the sinuses enough to help break an Afrin addiction. Others have used steroid nasal sprays or even saline spray to accomplish this goal.

illustration of a head splitting in two with green waves of pain radiating out
DepressionJoe Graedon - June 25, 2018

Getting Off Venlafaxine Can Be Incredibly Challenging

Effexor (venlafaxine) is a frequently prescribed antidepressant. But getting off venlafaxine can be extremely difficult. Many patients are not told how to taper the drug VERY slowly.

Woman scratching itchy arm
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - May 28, 2018

The Zyrtec Itch is Unbearable | Where’s the FDA?

We have reported "the Zyrtec itch" to the FDA with disappointing results. Hundreds of people have reported problems with itching when they stop Zyrtec suddenly. The FDA doesn't respond to our concerns

sad and depressed young woman crying
AnxietyJoe Graedon - April 23, 2018

Why Is Antidepressant Withdrawal So Hard?

Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms were not recognized for decades. Now the FDA requires a warning about "discontinuation syndrome." Are patients warned about this devastating condition?

a bottle of Cymbalta 20 mg
DepressionTerry Graedon - February 12, 2018

Stopping Duloxetine Leads to Terrible Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and 'brain zaps' can make coming off duloxetine (Cymbalta) a terrifying ordeal.

young man holds his hands to his head for dizziness or head pain
DepressionTerry Graedon - January 22, 2018

How Long Will Dizziness Last After Stopping Lexapro?

One reader still experiences bouts of vertigo a month after stopping Lexapro. When might this withdrawal symptom disappear?

Family Fight at Holiday meal
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - November 20, 2017

Can You Avoid Family Fights Over the Holidays?

How will you cope with the stresses of shopping, cooking and family feuds? Do you need anti-anxiety meds or is there another way to prevent family fights?

Bottle of Bayer Low Dose Aspirin (baby aspirin) 81 mg
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - November 13, 2017

How Dangerous Is It to Stop Taking Aspirin?

People who stop taking aspirin are at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke. Patients should continue aspirin unless there is a strong reason to stop.

Bottle of Bayer Low Dose Aspirin (baby aspirin) 81 mg
BleedingJoe Graedon - October 5, 2017

Will Stopping Aspirin Lead to A Heart Attack?

Low-dose aspirin is frequently prescribed to heart patients to prevent blood clots. Can stopping aspirin suddenly increase the risk for heart attacks?

young man holds his hands to his head for dizziness or head pain
DepressionTerry Graedon - September 10, 2017

How to Stop an Antidepressant Without Difficulties

It can be hard to stop an antidepressant when discontinuation triggers horrible symptoms. Here's one way to get past them.

Young woman's back has unbelievable itching with allergy skin problem
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - August 20, 2017

Stopping Cetirizine Led to Itching Like Crazy

Many people find that stopping cetirizine suddenly leads to itching that cannot be ignored. It may take several weeks of withdrawal for the itch to subside.

Older woman with a cough suffering from cough syrup withdrawal
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - July 31, 2017

Could Mom Be Suffering Cough Syrup Withdrawal?

When an older person was suddenly deprived of her cough medicine, she developed nausea, diarrhea, back pain and malaise. Is it cough syrup withdrawal?

Young woman hold her hands up in fear
Acid RefluxJoe Graedon - June 12, 2017

Do Doctors Know How to Help Patients Stop Medications?

Have you ever been told how to stop medications? It is rare for health professionals to provide detailed withdrawal instructions. The FDA has not helped.

sleepy woman with alarm clock
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - June 12, 2017

How Can You Get to Sleep Without Zolpidem?

Can you learn how to sleep without zolpidem? There are many nondrug approaches, but you may need to taper the dose of zolpidem first.

man screaming in pain or anger
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - June 8, 2017

How To Stop Tramadol Without Withdrawal Symptoms?


Tramadol has become a popular prescription pain reliever now that opioids are under a cloud. Have you ever tried to stop tramadol? It can be challenging!

Businesswoman in Menopause fanning herself
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - May 29, 2017

Can an Antidepressant Really Help with Hot Flashes?

While an antidepressant might help with hot flashes and night sweats, stopping it could lead to withdrawal symptoms. A nondrug approach might be useful.

sleepy man
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - May 8, 2017

How Can You Stop Taking Klonopin for Insomnia?

Benzodiazepine drugs are frequently used to ease anxiety and sleep problems. It can be very challenging to stop a drug such as Klonopin for insomnia.

A bottle of tramadol 50 mg
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - May 7, 2017

Serious Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects & Withdrawal Symptoms

Tramadol works to ease pain for some patients. Others find that tramadol (Ultram) side effects and withdrawal can be unbearable. NEVER stop it suddenly!

fat legs on a bathroom scale
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - April 10, 2017

Stopping Zyprexa Safely So You Can Lose Weight

A reader has gained a lot of weight while taking olanzapine and now would like to lose those pounds. Can she find a way of stopping Zyprexa safely?

an itchy man scratching his back
AllergiesJoe Graedon - March 30, 2017

Stopping Xyzal Triggers Horrible Itching

Many readers have found that stopping Xyzal leads to horrible itching. It may take several weeks for this withdrawal symptom to subside.