I have a little story to share. And a cute little dress from Zaful. Hopefully, it is helpful to some. The story. Not the dress. Although I do hope you like the dress, too. It was gifted to me by Zaful to share with you all.
Back to my story. The information I am about to share would have been quite helpful to me had I known. But I found out the hard way. It seems that the popular over the counter allergy medication, Zyrtec, is quite physically addicting and you can experience some horrendous withdrawal symptoms when stopping cold turkey.
I have been taking over the counter allergy medications for a few years now as prescribed by my doctor. I usually alternate every month between Zyrtec and Claritin. I find the medications more effective when I do this. For some reason, I hadn’t alternated in a few a months and have taken only Zyrtec. But last Tuesday, I had taken my last Zyrtec and just hadn’t had the opportunity to get a refill. My allergies weren’t all that bothersome so I didn’t bother myself with a trip to the pharmacy.
By Thursday afternoon, I began experiencing severe itching on my shoulders. Small hives began to break out, but it was isolated only to my shoulders. I figured it was just some sort of irritation from my clothing. And it stopped after a few hours, so I ignored it. Again, my nasal allergy symptoms were not bothering me at all.
Then late Friday night, it was as if all hell broke loose in my body. Around 10:30 p.m., the itching started again. But this time it was primarily isolated to my scalp with some minor itching on my arms, back, and legs. But it was the scalp that really got me. I took some Benedryl, but to no avail. The more I scratched my head, the worse the itching became. I couldn’t fall asleep. So around 11:30 p.m. I took a shower. I was thinking there was some sort of allergen on my skin that was irritating me and a shower would wash it off.
After my shower, the itching seemed to get worse and worse. I literally wanted to scrape my skin off. By about 12:30 a.m., I was convinced that I had head lice. I woke my husband in a panic and demanded that he check my hair for nits or bugs. I was quite literally freaking the eff out! He combed and picked through my hair and found nothing. He just kept saying, “Hon, your hair and scalp are totally clean. There is absolutely nothing there.”
Even given that peace of mind, I still could not fall asleep because of the severe itching. So I went downstairs to do some research. I really did not want to look at symptoms of head lice because I knew pictures would pop up on my computer screen and that would give me the heebie jeebies! (Remember my phobia of bugs. And the smaller they are, the more they creep me out. Parasites are my ultimate freak out phobia trigger!) But I Google searched “symptoms of head lice” anyway. Other than the itchy scalp, there was no evidence that parasites were causing my symptoms.
Next I typed into a Google search “causes of itchy scalp”. And the answer was staring me in the face. Pages and pages of horror stories about what has been termed “the Zyrtec itchies.” Most of the stories I read told tales of the most severe itching ever which began around day 3 after stopping the medication. A majority of the people who shared their experiences also stated that the itching was primarily focused on the scalp. One person wrote, “This magnitude of itching trumps any bout of bad itching ever experienced by a human being.” That about explains it! You can read this person’s account here. And there piles of stories about Zyrtec withdrawal if you just type into your Google search bar “Zyrtec withdrawal” or “Zyrtec itchies”.
So once I had identified the cause of this atrocious itching, I went back to bed figuring I would suffer through night and get some Zyrtec in the morning. My husband woke up as I climbed into bed and I explained to him what the cause was. Genius that he is in his middle of the night sleep stupor, he suggested that I take a dose of the children’s Zyrtec that we had on hand…to take the edge off. Brilliant! I literally would not have thought of that. So I grabbed that bottle of liquid kids’ medication and double dosed myself! Within 20 minutes, the itching had stopped and I was able to get some sleep.
The next morning, I stopped at my local pharmacy and grabbed a bottle of adult Zyrtec. But I am not taking it every day now. I am going to titrate myself off of this beastly medication. And I am going to stop giving it to my children every day as well. So for the next week or two, I am taking it every other day. Then I will go down to every third day…until I can get this monstrous beast out of my system without this insane side effect!
So, my friends, if you take Zyrtec daily for seasonal allergies…beware of the Zyrtec itchies if you try to quit cold turkey! Benedryl will not treat the symptom. The only thing that will stop the itching is Zyrtec itself, creating a crazy cycle of addiction and withdrawal!
Dress: Chiffon Plus Size Floral Ruffles Dress c/o Zaful (Currently on sale for $17.99).
Vest: Cato Fashions (No longer available).
Necklace and Earrings: Cato Fashions (No longer available. See their selection of tassel necklaces here).
Sandals: Target (Similar here).
Do any of you take Zyrtec or another medication for seasonal allergies? Have you ever experienced the Zyrtec itchies? I would love to hear your experience!
Thanks so much for stopping by! And remember to submit photos of your Bad Buy Sandals for August’s edition of The Bad Buy Book.
Itching on the edge,
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