Friday, June 13, 2014

How & Why I Stopped Taking Zyrtec

Like most people, I struggle with seasonal allergies.  The typical culprits like pollen, ragweed, and leaf mold set me off.  You've probably experienced the symptoms: runny nose, sinus pressure, headache, clogged throat.

So, years ago I started taking OTC antihistamines to deal with the effects. I tried two or three before I landed on Zyrtec because it seemed to pack the most punch. Just half a dose before bed, and I was knocked out.

But after awhile, I started noticing some negative effects. First, a half dose was not providing the same relief that it once had; however, taking a full dosage rendered me extremely drowsy. Plus, around twelve hours after taking even a half dosage, I would find myself very irritable.  I began to wonder if the irritability was worth the sinus relief.  The straw that broke the camel's back for me was when my wife started reading about the drug's damaging effect on the liver.  She challenged me to stop taking it.

Common sense tells us that if we are accustomed to taking something regularly and we stop, we should replace it with something else.  So what did I start taking instead of Zyrtec? Glad you asked! I started taking a multivitamin and a grape-fruit seed extract tablet, plus one teaspoon of local honey at least three times per week. It has been six months or more since I have taken Zyrtec, and my sinus issues are better than ever. Plus, I don't struggle with afternoon irritability, and my wife's not worried about my liver.  Do you know of any alternatives to the regular use of antihistamines?

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