OTC antihistamines can have long term effects on health

Long-Term Risks for Taking Allergy Drugs [Research]

In Antihistamine Addiction, Bad Habits by Anthony64 Comments

OTC antihistamines can cause long term effects on health

Allergy medicines are drugs that are designed to block a reaction by your own immune system. In the case of an allergic reaction, this means that your body is responding harshly to a particular outside substance that has made contact with the inside of your body. It’s easy and seemingly effective to take these store-bought drugs to feel better about your allergic reactions, but what are the long-term health risks for taking allergy medications and antihistamines?

Research on Long-term Use

It has been determined without-a-doubt that earlier generations of allergy drugs can affect your central nervous system. Notably, rates of Alzheimer’s disease is significantly higher for people that have regularly consumed diphenhydramine or Benadryl.

Allergy drugs and antidepressants, in particular, has generated controversy over how these drugs affect your nervous system and brain function. These drugs can be classed into a group called anticholinergics.

A study done on these types of medicines could point in an association between long-term and high-dose usage of these drugs and a risk for developing memory loss. However, this research could not prove cause-and-effect.

There seems to be a significant factor with the dosage of the drug and how high of risk you have for developing dementia. At the lowest recommended dosage range, there did not seem to be a high risk for long-term problems.

long term risks of allergy drugs and antihistamines

Study on Chronic Use of Allergy Drugs

This study was done by Shelly Gray of the Group Health Research Institute from University of Washington. Her team has determined that anticholinergics work by blocking acetylcholine in the brain and body. This is a special neurochemical that is produced by the body for movement and transport of messages.

Over three thousand senior adults were followed for more than seven years for this study. Some of these  adults took 4 milligrams of diphenhydramine or Benadryl  for their allergies or regular sleep issues. The study team had determined that occasional use among these elders for allergy drugs did not significantly affect their memory problems. (1)

Instead, those who have accumulated exposure of allergy drugs and antihistamines were much more likely to experience long-term problems.

In a news report, Gray had warned that older adults should be aware that these medications, both available over-the-counter and through prescription, carry these risks to your nervous system and brain health. The same goes for anything that could be considered to have anticholinergic effects. (2)

This study basically proves that there are risks to taking first-generation allergy medications for a long period of time.

allergy drug risks and antihistamines

Research results take YEARS for a conclusive result

I think this is very shocking because many parents heavily relied on Benadryl and other anticholinergic drugs to help their children get to sleep in the 90’s. It is possible that these children could have complications to their health due to this.

When considering the elderly adults during this study, the participants did not have access to Benadryl when they were children because it was not available yet, but we exposed later on in life. I am wondering what kind of effects that these medications could have on developing brains.

In addition to that, diphenhydramine drugs are used by teenagers for a “legal high” in which they take an ENTIRE bottle or package of Benadryl to start hallucinating and dissociating heavily. The majority of these recreational users are below the age of 18.

Now, remember that this study took almost 8 years to complete on elderly participants to determine without a doubt that these particular classes of allergy drugs could cause long-term damage to your health.

Let’s consider all of the allergy drugs that are newer than Benadryl: It’s going to take about 8 years for them to determine if these drugs cause any type of damage as well.

I don’t see why we would take risks to our memories, immune health, etc. when we can’t trust the drug market. There simply isn’t enough science to back up the effects of these new drugs yet.

This is why we believe that avoiding these chemical drugs and antihistamines would be your best bet for yourself and especially your children. We don’t recommend that children under 21 consume alcohol because it can have irreversible effects on their health. So why are we going to give our two-year-olds a hallucinogenic and dissociative drug to help them sleep free from allergies?

Simply, ANY chemicals and drugs have risks to your health because they could be affecting you and your children in ways that you don’t even feel or suspect.

The best choice you can probably make for your health problems, and allergies in particular, is to not trust everything and be skeptical. Drugs that block mechanisms by your own body probably don’t treat the root cause of your health problems (allergies).

Instead, it may be best to look at your health and how you can improve nutrition and use natural supplements that you can trust because our ancestors have used them for millennia. Allergy drugs have only be available for up to 50 years, so how are we going to know how it affects us over the decades?

Antihistamines Can Suppress Your Immune Function

These allergy drugs basically do a few basic things to your body. They don’t get rid of the allergens or make your body not allergic to whatever it is reacting to. Instead, it makes your immune system unable to produce certain chemicals that make you sneeze.

When an invader like an allergen, bacteria, or virus enters your body, your immune system will produce histamine and other chemicals to try to promote inflammation at the source of infection, which will hopefully be enough to kill whatever it is. Your immune system can also resort to fever, vomiting, and diarrhea to quickly get rid of the invader.

If you are trying to get rid of allergy symptoms, AKA natural immune functions, these drugs and chemicals will stop histamine from promoting inflammation in your body. This means that you won’t sneeze or have annoying allergy symptoms. (3)

So what if an actually dangerous pathogen enters your body? Your immune system will not be able to function properly to get rid of the disease. This makes you much more susceptible to infection in certain areas of the body, like your sinuses and throat.

This should definitely be considered when taking an antihistamine drug. It could be suppressing your proper immune function.

Treating your allergies by fixing your body’s unique nutrition will actually support your immune system rather than blocking its natural function.

Future Possible Health Risks That We May Discover Soon

First generation H1 sedating antihistamines have low receptor specificity and easily cross the blood-brain barrier. In newer generations, these problems have been solved. However, that doesn’t mean that these new drugs don’t have possible risks.

We know that second-generation antihistamines can dehydrate your mucus membranes. How healthy this is, we are unsure at the moment. But we do know that it stops us from sneezing.

Newer antihistamines can also cause:

  • Sedation
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth and sinuses
  • Blurred vision
  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation
  • Liver failure
  • Worsening of glaucoma

From that information, we know that these small little antihistamine pills like Zyrtec and Allegra, can affect your sinuses as well as your digestive system, eyes, brain, bladder, etc. (4)

We could also consider that side effects of these drugs to be the most obvious accidental effects that you can experience while taking the drugs. Obviously dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was not an obvious side effect of taking diphenhydramine Benadryl. For instance, Allegra may cause liver failure and we will not even notice it over years of taking it.

The antihistamines that have been linked to acute liver injury include:

  • Cyproheptadine
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Terfenadine (No longer available)
antihistamines can carry risks

Anticholinergic drugs to avoid

Chronic Hives Caused by Some Prescription Antihistamines

There is a high rate of incidence for chronic hives due to certain chemicals like Reactine. Many users have died by developing hives in their throat and choking on them while they sleep.

Just like food, you can have allergies to certain chemicals, including allergy medications. If you take something like an antihistamine and you happen to be allergic, then there is the possibility of death.

That’s why it is very important to only take what your doctor recommends and prescribes and to take it how they recommend.

If you ask your doctor the question “What are the long-term health risks to taking antihistamines and allergy drugs?” then he will have no answer for you. Doctors simply don’t know because they cannot predict the future. Research on most of these allergy drugs has not been completed yet. The only reason they are on the market is because not many people died from taking it and there were few hospitalizations.

It would also be very scary if your child turns out to be allergic to an OTC allergy medication

Effective, Natural, and Safe Alternatives to Antihistamines

This site is full of methods in your lifestyle that can treat the root cause of your allergies. Many people don’t consider that nutrient deficiencies can cause and worsen allergies and sensitivities. If you simply learn how to fix these problems in your health, you can treat or eliminate your allergy symptoms.

A few things that you can do right now to reduce ALL symptoms of allergies can be started with your lifestyle.

My number one recommendation is to avoid alcohol as best as you can. Alcohol worsens allergy symptoms considerably, from food to seasonal allergies. This socially-acceptable drug can harm your immune system in small doses. If anything, try to avoid binge drinking because this is especially harmful in ways that we could go on for days.

A Targeted Herbal Antihistamine Blend for Long-Term Relief

I know that I have to prepare for emergency allergy days, where I know that I’ll need an effective antihistamine. Herbal allergy supplements made me skeptical at first, but when I tried them, I was surprised at how effective they were in comparison to OTC antihistamine drugs.

For me, herbal antihistamines like stinging nettle, quercetin, rosemary leaf and rutin didn’t give me any side effects. However, they did provide me with numerous side BENEFITS. When taking them, I experience a slight boost in motivation and focus, as well as a boost in mood and energy. I would totally recommend trying one because it is much more worth it for me than taking Zyrtec or Allegra.

These organic herbs naturally support:

  • Healthy sinus and respiratory
  • Healthy levels and function of histamine, leukotrienes and prostaglandins
  • Help clear mucus from the lungs and nasal passages for fresher breathing.

I have tried a wide range of different herbal antihistamine blends and they all worked wonderfully for the value of the product. They are much cheaper than OTC antihistamine drugs and work more effectively in my opinion. You also never have to worry about you or your child becoming addicted to this stuff.

The best herbal antihistamine that I’ve tried is definitely this one. Click to see if there’s still a really cheap deal that I’ve been using for months. This is the antihistamine that I use for my allergies on the days when I need it most.

natural supplement with quercetin and rutin for seasonal allergies

Click to check out the antihistamine that I use.

This supplement has been the only natural antihistamine to be more effective than an OTC drug that I have tried. And it is much cheaper than drugs like Zyrtec or Xyzal, not to mention non-toxic and non-addictive for adults and children.

It works immediately for when I’m in an emergency allergy situation, but it also lasts for the long term, even longer than 24 hours. It might even last longer for you because some of the herbs in this blend absorb slowly for a long-term effect. Everyone in my family switched to this natural antihistamine and we feel much healthier every day (with more money in our pockets).

Histamine Enzymes Can Quickly Break Down the Root Cause of Allergic Reactions

Everybody is allergic to histamine. That is the whole point of it, so your body can produce its own inflammation. However, it can be really annoying and show up as symptoms.

It’s now possible that you can take an enzyme supplement that will work to break down the histamine your immune system produces and the histamine absorbed from food. I was surprised at how much better it made me feel, regardless of whether or not I was experiencing allergies. The enzyme in particular is called diamine oxidase, or histaminase, the compound your body actually uses itself to eliminate histamine naturally.

Diamine oxidase is a very new supplement and it really works for me and others who have histamine intoleranceand allergies. It was really worth the value, especially when trying to come off of antihistamines and the influx of histamine that it brings. I also take it for my food intolerances, which I have a lot of. Here is where I get it on Amazon, click to check the price it’s at because sometimes it’s on sale.

link to get a histamine blocker for intolerance

Quercetin with Bromelain: A Highly Effective, Non-Addictive and Natural Antihistamine

I have switched from my OTC antihistamine to organic quercetin and it has been working wonderfully for me. Quercetin is a natural ingredient sourced from real food and it can be extremely effective for allergies during your busy day. Your body does not develop a harsh dependency for it like it will with unnatural allergy drugs like Benadryl or Zyrtec.

In addition to its anti-allergy benefits, naturally-sourced quercetin also provides a feeling of refreshment and mental clarity for a few hours after taking it. This is why so many energy drinks and tablets are incorporating quercetin into its ingredients list because they are trying to adapt to a safer and more natural ingredients list that actually works for the long term.

This is the best quercetin supplement that I’ve tried by far and you can check the best price I’ve found here. It not only uses quercetin as a natural antihistamine derived from root vegetables, but also incorporates Bromelain, an enzyme that helps with allergies. Bromelain pairs well with quercetin, increasing its absorbency and breaking down histamine with its enzyme properties while quercetin’s antihistamine qualities prevents release of histamine in the first place.


Organic MSM Crystals to Cure Your Possible Sulfur Deficiency

You also need to consider some common mineral deficiencies that humans face uniquely to our generation. This generation of humans suffers from magnesium, silica, and sulfur deficiencies because our soils have been depleted of these essential nutrients and we can no longer properly obtain them through fresh foods.

Since sulfur is essential for immune health and treating allergic response, it is recommended to try an organic sulfur supplement that treats allergies and a sluggish immune system. MSM is my most recommended nutrient supplement because it has helped me tremendously with my sulfur deficiency and you guys message me every day that this stuff made your allergy symptoms disappear. MSM is biologically available sulfur that can easily be absorbed into your body. This brand makes a huge difference in my health and it is way better than any other that I’ve tried. Many of you recommend it as well.


I am always here for you, so if you have a question or something to add about the long-term effects of overusing allergy drugs and antihistamines, please leave me a comment below.

Talk to you soon,


Long-Term Risks for Taking Allergy Drugs [Research] was last modified: November 8th, 2018 by Anthony


  1. Hi Anthony,

    I have been using antihistimines for a few years now but I am suddenly getting a pain in the right temple and dry mouth so have to stop. Never used to get drowsy and now I do. Citrcizene or some such thing. Things went badly wrong with an antibiotic reaction with hives and a bit of hard to breathe.

    So the antihistimines. Why? The intolerances started to become allergies. I have had bloods done and to be honest, gliadin, which is gluten, wheat and dairy are the issue. Gluten is now found in pills as a binding agent by the way. The histamines built up over days taking the antibiotic. Thus the reaction to everything you are slightly or heavily intolerant to. There must be some way of checking histamine levels in the blood, like for sugar?

    I do use a health food store. I want to know what supplement to get for Querciten? Thanks.

    Another thing with allergies and intolerances. If you have a chronic urinary, or something which creates swellings, then dairy and wheat are bad for you. Reducing them for say epididimytous will reduce the swelling without anti inflammatories. It can nearly make it disappear with Cranberry juice too. Probiotics are important because they kill the fungal infection caused by overuse of antibiotics.

    Milk thistle is used by Liver doctors to increase Liver Cell growth. Turmeric has been proved to reduce the size of tumors on the pancreas. Some things do work very well. Probiotics are now used to half the time you have the runs. Why? Because it is a nurovirus which lives in your gut. The good bacteria replaces the bad ones and the others die off in natural time. Which doubles as their are less.

    Any side affects to Quercitin you find it in elderberries right?

    One last trick. If people get sick after drinking beer it can be the yeast. Yeast dies off with high alcohol levels like in whisky not in beer. The rash people get is the reaction to alcohol. Nearly burning your toast burns it off too. Thus the lack of reaction to toast compared to bread.

    A great way to build up the antigens to deal with problem food is to cut out the food altogether for six months. This is why people get the intolerances. They run out of antigens to break down the proteins. However new studies show the differences with the different proteins such as casein, and beta casein. Found in cow goat or sheep milk etc.



    1. Author

      You clearly have much knowledge about allergies and antihistamines. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Great stuff to think about.

  2. I think your overview of the pharmaceuticals, their potential causes and effects in the blood stream, glands, organs is insightful from a non-clinical standpoint. I think your information is mindful for anyone healthy or experiencing side effects over time from continually using pharmaceuticals to alleviate allergy symptoms. The issue many people admit to is becoming addicted to the effect of the pharmaceutical, and forgetting to research natural ways of alleviating these allergy symptoms. In this century, many people are willing to try other alternatives for resolving allergy symptoms, so your content will be taken into consideration.

  3. Hi! Im Grace from the Philippines..I have an allergy it only started last 2015..but I started to take Ceterizine last year..because I cannot take the itch anymore..I woke up at midnight just to scratch my hives and I am always lack in sleep..I decided to take a medicine last year..Cetirizine..I took one every other day..sometimes I am worried for the effect that is why I am here now in your blog and thank u for sharing your knowledge about it..my question is what is the best alternative herbal medicine for me among the four u have mentioned? My allergy is hives..I am always like this when its so cold or there is dust or so hot..I always sneeze and have itchy eyes when I didnt take the Cetirizine..please reply thank u so much again..may God bless u

    1. Author

      I use the Allurtica supplement on high pollen days. It really works and there are no side effects. It helped me come off of Zyrtec and Bendaryl.

  4. Hello Anthony

    I have had urticaria for many years and have been relieving itching with antihistamines. But I had a very dry mouth and dry eyes after taking it, which made me very uncomfortable. I’d like to try the medicine you recommend. Can I take the four drugs mentioned in your article at the same time? Thank you for sharing.

    1. Author

      Yeah, you can take them at the same time. They are natural supplements so there is much less of a risk of synergistic reactions between substances. You should monitor whatever else you take though. The Allurtica and quercetin both have quercetin, so I wouldn’t take full doses at the same time. The MSM is fine with anything, however.

  5. I am suffering from taking Reactine now for 4 years after a TBI because it calmed my dizziness. We are finding i have autonomic system issues now. Drs have been unable to help, when I downgrade my Reactine to 5mg instead of 10 I feel better but the histamine is insane! I am reacting to everything I eat and drink now. Lying in bed I get throat swelling and face flushing, wheezing, and I worry my throat will close (as it has from drinking or eating foods) if I do not take any antihistamine. My Drs keep saying to up the antihistamines or change but I don’t want too. I want to get off them.
    I have been on a low histamine diet for 6 months and reintroducing never goes well. Now when I take 10mg of Reactine my jaw burns and face tingles, I get tinnitus. Same with some foods, so it seems like I am allergic to the Reactine too, or intolerant. It also causes me episodes of autonomic dysreflexia.
    So I got an intolerance test done for myself. I am deficient in magnesium, calcium, iron, B12 and copper. Problem is the foods I need for the deficiencies, are all high histamine foods and i react with everything. Even 1/4 tablet of Vitamin c with rose hips causes me severe dehydration and histamine reaction. Better yet, I am 100% intolerant to garlic, onion, acidophilus, honey, green tea, and many othet things that would help. I am even highly sensitive to magnesium supplements on my test so i cannot even take them. I am in such a pickle now! I went histamine free the other night and laying down for 20 mins, shot full of histamine from an anxiety attack almost did me. I have actually lost 40lbs quickly from all the histamine induced diarrhea.
    Were you as bad with the anphylaxis when you tried the all natural allergy medication? To be honest I am scared to eat, drink, or try new medications even if they are herbal now because my issue always goes to my throat tightening and burning and facial flushing. I react even to unfiltered or spring water. I tried the water cure protocol on my antihistamine free day and it completely worked! Aside from i only did one dose while reacting that evening and its not something I feel I can completely count on in an emergency. I wake up pretty histamine loaded.
    Any suggestions?

    1. Author

      I never had anaphylaxis and I don’t think that any antihistamine is going to reliably prevent anaphylaxis. But the natural one Allurtica works really well. So much better than any OTC antihistamine plus it makes you feel uplifted instead of nauseous. Also consider a parasite cleanse! Let me know what you think!

  6. Hi Anthony,

    I am glad I stumbled upon your site, I find all the articles really interesting and useful. I have recently been diagnosed with oral mite anaphylaxis which have caused me a lot of distress since experiencing the first shock.

    From the blood test I have showed reaction to dust mites and weirdly banana (I have never been allergic to them as far as I know). Ever since the first shock, I feel like I am constantly overthinking that everything I consume can cause me an allergic reaction which I know is not true but my anxiety has heightened up due to this. Like even a little bit of sore throat leaves me worrying for no reason.

    Anyway, I am interested in the MSM that you wrote about and I wonder if this will help with food/dust mite allergies. My allergist also tested my Vitamin D3 and it seems that I am insufficient, after consuming 2000 iu per day, I am noticing a lot of changes but I would also like to find other natural ways like you suggest to hopefully cure my condition as I am feeling like no one understands my worry about my allergies and sometimes I feel that they are taking it lightly.

    May I ask if you can help to suggest what natural remedies I can purchase along with the MSM (which I hope is available in Europe) and how to start using them. I am really hoping to find a way to resolve my worries with the allergies.

    **By the way Nin Jom Pei Pa Koa is really good 🙂 and I can vouch to that one

    1. Author

      That’s interesting because a lot of people say the same thing about being diagnosed with an allergy that they were not even slightly aware of. The MSM should be available worldwide because it is on Amazon. As for vitamin D3, deficiency could mean a lot of things. It could mean that you aren’t getting enough sunlight exposure, or it could mean you have a parasite infection. It’s hard to find a vitamin D supplement that isn’t snake oil. You’ll want to find one that is food based and already in oil so that your body can absorb it. Let me know what you think!

  7. I have long term, year round allergies and have been getting allergy shots for one year. Plus, I supplement with 1/2 Zyrtec at night, which controls the sneezing. Are you suggesting using all three above items at the same time: Herbel Blend, Histamine Block and MSM Crystals? Or do you start with one? Sorry, a bit confusing.

    1. Author

      I’m just offering a few of the best options that I’ve found. The histamine blocker is best if your allergy symptoms stem from histamine intolerance or reactions involving food. Both the other quercetin supplements are alternatives to OTC antihistamine drugs. The Allurtica from Utzy is the best in my opinion. I take one dose every morning to this day and it’s much better than filthy Zyrtec and Benadryl. The MSM crystals can potentially heal a root cause of your allergies in the first place. I’d recommend all of them, yes. But you can choose what might work best for your unique body and circumstance because I know we are all different.

  8. Hi
    This information sounds great and being a mum with an 8 year that has multiple food allergies as well as asthma and eczema, I am finally looking into the nutritional side of things as a treatment.

    He has been diagnosed since he was a few months old and we have tried elimination diets and he has been on antihistamines daily. The concern I have is that he seems to be getting worse and over the last 2 years since getting through multiple courses of antibiotics for Skin infections and a gum abscess. We have never had to use epi pens before but since the last 2 years we have!
    It seems to me that his immune system has had enough and that during the spring and summer months, it really struggles to keep up with fighting all of the allergens including pollen.

    His immunologist suggests increasing his cetirizine but I have i have my reservations and I believe that this is not necessary a good solution. In fact it has got to the point where I am seeing the effects that cetirizine is having on his immune system. However I am having to give him an antihistamine- piriton seems to be working well at the moment.

    I have been taking a nutritionists advice recently and have started the MSM including a multiple use of bit wins and minerals etc. The nutritionist also advised using a high dosage at first but his body is also struggling with this so I have lowered the recommended to once a day as opposed to twice a day.

    His problem seems to be severe stomach pains and all tests etc that have been down have not found anything wrong. We haven’t recently tested for allergies so this will be the next step but his immunologist is quite reluctant about this as he doesn’t want my son to show anymore allergies- he doesn’t want to exclude anymore food groups form my sons diet.

    We have been told by the nutritionist that he has very little flora in his gut after we had his stools tested. And a course of probiotics seemed to aggravate him…

    I am confused and really desperate to make him better because this has been going on for over a year now, with his stomach pains.

    Any suggestions would be welcomed!

    You are doing a great job advising people- so I thought I would throw this one your way and see if you have any thoughts on his situation

    Many thanks

    1. Author

      Thanks a lot for the support. I think you are a great parent for caring so much about investigating an answer for your child. We are living in crazy times right now where information is constantly biased and skewed in the name of more money.

      Your son might be reacting to the high dose of MSM because that’s what people describe as “initial detox reaction.” This, to me, is a good sign that it is working. I would not initially take a very high dose because I had an initial tummy trouble by taking too high of a dose. I would get bloated and headaches from taking too much MSM at first. It worked MUCH better when I started slowly and worked my way up. I’d start at 1g a day and work up to 5 over the course of several weeks. Let me know what you think!

      1. Thanks!

        Yes I will try that and let you know for sure- you are doing an amazing thing by helping people like us- I really appreciate your time 😊

        1. Author

          I’m glad that I could help! Don’t mention it because I feel all your guys’ pain! I find it infuriating that we refuse to learn anything real about allergies.

  9. Thank you for this information. I had recently developed dust mite allergy since moving into a new office and basically due to the building is covered in carpets, owner refusing to remove them. I had taken cetrizine for about a week now and noticed that I am unable to function normally. My head feels as if it is stuffed, my movements are slow and exhausted 24/7. Now that I have across this information, it makes much more sense why I have been so drained out recently. So again thank you. I hope the drugs come in with these warnings and people were to look for alternative options rather than directly going for medications.

  10. My daughter has terrible allergies and mastocytosis symptoms. Without antihistamines she is unable to function – bloating, swelling, 3 different rashes, all over body itch – that makes her scream and cry, post-nasal drip, reflux and nausea. She is reacting allergically to probiotics and quercetin. She has unexplained and steady weight gain going on. We have been working with a homeopathic doctor, chiropractor, allergist and nutritionist. When I try to get her off Zyrtec she gets fevers, all over crazy body itch, exhaustion, rashes, swelling and bloated abdomen. She has never slept well since she was a baby and now only sleeps 4 hours or so at a time (the homeopathic doctor got her sleeping more than 1-2 hours at a time and got her liver enzymes normal). Is there a safe protocol to get her off the Zyrtec and hopefully get her on something that doesn’t cause weight gain?

    1. Author

      Hey Jenni,
      Thanks a lot for visiting! So you’re saying that your daughter experiences these symptoms when you stop giving her Zyrtec? I would just continue the recommended treatment from your doctor and mention potential alternatives like the one I had described. I know that the quercetin and MSM really helped me get off of Zyrtec and its withdrawal symptoms. Let me know what you think!

  11. I seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard spot. I read your post to Frankie Sue stating that the Lactobacillus strains in a probiotic can raise histamine levels. I’m currently taking a probiotic specifically aimed at colon health after having colon cancer surgery to reverse the complications I’ve had since. It is full of Lactobacillus strains. Due to the many drugs given to me for the two surgeries, my immune system needs built back up and I have had much worse allergies than previously, to the point of eustachian tube blockage that gives me dizziness and vertigo. Maybe the probiotic is causing me more problems with my allergies? So how to I repair my colon health while not causing worse allergies?

    1. Author

      Well it seems like some people experience negative effects with Lactobacillus strains, so perhaps that could be your case. I know that if I take too high count of this strain probiotics, then I experience negative effects myself. I feel like Bifidobacteria are much better for me for the long term.

  12. I wasn’t able to read all of the comments, but I just wanted to express my gratitude for more awareness of this issue. i’ve been battling chronic urticaria along with angioedema, and hashimotos/hypothyroidism for almost two years and have tried natural remedies and a auto-immune paleo diet, which worked at the time, but something unknown caused an anaphylactic reaction and i’ve been scared to get off of zyrtec since!! 🙁 my household could be considered mostly healthy so my mom is always having me try new things, but it helps having an online community to look to now! so thank you for this post!!

    1. Author

      No problem! Thanks for visiting! I wish the best for anybody trying to heal their allergies and their antihistamine addiction. It can be very rough.

      1. Hi… I have been suffering from eczema since birth. Eating Zyrtec since i was 12 until 15 then recently transitioning to Telfast(Fexafenadine) 180mg because apparently my body was immune to Zyrtec. I have tried a few times to go off Zyrtec but its IMPOSSBLE. The withdrawal symptoms are crazy- cant even sleep. After reading your article, I am convinced that my plan to go off antihistamines might actually work for the first time. I’m going to buy the quercetin tablets as a natural supplement. but is the diamine oxidase(DAO) really safe? Im afraid these natural supplements will also have me hooked like how the OTC antihistamines had me. But that is not my biggest concern. Im afraid i cannot get through the time i am off antihistamines. my body will break out in hives like it did the last time. longest i could last was 3 days. do u have any other methods to ease the pain and itching besides supplements? and my holidays end in 2 weeks so i only have 2 weeks to compensate for 4 years of antihistamine medication. is it enough? thank you. im sorry for bothering you but my eczema has really got me into depression and im so lost now,i dont know what to do. please help me.

        1. Author

          Hey Bryan,
          Thanks a lot for visiting! These natural supplements for allergies work much better for me because they have a different mechanism of action than antihistamine drugs. Rather than blocking the completion of the histamine compound, these natural supplements will prevent its production by the body in the first place. The problem with OTC antihistamines like Zyrtec is that the body tries to constantly make more and more histamine because it’s confused why it isn’t working. When you stop taking them, it’s like BAM full force histamine hits you. Kind of like water flowing through a hose that was kinked. When you release the kink, the water will burst out. Same concept in my opinion. I also write about fasting, parasite cleanse and sulfur supplements for treating allergies. Let me know what you think!

  13. I have developed “itchy raised red spots” all over my body over the last few days – they look exactly like insect bites – but aren’t.
    My immunologist said I need a break from high dose Loratadine I’ve been taking, and take cetrazine instead
    I’m surprised an antihistamine can cause this – they don’t look like hives and I can’t find anything on the internet about antihistamine causing itchy spots.

  14. Hello, thank you for your the interesting post. I am concerned as my son is 8 years old. He has been using Qvar for about a year to help with asthma like symptoms. He’s had pneumonia in the past when he was about 2 years old. I started giving him claritin every day and it helped with allergies, but not even 80% of the time, so I switched to zyrtec about 6 months ago and now I see that that is not always helping either. I looked up MSM Crystals so I can try this for him, as I read thru the comments as well, I started to think about any “deficiency” he might be having… But I do not know how safe they would be for children and in my child’s case. My son is a very tough, rough, active boy, and I don’t want to cause unknown long term effects down the road just because I want him to be a carefree boy that does not have to worry about sneezing and being congested all day! Do you have any advise?

    1. Author

      If you are considering MSM for you or your family, I would definitely go with it because it isn’t toxic at all. I think research says that it’s about as toxic as water. It seems fine to mix a tiny amount in water for your kids as sulfur.

  15. Hi Anthony. I do not appear to have “normal” seasonal allergies, but instead suffer from hives that appear and then go away within about 24 hours. In addition, sometimes I will wake up in the morning and various parts of my face will be swollen: eye, lip, tongue. Only one side. I have seen an allergist and he said that I have no allergies and told me to take allegra every day. Since I have been taking it (about 2 -3 weeks) my symptoms have subsided, though I have missed a few days and the symptoms immediately appear. I don’t want to take an allergy pill everyday. I was thinking about doing a 5 day fast to clean out my system and then reintroduce foods to see if it is food related (even though my doc said I don’t have a food allergy). Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for me? I am a 39 year old woman and just started having these problems about 2 years ago.

    1. Author

      Hey Linda,
      That sounds like an interesting idea. I have tried fasting as a healthy hobby before and it worked very well for me. I have some posts about fasting and parasite cleansing that might be interesting to you. Let me know what else you think!

  16. A friend has been taking Benadryl 6 times a day over ten years what damage can that do

    1. Author

      Everybody is different. That seems like a lot though, so he might be able to tell you.

  17. I have chronic mucus in my throat and have for years. It sometimes eases up in the summer months when it is warmer but it’s there year round. I’ve discussed this with my doctor (both my normal physician and my specialist – I have an auto immune disease that I thought was causing this symptom but he doesn’t think there is a link) and they continually suggest that I take Zyrtec daily indefinitely. I still suffer. So I’m thinking of quitting the Zyrtec but don’t know how I should approach the phlem issues more naturally. Any thoughts?

    1. Author

      Zyrtec is a tough one to get through, but with a natural antihistamine and few days to relax, you can definitely get through it easily. But if you would like to follow your professional’s advice, that makes even more sense. I think that something like quercetin could work more effectively.

    2. I had something similar. It was sugar! I removed refined sugar & problem solved.

  18. Thankyou for your interesting post. What do you suggest for toddlers with nut allergies. The trap is that you give them antihistamines when a mild break out occurs because that is part of the action plan and the alternative is they could die from anaphylaxis. We are advised to not take the wait and see response because it may be too late. I would love to not have to use antihistamines but I’m too terrified not to. Cheers, Tara

  19. Thank you for this site because a lot of people do not know the risk of drug allergies so you will benefit a lot from you .

  20. I recently bought the MSM crystals you recommend to help with food allergies and general health.
    What is your recommended daily therapeutic dose of MSM for someone suffering with health issues? And then what is a good maintenance dose?

    1. Author

      Hey Matt,
      You will want to start off slow with around 1g a day. Then after around a week you can increase by one gram a week to get a more effective higher dose of MSM. When you work up to higher doses, your body makes better use of it for detox purposes. After you take ten grams for a week, one gram per day or even per week is a good maintenance dose. It makes me feel great and my hair and nails are strong as hell.

  21. Hi, I got diagnosed with Urticaria linear 2 and a1/2 Years ago.
    Since then I take 10mg of Reactine every day lately it seems that I get more and more sinus problems and 3-day colds.
    I suddenly broke out on a trip to Germany and it never got away.
    The doctor says that there is no explanation for Urticaria and if I am lucky it will go away in 24 to 36 month
    Now I am reliant on 10 mg as antihistamine everyday user wise I break up in horribly itchy hives do you think the Quercitine would work for me and how long should I plan to take it down

    Thanks Frank

    1. Author

      I like to view supplements as tools to use as needed. You shouldn’t be dependent on the quercetin, but I usually take one if the pollen counts are unusually high. At first, quercetin really helps to get through the antihistamine withdrawal phase because you will experience an influx of histamine as you stop taking the drug.

  22. Hello, I was so shocked to learn about how OTC histamines are so bad for you! Since I first got pregnant I have suffered from this terrible hives rash with really bad swelling also… some days I am a mess.. my skin is swollen and itchy and my eyes and lips are so blown up.. it makes life hard if I have to work or go out somewhere..I have seen an allergist and he couldn’t find anything common that was triggering it and said it was most likely an auto immune thing.. I have trouble with my thryroid to (hypothyroidism) since having my children to and he thought that might be a link.. I am on hormone supplements for this though and still have the rash… I would love to know some natural things to help manage or hopefully get rid of this horrible rash… any kind of advise or help would be appreciated.. I’m so desperate!! 😳

    1. Author

      It seems like the things that I recommend work well for people with your symptoms. What do you think about the subjects I bring up?

  23. Thanks for your sincere efforts.I am a teacher from Swat, have been suffering from allergies.I have used every type of antihistamine from time to time. I also use steroid sprays for 10 years I have this problem. Such is the case with my children all are allergic. I am worried what to do? I am disappointed with doctors because the symptoms are growing worst. I have headaches and constipation and have no option but take those things. l would like to be informed about the information in the field of allergies and would thankful for your suggestions.

    1. Author

      Hey there,
      I sympathize with your issue of suffering with the downward spiral of allergy and antihistamine medication. The side effects often cause more problems than their intended beneficial purpose and there doesn’t seem to be a way to prevent the side effect symptoms. This is especially true for steroids and steroid nasal sprays because they cause physical changes to your body. My obvious advise to you is going to be to try to stop taking these medications. I have been through the same struggle as you, and I recommend switching to a natural antihistamine like quercetin and a non-steroid natural nasal spray with water and xylitol. This will help you get through the withdrawal symptoms and live a normal and healthy life. Let me know more about your situation and what you think!

  24. All my life I’ve only been allergic to a couple antibiotics and raw corn silk (yeah, weird, I know). Then about 2.5 years ago we found a dog and ended up becoming his new owners. Ever since then I have been getting wicked sinus issues every 2 or 3 months. No infections, just super stuffy and runny at the same time as well as insane itching in my sinuses. If it was just the runny or stuffy nose I could deal, but the itching inside my face drives me completely insane. I have never had any issues with our other 2 dogs that we have had for 5+ years. I started taking antihistamines about 6 months ago or so, I do switch it up from time to time because I become resistant to things fairly quickly. Currently I’m taking 10mg of loradatine nightly. I notice immediately the next morning if I forget to take them because my nose goes haywire. I’m just curious, would a probiotic or the MSM help with what I believe is allergies to a particular dog dander?

    1. Author

      Hey Ann,
      I have allergies to dogs as well, and a very similar experience so perhaps I could give you some helpful advice. For me, I am only allergic to certain breeds of dogs and I will most likely react to one with shorter hair. I’ve had contact with dogs with long fur and didn’t experience any allergy symptoms whatsoever. But with shorter haired dogs, I will get an itchy face and sneeze uncomfortably within hours to contact with the dog or the dog’s home. The facial itching is unbearable for me as well, but an antihistamine seems to do the job. Whenever I visit one of my family members who have a short-haired dog, an antihistamine usually does the trick. If I don’t have quercetin (which works well and is natural) I don’t mind the OTC antihistamine because taking it is much better than suffering.
      It seems like you definitely have a dependency on Claritin because of the withdrawal symptoms you have described. Keep in mind that chronic use of antihistamines will make your legitimate allergies worse slowly over time as your immune system relies on and expects the supplementation of antihistamines. A probiotic may help your allergies, you should be taking some form of one regardless for your general health anyway, but it won’t make a huge impact on your dog allergy symptoms. Organic MSM crystals, however, should. The natural sulfur will be a relief for your immune system and it should begin to heal to the state it should be at. Then, you will be able to determine if your dog allergy is legitimate or not due to your DNA or just a symptom of nutritional deficiency. Many people are deficient in sulfur, which may cause inappropriate allergic reactions by your immune system. Let me know more about what you think!

  25. I’m wondering what would be a good alternative for a child. My daughter is 29.5 kg. She takes 5mg cetirizine and 5mg montelukast every night for the past 2 years. It helps about 75% of her symptoms. Her allergist wanted to also use fluticasone furoate, but that clearly was contraindicated on the packaging against prepubescent ages. It made me question if she should be taking her current medications as well. It sounds as if it may be causing her bedwetting still at age 9. But do these herbal supplements have side effects? How do we figure out the proper dosing? Certainly plants have been around longer than many medications, however used improperly you can overdose on anything. Nor do we necessarily know what the long term side effects are on excessive use either, which could occur if we don’t know what the proper doses are. It kind of sounds like the best option is her to suffer through her allergies. She’s very allergic to dust mites and mildly allergic to pet dander, plants, and trees. All seasons. I wish her some help with it, hence the current allergy meds. However it sounds like it will cause her more problems down the road. But it’s so hard for her to sleep with all the sneezing and itching. And, her body has a stronger reaction without it. Contact from a horse would cause itching where a year later (after starting meds months prior) and forgetting them over the weekend due to a trip to her grandparents house, the same contact with a horse now has a reaction of hives! Seems to be such a pickle she’s in. Any insight from an outsider would be appreciated.

    1. Author

      Hey Amanda,
      That sounds so horrible for your little one, and thanks so much for providing your insight and perspective for her. It sounds like she has severe allergic reactions to many things, which may be a sign of deficiency. It’s surprising to hear that she is taking all these antihistamines because the long term risks of taking them haven’t fully been established by research. In regards to your questions, I recommend these natural supplements because they treat a few of the common foundational causes of allergies. MSM crystals, for instance, provide your body with bioavailable sulfur, which is a very common deficiency in babies. I would highly recommend supplementing a bit of it for your daughter. Let me know some more about what you think! Thanks a lot for coming!

    2. To Amanda, your daughters allergies seem a lot like mine, especially the
      horse hair. I have been told that quiet a lot of furniture with fabrics
      are now being made with horse hair included in them.

  26. Good day 🙂
    I’ve been drinking ceterizine almost 9 months. Sometimes I suffered in difficulty of breathing so antihistamine was my remedy to get rid of it. I am afraid everytime I encountered this. Please give some advice what are the natural remedies. Thanks.

    1. Author

      Hey Princess,
      Is there a Zyrtec drink that I am unaware of? Anyways, have you tried a natural antihistamine like quercetin? How do you respond to its effectiveness? Also, you should include some more information on what causes the difficult breathing. Is it seasonal allergies? Maybe asthma? Hope to hear from you soon.

    >So I took diphenhydramine HCI 50mg Equate (otc) heavily only stopping for periods of no more than 3-5 weeks over around a 2 year period. I have horrible, horrible idiopathic insomnia since BIRTH.
    Having never seen any side effects/warnings I had increased my dose to an unhealthy amount on a nearly ever day basis. Not even for the euphoric effects, just to sleep because my insomnia is so bad. Note: During this time I had been to a PCP and had had blood work done. My levels came back all clear, I told her I was taking them and that I thought it an unhealthy dosage and she didn’t bat an eye so neither did I (During taking the diphenhydramine HCI from age 18-20 [starting and stopping nearly exactly 2 years to the day] my memory became worse than a 90 year olds -no exaggeration, I work with the elderly-. I attributed that to the insomnia itself).
    >However recently, I quit for three reasons; I began to have urinary retention/urethra pain, I was severely dehydrated, and as a 20 year old college student it became costly to buy the pills at the rate I was taking them. So I quit cold turkey November 4th 2017. I never had the desire to take them again because, I don’t have an addictive personality. I had tried melatonin but it did nothing and even now as I write this it’s 1AM, so I’ve been choosing to soldier through my insomnia. I didn’t notice anything for maybe 2 days. Then, I started having vulvar itching. I thought it was BV so I treated it as BV and my life seemed okay for the 10 days following that. Then, the vulvar itching came back. I thought it was a Yeast infection this time and I treated it for that but nothing helped. Then I thought it was eczema because I started getting eczema patches on my neck, chest and pits as well. Simultaneously I was trying to induce my period so I maxed out on Vitamin C. After the Vitamin C. I ended up with what seemed like eczema on my chest, vulva, pits, and neck, I had inflamed sinuses, and my memory had gotten even worse than it had been. I thought ALL of this was stress from work, and I had linked the sinus inflammation to the vitamin C overdose because it had happened once before. I have had this itching for about two months now. The sinus inflammation dissipated about 3 weeks ago, the eczema about the same time a little later maybe. What I thought was eczema on my vulva (because of skin peeling) dissipated too and I still went to my Gyne who said everything was normal, no stds/infection. And since the itching had subsided (mostly) and there was no scarring or redness (I was treating with aloe and vagicaine) I thought I was okay. But 3 days after that the itching worsened with a vengeance and as I monitored it I noticed where the itching mainly was had turned white and the skin was just… Extremely smooth/firm, so I figured it was what I had been dreading (due to how hard it can be for a doctor to know of it diagnose it, and treat it, lichen sclerosus. Which has been linked to an overactive immune system/chronic inflammation. Before any of this I had never had a Vag/Vulvar issue in my life. No homormonal disorders, no STDs, no UTIs, none of that. So I thought that the Lichen sclerosus was because of the vitamin C putting my immune system into overdrive. It wasn’t until I was reading into temporary relief for lichen sclerosus (to hold me over until I can get to a proper dermatologist) and saw Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (antihistamines in general) recommended to relieve the itching “the drowsy medications work best,” it said. That brought me to this article about antihistamines which taught me they’re a form of immunosuppressants. Which made me look up the side effects of stopping antihistamines……. The first thing that popped up was literally “Stopping antihistamines caused unbearable itching” I almost, bleeping, cried. Because I have been suffering with this itch for two months (it’s dying down because I have been sticking with aloe a slowly but surely decreasing dosage of hydrocortisone 1% 1-3 times a day (because I still have to be mindful of treatment costs, I’m broke). Apparently stopping antihistamines cold turkey can cause you a number of side effects but most commonly hives/rashes/severe itching. It took some people 4-8 weeks for it to stop. I’m a little over 8 weeks bug that’s because my dumb self added an immuno-BOOSTER (not regulator, there’s a difference) which has caused this to last way longer than need be. I just want to know since I’ve quit cold turkey should I just stick it out a little longer to allow my immune system to get back on its own and bare the itching. Or should I try the MSM supplement? I wish I had made it to this article sooner, but nothing gave me an indication/warning that stopping the antihistamines could lead to any side effects let alone ones that can effect your daily life. I’ve spent so much money on so many things to “fix” these side effects that I didn’t know were side effects to begin with. Thank you for even making the connection between antihistamines and immune-health clearer. I don’t know why nobody thinks the two are connected including myself. My mom is serious about homeopathic/simplistic/organic remedies and honestly they’ve been more effective than anything else. Just realizing I can walk into my doctors with some clarity and possibilities of causes and a more targeted range of treatments I’m in a place of peace I haven’t seen for months now. So thank-you.

    1. Author

      Hey there,
      Thanks a lot for your story and some really valuable insights from a personal perspective. I love to know more about other peoples’ long-term effects of antihistamines on their health to see how it all affects us differently. Please let me know how your antihistamine journey is going and what natural allergy treatment really works for you.

  28. Pro15 has turmeric=I have thrombocytopenia. Is there another Probiotic you would recommend that wouldn’t deplete platelets?

    1. Author

      Hey Frankie,
      I understand that could be a problem for you. I recommend any kind of probiotic supplement that has a base ingredients list with Bifidobacterium, rather than Lactobacillus strains, which could raise histamine levels in your body, which promote inflammation. That’s basically what I recommend and different brands really aren’t different from their ingredients list. Let me know what you think!

    1. Author

      I am not a physician, but I am an environmental health researcher attempting to get a PhD. I am extremely interested in the research behind allergies and allergy medications. Since I have severe allergies myself, I want to talk about the long term effects of antihistamines and allergy drugs because they have been more addictive and harmful to me than many have the stigma for recreational addictive drugs. Excuse my lack of experience, but I love sharing the knowledge I receive from schooling and independent research of scientific journals on the development of allergy science and treatments.

      1. Sir
        I’m nazir from afghanistan I am suffering from allergy can I ask some questions about allergy

        1. Author

          Yes, of course you can ask me whatever you like and I will answer. That’s why I constantly beg people to leave me comments and talk to me. It can get pretty lonely in the allergy universe.

  29. I have always wondered if there were long term risks for taking antihistamines and allergy drugs that you find in the stores. They always claim that they help so much, but we always hear nothing about the long-term consequences of taking them. I agree that it could be dangerous using one of these newer generation drugs every day. Thanks!

    1. Author

      First generation antihistamines are particularly dangerous because we know the damage that they can do. Like usual, I’ll always recommend that we stick to natural methods that humans have evolved with other thousands of years.

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