Xyzal Review: Does Levocetirizine Work for Allergies?
Many of us are really suffering from the symptoms of allergies during every pollen season, including summer and winter. Perhaps your allergies are as bad as mine and they are disrupting the productivity of your day. Probably making you sneeze, giving you brain fog, struggling to blow your nose. That’s definitely why I initially tried OTC Xyzal, but I think that this antihistamine really sucks. Here’s my honest and personal Xyzal review and my recommendations for what really works for my allergies.
Xyzal Antihistamine Review
Product: Xyzal (OTC Levocetirizine)
Treats: Seasonal allergy symptoms, minor food allergy symptoms, watering eyes, itching face, sneezing, itching body and skin, pollen allergies, inflammation of the sinuses, systemic inflammation caused by histamine, sinus pressure, indoor allergies, chemical sensitivities, other environmental allergies
Benefits Compared to Other Antihistamines: Lasts longer than Zyrtec (Cetirizine) and smaller dose size. Also approved for children.
Allergens Treated: Pollen, dust, dander, dust mites, mold, food allergens, environmental allergens, chemical allergens
Rating: 2 out of 5
What is Xyzal?
This drug is an antihistamine from the third generation wave of allergy medications released onto the market for over-the-counter purchase. When you break down the chemical name of Xyzal, known as Levocetirizine, you can better understand it.
The prefix “Levo” means “left” and the name Cetirizine comes from another antihistamine compound called Zyrtec, which we probably all know about. We know it as the potentially horrible OTC antihistamine that is extremely addictive and causes withdrawal symptoms. They manifest as unbearable itchiness all over the body, increased allergy symptoms due to histamine influx, and cranky moods. Consumers are just now discovering this after Zyrtec was released onto the market for purchase a few years ago.
Back to the point: this basically means that Xyzal is like a sibling of Zyrtec. Technically, it is “left” Cetirizine, the left enantiomer. In chemistry, compounds typically have two types of chemical structures, their enantiomers. This term means that compounds have mirror image twins of the same chemical structure. Kind of like how your left hand is the twin mirror image of your right hand. In this case, Xyzal would technically be the left hand of Zyrtec and the right hand compound would be called “Dextrocetirizine” if there was one.
So then what does that make Zyrtec? Surprisingly, it is a 50/50 mixture of both Levocetirizine and Dextrocetirizine. You can deduce from this information that Xyzal is already present in Zyrtec and it is nothing new that we have tried from before. Therefore, Xyzal is the isolated left mirror image version of Zyrtec and only that, nothing else.
Sorry if that was difficult to understand. But it highlights how Xyzal is kind of a marketing ploy.
How Does Xyzal Work for Allergies?
Levocetirizine is the chemical name for Xyzal, which is the brand name of the drug. It comes in a smaller pill than Zyrtec, which is touted by its marketing campaign to be one of its benefits.
Xyzal works in exactly the same way that all the other OTC antihistamines do. It simply blocks your immune system from performing its natural functions when it is exposed to particles that you are uniquely allergic to. When you are exposed to pollen in the environment, your immune system mistakes the pollen grains for a deadly, multicellular animal invader and releases IgE antibodies. These cells quickly rush to the physical site of pollen exposure in your body (probably your throat or sinuses) and promote inflammation with hopes to destroy the invading pathogen. However, your immunity is just being silly because the pollen grains are just harmless, lifeless reproductive parts of plants in love with each other.
Read more here about why people might have allergies in the first place.
Many experts, whom I agree with, suggest that suppressing your body’s natural immune function could be healthy and beneficial for the long term if it promotes the release of histamine and the increase of inflammation. Perhaps inflammation is at the root of all diseases, so inflammation-causing histamine should be eliminated from your body and prevented in the first place.
Xyzal works to forcibly prevent your immune system from creating histamines and helps to capture lingering histamine in your body to eliminate it. This eventually soothes inflammatory reactions caused by your own body for no reason and, of course, makes you feel better physically and mentally. Which is a great benefit for the short term!
While blocking histamine is healthy for the long term because it reduces inflammation, Xyzal may not be a great long-term solution. It has the potential for addiction, side effects, and the destruction of your bank account.
Xyzal is not a better antihistamine than the previous generations, which may be a common misconception. It is at least exactly the same. Only thing different is that Xyzal has much less research on its long-term effects and interactions with other substances you may consume. Which, to me, makes it seem a bit riskier and dangerous to take especially for children.
My Personal Review of Xyzal
I have never taken Xyzal as a prescription, as many of you say that you have. I am sure that someone else who has been taking it from their doctor for years may give you a better long-term analysis for it. But I have taken Xyzal for about half a year and I have more than enough experience with it to have a decent opinion of it.
I waited until Xyzal came out as OTC on the market after being approved by the FDA to be safe enough to be bought it stores. It still amazes me what actually makes them eventually decide that this is okay to do. Regardless, I still wanted to give it a try because the allergy season was killing me and I wanted to write this experienced review for you.
I am not going to lie, I was initially impressed with the effects of Xyzal after I had purchased it for an unreasonable amount of money at my local drug store. It did its job effectively. It’s not like it is a snake oil supplement. It eliminated my allergy symptoms all day. However, I did experience many harsh side effects that made it unattractive for me to take it again or for the long term.
When I had taken this antihistamine, I was definitely clear and not sneezing, but I could not concentrate on my work. It was very weird but I felt absolutely unmotivated to do anything and I just wanted to watch Netflix and YouTube videos all day instead of being productive. I didn’t even want to make any posts on this site! Every time I took a dose of Xyzal, my brain was extremely fogged and I was in a very dull mood all day.
Side Effects of Xyzal
Another side effect that I had experienced from Xyzal was painful urination. I think that this antihistamine medication had actually made my urethra swollen. Sorry if that’s too much of a thought, but it made going to the bathroom very unpleasant for me. I definitely knew that I didn’t have any type of infection, STI or something like that. When I stopped taking the OTC Levocetirizine, this side effect had gone away.
One more brutal symptom of Xyzal that I had was slight stomach pain that got worse at times. I do not know why I had experienced pain in my stomach, but I really attributed it to this drug because it stopped when I didn’t take it. It hurt so bad some days that I really couldn’t stand to eat because food made the pain much worse.
I had also experienced a numbing sensation in my lips and mouth for some odd reason. It seems that others experience this with Xyzal as well, and I simply cannot explain why this happened.
It seems like Xyzal also had an effect on the state of my mental health because I was more prone to depression, agitation, and lightheadedness while I took it. Antihistamines are notorious for causing mental side effects, so I am not surprised by this. These symptoms actually got worse after I stopped taking it, which is probably due to the influx of histamine. However, I felt much more normal after about a week of quitting Xyzal cold-turkey. I can totally see how antihistamine drugs can be addictive because of this.
One last side effect that I noticed was blood-thinning and slow wound healing. When I had gotten cuts during my Xyzal phase, the wound would simply not stop bleeding. I would bleed out from the smallest cut for hours and it was scary sometimes because I didn’t know what to do about it. Eventually, it would stop though. I was also anxious that Xyzal was making my skin weaker because I had gotten a surprising amount of cuts during this time.
The most common side effects of Xyzal reported include:
- Pain in the sinuses
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Faintness or lightheadedness
- Pain in the ear or problems hearing
- Worsening allergy symptoms
- Painful urination
- Swelling of the urethra
- Frequent nosebleed
- Heart palpitations
- Depression, irritability, aggressiveness, or hallucinations
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (Jaundice)
- Numbing of the lips or mouth
Everyone’s body is unique, so you may experience different symptoms as well.
Important Precautions When Considering Taking Xyzal
It seems that this antihistamine medication is not for those with kidney problems, or if you are taking medication for these and similar conditions. The same goes for gallbladder issues and medications.
If you know that you are allergic to Zyrtec, then do not take Xyzal because it is basically the same thing.
If you have trouble urinating, have an enlarged prostate or frequent urinary infections, you shouldn’t take Xyzal because of the side effects it may have. I personally experienced trouble urinating and swollen urethra due to taking this antihistamine.
Also, pregnant and nursing mothers shouldn’t take Xyzal because it can be transmitted to your baby through the bloodstream and breastmilk.
Alcohol will increase the potential for side effects concerning your nervous system that can be experienced with Xyzal. It will increase your susceptibility even further to dizziness, drowsiness and short-term memory loss. This drug combination could also further impair your thinking and judgment skills.
Medications and drugs that may interact with Xyzal include:
- Other allergy medications and antihistamines (including natural antihistamines)
- Sedatives of all kinds
- Pain relievers
- Sleep medications
Other drugs and supplements may interact with Xyzal as well, including natural supplements or vitamins and herbal products.
Xyzal vs Zyrtec
Xyzal is considered a third-generation antihistamine that came after second-generation Zyrtec. You have to take about half the physical amount of Xyzal to get the same effect as Zyrtec. This is why it is smaller than the older antihistamine. However, they are essentially the same compound that work to block the same histamine receptors.
One of the most proclaimed differences between the two drugs is that Xyzal will bind more effectively to the histamine receptor sites. Also, it is apparently safer for infants to take Xyzal. This has been determined by experts, not me. Zyrtec was constantly criticized because it was advised that you do not supplement it to children for whatever reason.
Zyrtec is also available in chewable form, while Xyzal is not.
It’s controversial whether Xyzal and Zyrtec are non-sedative like it says on both containers at the store. Personally, I get drowsy with Xyzal, but not with Zyrtec. But they are still considered non-sedative by experts.
Xyzal vs Allegra
Two studies so far have tested the effectiveness of Xyzal with Allegra for their ability to relieve allergy symptoms and improve the quality of life for its users. The studies polled the participants and they had concluded that allergy symptom relief was equal between the two antihistamines.
However, the participants had voted that their quality of life had improved much more with taking Allegra. They reported experiencing much less side effects.
Again, it seems that Xyzal is still preferred over Allegra for use with children and infants for allergies.
Check out my Allegra Review.
What Really Works for Allergies?
I personally cannot believe that we are wasting our time, money and health with these antihistamine drugs. It seems that there are much healthier, cheaper, natural antihistamines derived from food that not only do the same thing as Xyzal, but better.
Once I had tried a quercetin supplement, I had instantly knew that I would never go back to these horrible drugs that had affected my body adversely throughout my childhood. I have nothing but amazing things to say about quercetin. This is the stuff in onions that clears your allergy symptoms when you eat them, but the quercetin is in isolated form. That makes it a completely natural food supplement derived from real food.
Not only have I experienced no side effects with quercetin, but I had experienced side BENEFITS as well. In addition to completely getting rid of my allergy symptoms all day and night long, quercetin has improved my mood and energy levels. It gives me a wonderful boost just like caffeine does, but without the jitters and more emphasis on the ability to focus and concentrate.
Quercetin is also a natural antioxidant that has improved the quality of my skin, hair and eyes tremendously. I really can’t say enough about how much better this natural stuff is than the harsh drugs that so many people are having problems with.
I have found that the best quercetin supplement for allergies is this one that I get on Amazon. Click to check the price because sometimes it’s on sale. This one incorporates bromelain, an allergy enzyme that helps quercetin by breaking down lingering amounts of histamine in your blood. I have also noticed a dramatic improvement in my digestion while taking this stuff.
If you have a question or something to add to my Xyzal review, please leave me a comment with the form below!
Talk to you soon,