Saturday, October 4, 2008

Summary and Update

It has been almost five months since I stopped taking Zyrtec. I am a much happier, healthier person for doing this. The 6-7 weeks of withdrawal symptoms are fading in memory and I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE MY LIFE BACK! If you are considering stopping but are scared of the withdrawal symptoms I can assure you that it is completely worth it in the end.

Mental Health - Depression & Anger
I am very concerned at the mood altering affects that Zyrtec had on me. What is even more scary is that I didn't even realise it at the time. I was severely depressed whilst on Zyrtec and had a very short fuse. In the months since being off Zyrtec nearly every person who knows me has commented on my dramatic change in personality. I did not tell everyone about me coming off Zyrtec yet I have had unsolicited comments such as 'you are back to your happy old self', 'you are more relaxed now' and 'you seem so much happier now'. I can handle stress better and no longer fly off the handle at the smallest thing.

If you are on Zyrtec and think you may be depressed please consider that it could be the Zyrtec affecting you. For me, Zyrtec was the sole reason for my depression - but bear in mind that for other people there could be other factors involved. If you are on Zyrtec and aren't sure if you are depressed (but know deep down that something isn't right) then sit down and try to remember the last time you felt happy/content/carefree, ask your loved ones or go and have a chat to a doctor. Reach out, it isn't normal to feel down, empty and hopeless for extended periods of time. You deserve better.

Salicylate Reactions
I have finally begun to see the improvements to my health that I had hoped for and expected. I really believe that Zyrtec was stopping me from progressing. I still follow the Failsafe Diet but do not experience such prolonged and severe reactions when I deviate from the diet. I still get hives but they are decreasing in severity and frequency - I am now better than I ever was on Zyrtec which was meant to be helping me with my hives (that was my whole reason for taking Zyrtec in the first place). I think that if I hadn't taken Zyrtec I would have improved over time - taking Zyrtec for the last 18 months has effectively delayed my recovery. I did not feel like I progressed or improved at all whilst taking Zyrtec. The severe hives when I stopped it for a day or two merely gave the illusion that without the Zyrtec I would have a much worse problem - when in fact those hives were a withdrawal symptom.

Menstrual Cycle
My very short cycle, which was my original reason for going off Zyrtec, has improved in length gradually with the mid-cycle spotting decreasing. I have just had a 25 day cycle with no spotting at all - a new record! I am hoping it will continue to improve and return to a regular pattern, it certainly seems to be heading that way.

Let's just say that another unexpected effect of going off Zyrtec has been a much happier husband. And it's not just because I yell at him less. 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record my point is this: Zyrtec had some awful side effects on me - in particular depression, anger problems and severe menstrual problems. The withdrawal symptoms, which lasted around 6-7 weeks, were both painful and distressing but if I had to do it all over again I would in a heartbeat. My health has mental and physical improved drastically since stopping Zyrtec. 

Please take the time to read my personal story - I have written this all down so that it may help someone else and to remind myself of the experience. I recommend that you start with the oldest post and work your way forward as that is the order I have intended for it to be read in. 

I welcome feedback on other people's experiences with Zyrtec - the more information out there the better!