Beware XYZAL — allergy drug

I’m having a terrible allergy reaction that’s last 2 days. I visited my physician who gave me a few 5-mg samples of an allergy medicine, Xyzal (levocetirizine). This is supposed to be an alternative to Allegra, Zyrtec, and OTC Benadryl. I took time in the middle of the workday for this impromptu appointment so when I got back to work, I immediately took the drug. Then, I began feeling incredibly drowsy. I decided to look up the side effects on the xyzal site and found:

Patients taking XYZAL should avoid operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. … Take XYZAL at bedtime. Do not increase the dose due to increased risk of sleepiness.

Great. I wish my doctor had warned me of this before I popped one at 3:45 in the afternoon at work, 13 miles away from my home. Not only that, but after doing some more reading in the Prescribing Information, I found:

Besides these events reported under treatment with XYZAL, other potentially severe adverse events have been reported from the post-marketing experience with cetirizine. Since levocetirizine is the principal pharmacologically active component of cetirizine, one should take into account the fact that the following adverse events could also potentially occur under treatment with XYZAL: hallucinations, suicidal ideation, orofacial dyskinesia, severe hypotension, cholestasis, glomerulonephritis, and still birth.

A one-time dose probably won’t affect me negatively in the ways reported above but still — it’s an allergy drug. ALLERGY drug. All this crap comes from something that’s supposed to make you feel better? Sheesh. Glad I read it. I’ll be sure to avoid regular consumption Xyzal in the future.

So now it’s 4:50 pm and I can barely keep my head up but I figured I’d make this quick post to warn anyone with mental illness who:

a) takes Xyzal or
b) thinks that allergy drugs are free from side effects triggering mental illness.

Granted, the risk is low but it exists. It also sounds like it can impair renal and hepatic functions somehow. Watch out if you’ve got kidney problems.

When work is over, I’m going straight home and making a beeline for my bed.

Mood Rating: 4

30 thoughts on “Beware XYZAL — allergy drug

  1. sweety,
    I hope you learned you should never ingest ANYTHING without research…we KNOW that docs don’t tell us crap!!
    tons of drugs have adverse psychiatric effects and that includes some very commonly used antibiotics…really, truly, don’t ingest anything you haven’t done research on…
    I hope you got home okay and feel better….
    love to you…

  2. wow this is a coinkydink because just a few minutes ago i saw the xyzal ad on tv, its a really lame ad and everytime i see it i cant believe they called it xyzal which is so unpronouncable and bad for stutterers and not something snappy like zyrtec

  3. I just had a similar Xyzal experience. My doctor warned me to take it right before bed, so I did. And I just got up – 5 PM the next day. Argh. I lost a day’s pay over this “free” sample.
    I took 5 mg tablet, Lot No. 0000038300, Exp. Date 05/2010.

  4. I’ve been taking Xyzal for almost 5 days now,a small dose,of 1 pill per day.
    Not only did it not help my alergy problem one bit,but now I’ve got a killer headache,sore throat and everything.Seriously.I learned this past month and a half that most drugs out there do more harm than good.Still it’d the doctors we rely on for help *rolls eyes* so it should be on their heads and hearts.

  5. I switched to xyzal after years of taking allegra d. and it actually seems to work better, and i talked to multiple pharmacist, and they all said that it has the same side effects as any other allergy drug, but then again everyone reacts different to different drugs so who can you believe, but i feel good so far, just a little tired.

  6. I’ve taken Allegra what seam forever. Last week after pulling weeks I had a terrible allergy attack and still feel terrible this week. I took XYZal (like you wasn’t told when to take it) about 2 months before and it did the same thing. I felt “drugged” and loopy. Anyway, I decided to try it again last night and I woke up feeling better but terribly fatigued. I’m not sure if I should keep on using and hope the tiredness fades away or what?

  7. OMG! So that’s what happened! Yesterday,I took one of these pills before lunch and I barely made it throught the day. I just thought it was me and that I was tired from work, running errands, and taking care of the kids. I mean this really had me zapped.

  8. If anyone wants to take xyzal think twice as its not worth it.. You are better off suffering with the allergies than suffer with hallucinations this should be taken off the market as I sent in a form to the FDA about this

  9. Wow,I soooo have had the opposite experience with xyzal than most of you. I love it. My only complaint is that after a year and a half it is starting to lose its effect on me. I found this site looing for something new. You’ll find side effects listed on the side of aspirin bottles. So try not to freak out. Talk to your Dr. before trying anything and you should be fine.

  10. Hallucinations? Really? Probably having an adverse reaction to the combination of allergy medication and LSD. Anyway, the only problem I’ve had with Xyzal is getting my crooked insurance company to cover it. I pay $100 a month for the stuff. AND IT WORKS!! It’s been a miracle for me, as I’ve tried just about everything else with little or no change; Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec,…nothing was working. As for the drowsiness, it says on the box “May cause drowsiness”. Most medications do. Especially when you first start taking them. You have to give your body a chance to adjust anytime you start taking a new medication. The problem with taking it at night is that it’s effectiveness decreases halfway through your work day. Tough it out for a week. If the sleepiness persists, try taking it at night, or not at all. Everyone reacts differently to new drugs. Xyzal may not be for you.

    1. Wow Keith, I believe you do a little “Soul Searching!” Perhaps, if you do you’ll realize, “The remark you made about donna Mccormick post, was very mean and uncalled for!” The drug manufacturer even lists “Hallucinations” as a possible rare and dangerous side effect!

      Therefore, why write such a crewl comment? Saying she shouldn’t take LSD along with the medication! Think about how your words must have “cut” her? After she was already on the ground “bleeding.” From what I can only imagine “must have been a horrific experience!” ;(

      I’m honestly very happy this drug works well for you. However, did you ever stop to think about other people? People who have possible known or unknown metabolic disorders, or other issues? Sadly, “Like My Son” there are people who suffer terrible reactions to simple medications. These reactions can cause permanently injury (as it did with my son) and even death! Not so funny is it?…

      My guess would be, (Ahh no…) “You’ve never thought about or possibly realized, awful things have happened to these poor people?” I’m willing to bet (and I’m not a better!) You’ve never even wondered why, “All severe reactions need to be reported to the FDA?” Yet it’s actually for a good and very important reason! Because, the FDA’s Database for adverse “Drug Reaction’s”, collects all of the reporter’s data and what type of symptoms they experienced. From there the FDA’s database starts to compile a profile of all reports. Eventually, the hope is to identify certain people who may fall into a “high risk” category for that specific drug. Hopefully, alerting the “medical community” and warning the drug is contraindicated and dangerous to give to certain people!

      Listen, I believe You may even be a good guy. Who perhaps made a “BAD” humored (and mean) statement without thinking 1st! Therefore, at the very least I believe you owe Donna Miccormick a looog over due apology!…

  11. to the person who posted first—please, always read the written info on your prescription bag or the warnings first. I picked up this med for my daughter last night and the info said take at bedtime (for the exact reason you stated–tiredness). She hopes to get thru the workday without too much sleepiness. Pharmacist said it shouldn’t be a big problem.

  12. xyzal M caused renal impairment for me. Thanks God I found it out in time. So take care to check your kidney function when you’
    re on xyzal.

  13. Hi, My youngest son suffers from several metabolic disorders. We also know he doesn’t metabolize medications properly. Therefore, we have to be very careful with any medications and OTC’s because they can trigger neurological issues, and neuro-cognitive “altered behavior” issues. His Dr. just prescribed xyzal (at lowest dose) 1 at bedtime for chronic sinus issues and bc his Lf ear was inflamed.

    He took a pill that night, but couldn’t wake up the next morning. He felt completely “wiped out” and looked exhausted. By the end of the 1st 24 hrs he was feeling generally unwell. However, I knew his ear may be developing an infection. On the 2nd day we noticed some small increasing neurological “ticks.” We discussed if the “Ticks” got worse by the next day we’d have to DC this med.

    Unfortunately, on the 3rd day his personality changed dramatically! He felt angry & agitated without reason and became down right nasty! I stopped the Med before the 4th day’s dose at bed! (Meaning he took a total of 3 pills) The following day #5 (today) he seemed ok until late evening. I noticed some hyperactive behavior but didn’t say anything to him. A little while later he came and told me “he was feeling hyperactive and didn’t know why?”

    About an hour later I checked on him. His Personality was now very serious and appeared somewhat depressive. I talked to him about coming to me if he started having bad thoughts etc… Approximately 1-2 hrs later he came to me a stated, “He was Suicidal! He knew it was a bad reaction to the medication but it didn’t change how he felt! He told me He had written a few Goodbye letters. He was trying to figure out the best way to kill himself because he wants an open casket! JK!

    I medicated him with one of the few drugs he can safely take which is Benadryl!It’s the only drug we can use to stop his seizure’s. IDC, if Genetic Xyzal and Benadryl are both antihistamines. There’s something in the main Drug they use to make Xyzal or something in the additional part of the medication that’s very dangerous for people with metabolism issues! He tried going back on Zertec recently but it was stopped due to neurological issues and antagonizing seizure symptoms. However, not BC of Sudden Psychiatric behavior! He 17 but is sleeping in between my husband and myself tonight.

    It’s not the 1st time something like this has happened to him. With that said, it was several yrs ago and the direct result of idiot Dr.’s, putting him on antidepressants! After we finally had some proper testing done and had a “few” real illneses diagnosed. it makes sense why he has such bad reactions to many types of medications. But, seriously there has to be something in this medication, which is very different from other antihistamines! I pray it doesn’t take much longer for his body to get rid of this Poisonous Drug!!!

  14. Update, my son is doing 100% better today! Hopefully, last night was the worst of his reaction (I believe it was). It can take many days before the drug is out of his system. I believe he’s over the biggest hurtle, yet we will still watch him carefully! Since, I’m a realists “I tend to remain cautiously optimistic.”

    Btw, I apologize for not recognizing the Admin of this page! I can’t begin to express, “how helpful it was to discover your page last night!” Therefore, I sincerely Thank You for everything you do ❤! I also want to thank, “Every single person who was willing to share their personal experience with this drug❤!” I found many of your stories very helpful! Your feedback definitely helps me determine, which Medical, Genetic & *Pharmaceutical research direction, I need to go to next! 🙂

    FYI: This information may possibly help some people in the future. Or, it may possibly provide answers to past medication issues, sudden problem’s, etc. Anyway… My son’s prescription was filled with the “generic” form of Xyzal. I understand the main Drug “should” be the same whether it’s the Brand or Generic. However, I know the “enert” ingredients are different in the generic med. This factor has definitely caused issues for many of my family members! I also have a few friends experience the same problem, when their Insurance Co switches their long term used med to the Generic form! Just something to keep in mind…

  15. I’ve taken Xyzal for a long time because the OTC allergy medications did nothing for me but make me sleepy. I take this medicine year round not only for allergies but also to keep fluid out of my ears to avoid vertigo, which can be very debilitating. Sorry so many of you and your children have had negative reactions….I’ve experienced none of them. Sadly, my insurance has taken this drug off of their formulary as of 2016. The closest OTC similar to Xyzal is Zyrtec, which my son takes at bedtime. Looks like I’ll be giving that another try because I’m not paying $60 a month for Xyzal….thanks Obama!!

  16. Took at 1 am, I normally wake at 5am, but slept till 7:30am and i’ve been completely dead-tired all day today ! The strange thing is, regular zyrtec does’nt have this effect only the xyzal does. That said, it really clears up the allergy symptoms, better than the zyrtec.

  17. Had a systemic allergic reaction after my shots today and was given Xyzal. Never had it before. It cleared up the reaction but I was getting tired so decided to look up the symptoms since Zyrtec does not affect me that way.

    So, first off, I’m a medical professional who is totally o.k. with alternative remedies and always wants my patients aware of why medication are prescribed and what the potential side-effects are.

    That being said, I don’t appreciate knee jerk reactionism that overly inflates the risk to a wide variety of medications. I also do not appreciate the implication that all docs are in the pocket of drug companies and that they do not properly inform their patients, nor that drug companies are careless or lack proper regard for their consumers and are just looking for a quick buck.

    I agree that we should know what we put in our bodies. However, drug companies are required to report ANY reaction to a medication, no matter how rare. There is a difference between a medication possibly causing a reaction and probably causing a reaction. It is possible that I could be struck dead by a meteorite in the next 2 seconds …

    … but it is highly improbable.

    It is an unfortunate reality of the drug process that when it emerges from trials and is released for general use that the number of individuals taking the medication often skyrockets. What does that mean? Well, if there was a .0001% chance that a certain side-effect occurs during the trial, multiplied by the vastly increased number of people taking it, more cases of that reaction will occur. However, it still retains the original rate of risk (.0001%), it doesn’t mean that it is more dangerous because of that.

    The company reported that cases of depression were reported during general release, after it had gone through the rigorous drug testing process. It was not noted during the trial process. What does that mean? Two things; 1) the % chance of any particular individual experiencing that side-effect is VANISHINGLY RARE. It can and will happen simply because so many people are taking it. It could not have been predicted from the trials, however. 2) No one can control all the risks involved in any particular human endeavor.

    Part of the reason medications are so expensive in the U.S. is due to the highly rigorous screening process they must go through to reach market. (plz note: I’m not saying there isn’t greed and other factors involved, because the truth is that is part of the equation, too). The information doctors, pharmacists, and patients have to go on are based upon the studies released on those medications during trials and afterward with general release.

    Yes, it is our responsibility to know what goes into our bodies, but it is also our responsibility to accept the risk we take in anything we do, including taking prescription medications. Most of the medical community does its best to help patients manage risk. Do not let a few bad apples or experiences give the entire medical community a black eye. Do not also make the assumption that they should always accept all the blame when things go wrong. That is unreasonable and overgeneralizations about medications, medical treatment, and the medical community lead to blinding bias that is harmful in a vast number of ways.

    Wow, longer than I was intending. Sorry!

    1. Cory I appreciate your post.. I have to look up side effects because I suffer from panic attacks and have Emetophobia. So anything that causes severe stomach pain and nausea or vomiting, rapid heartbeat and severe anxiety are concerning.

      That said, fear tactics and generalizations, … I need to understand what something really causes for example every label has nausea but I have taken lots of of medicine and many never caused it in fact you wonder where the person was already having the issue or if everything makes them nauseous.

      I realized that it made you tired but if you didn’t suffer the side effects that on the label please distinguish that in your post. For example Xanax has saved my life. And several family members who suffer panic attacks. But on another site I saw someone say that then it should be off the market and it is like it’s the devil’s poison. If I were first researching the medicine that could freak me out when in fact the worst it’s ever done is made me tired but allowed me to live up mostly normal life

  18. xyzal wakes me up. like, wide awake, all night long. it actually energizes me. none of the other antihistamines do that, so this is unusual, but yes it can happen. good thing is that it controls my hives and allergic reactions almost entirely. bad point is, it has totally changed who i am as a person, mood-wise. i’m angry, depressed, and an emotional mess since starting this drug 4 years ago. also, extreme hair loss. will finally be getting off it soon. not the greatest drug.

  19. I, too, tried Xyzal as a replacement for my previous allergy medication. I was prepared for drowsiness. What blindsided me was weight gain and unconquerable depression. [Note: I’m middle aged and have never experienced depression before.] A month after starting Xyzal, wondering, “What is HAPPENING to me?!” it finally occurred to me: my allergy med was the only part of my daily routine that had changed. I stopped Xyzal immediately and am slowly climbing out of the hole I’m in. Food for thought.

  20. Wow, thats crazy. I’ve been seeing the Xyzal commercial and was considering trying it. I have late summer allergies, and use Benedryl liquigels, Chlor-tabs, and Sudafed(pseudoephedrine, behind the counter). Ofcourse, the traditional meds cause drowsiness, thats where the Sudafed comes in, seems to help counteract drowsiness, and helps any congestion in nose and chest. I read another review where someone had nightmares after taking Xyzal, it sucks that no matter what we try, something either doesn’t work or has horrible side effects, and the trial and error thing, oh yeah, LOVE wasting money on stuff that may not work.

  21. I am a senior citizen taking meds for other reasons(e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, depression). I tried Xyxal to replace Zyrtec, which I have taken for years for year-round allergies, but seems to have stopped working. The Xyxal made me a bit nauseous. I figured it would probably wear off when I went to bed and that it might actually help me to sleep (I’d been having trouble sleeping because of an allergy cough). WATCH OUT!!! As soon as I laid down, the room started spinning and I started to feel so sick at the stomach I thought I was going to throw up! I had to get up immediately to stop the feeling. Eventually, I figured out that if I laid with my upper body propped against pillows at an angle I could get to sleep without the dizziness. However, I ended up with a sore back because of the unusual sleep position.

  22. Ive been suffering feom allergies the past week or so, and decided to try xyzal after reading a bunch of great reviews. I read the directions, took it an hour or so before bedtime, etc. It is now 10am the following morning, i’ve been at work for 3 hours and I feel like a zombie. I am so unbelievably tired. I’ve gone into work on 4 hours of sleep several times and I’ve still never felt this exhausted, despite getting 8 hours last night.

    Needless to say, I will not be using it anymore. I’m glad I got the small pack, using a coupon, for about $5, so it’s not much money lost.

  23. My Claritin was starting to become ineffective for nasal congestion so decided to try Xyzal. Took 5mg tablet at 9am & it worked great. Had a delayed drowsiness effect sometime after 5pm so severe that I went right to bed. Didn’t take it again but was drowsy for the 1 & 1/2 days. If I took it at bedtime the drowsiness would kick in just before it’s time to get up. As I have sleep apnea, this is a dangerous drug for me.

  24. You may have just saved a life. I had no idea where or why the suicidal ideation was coming from as I do have anxiety/panic but have never experienced this before but it lines up perfectly. My doctor doesn’t seem to know of this either. Into the garbage with these.

  25. Idk how old this post is or if anyone would ever read this, but I’d like to note, that once I almost killed myself whilst on xyzal. I suffer from severe depression, and was going through an “episode.” I knew xyzal caused drowsiness, so I thought a good escape would be to sleep. So i took it, to put myself to bed, but it just drove my depression further, and next thing I knew I was waking up off the floor from an attempted suicide. Crazy. Its not actually the drug’s fault I guess – i did technically abuse the drug, lol. I dont know. Still crazy though, seeing how this is just an allergy med.

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