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


  1. Gianna said,

    October 1, 2008 at 12:17 am

    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. aurora said,

    October 1, 2008 at 8:13 am

    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. tina said,

    November 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    what about depression?

  4. sarah said,

    November 30, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  5. mgd said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    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.

  6. littlelotte said,

    February 14, 2009 at 2:40 am

    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.

  7. jp said,

    February 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    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.

  8. BamaVal said,

    March 20, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I’ve been taking Xyzal and it works great for me. Claritin and Zyrtec have no effect on me.

  9. Sandritocat said,

    March 25, 2009 at 10:51 am

    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?

  10. Cherry said,

    April 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    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.

  11. donna Mccormick said,

    May 13, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    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

  12. alicia said,

    June 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    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.

  13. Keith said,

    November 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    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.

  14. Laura said,

    May 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

    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.

  15. shango said,

    August 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    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.

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