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.

    • Loralie Buckley said,

      October 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      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!…

  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.

  16. Loralie Buckley said,

    October 4, 2015 at 2:29 am

    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!!!

  17. Loralie Buckley said,

    October 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    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…

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