If you take Zyrtec (generic name – cetirizine hydrochloride) daily and have tried to stop, your skin may start to itch. Sometimes, this itching can be very intense, distracting, and can even disrupt your sleep.

After several failed attempts to stop taking Zyrtec due to itching, I found a solution that allowed me to wean off the medication with zero side effects. If I had known about this approach a long time ago, I could have saved myself a lot of misery.

The Solution

I turned to my old friend Amazon and found these 5mg cetirizine hydrochloride tablets. They are half the regular dose of 10mg Zyrtec sold in stores.

These lower dosage tablets were a breakthrough for me in finally ending daily dependence on this medication. They allowed me to slowly reduce my intake of Zyrtec, which avoided the itching withdrawal effect completely.

The Weaning Schedule

I began to wean myself down off Zyrtec by substituting the 5mg tablets for my Zyrtec tablets on a schedule like the below:

Weeks 1-2: I took a regular 10mg tablet one day, then took 5mg the next, back to 10mg the following day, 5mg the next day, and so on.

Weeks 3-4: I took 5mg everyday.

Weeks 5-6: I took 5mg one day and took no Zyrtec/cetirizine hydrochloride the next. I continued to alternate for the entire 2 weeks.

Weeks 7-8: I took 5mg one day and took no Zyrtec/cetirizine hydrochloride for the next TWO days. I continued the pattern for the whole 2 weeks.

Weeks 9 and beyond: I stopped taking Zyrtec entirely.

Update: it has since been suggested to me that Zyrtec tablets could simply be cut in half rather than buying the 5mg tablets, but, I haven’t tried this myself. For me, personally, I would prefer the ease of not having to cut the pills, but, to each their own.

I can still take a 5 mg tablet as needed without problems. I have found in this process that the 5mg tablet is just as effective for me as the 10mg. I also can go back to taking a 5m tablet every other day during the heart of allergy season and stop again without issues.

Want to give it a shot? You can find 5mg cetirizine hydrochloride tablets on Amazon by clicking here.


I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. I am sharing my personal experience because I would have loved for someone to share this with me years ago. Talk with your doctor before making a change in medication, etc. and all the other usual disclaimers.

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