How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Kaushik Your Own Question

Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4000
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Kaushik is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How long can it take for mental side-effects of Zyrtec to go

Resolved Question:

How long can it take for mental side-effects of Zyrtec to go away after quitting? I see a lot of testimonials of people who have had the same effects that my 14 yr old is having, but they don't give a length of "withdrawal" time. He has been on Zyrtec for 5 years, and when it seemed to stop working last summer, he began to have anxiety/paranoia/depression symptoms. We took him off Zyrtec 2 weeks ago when we he told us of his symptoms. He has just seen a family doctor, and will see a psychologist very soon. But how do we know if it might be from Zyrtec- I don't want to jump into medication if it may not be needed. ~Thanks, XXXXXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Kaushik replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Kaushik :

Hi there,

Dr. Kaushik :

Welcome to Just answer !

Dr. Kaushik :

are you sure it Zyrtec that your son has been taking ?

Dr. Kaushik :

because zyrtec has cetrizine as a chemical component ..

Dr. Kaushik :

can you please confirm the chemical ingredient / generic of zyrtec

Dr. Kaushik :

are you there..

Dr. Kaushik :

can you please reply to my query so that we can discuss further ..

Customer:

Yes, cetirizine hydrochloride. The reason I suspect it, is that his dad got depressed from Zantac, and his brother got paranoid and anxious from Claritin.

Dr. Kaushik :

I am sorry to say this but

Dr. Kaushik :

i think you are misjudging the culprit here

Dr. Kaushik :

it is not the drug

Dr. Kaushik :

it is his underlying condition which has strong genetic predisposition

Dr. Kaushik :

since his father and brother both have had history of psychiatry illness

Dr. Kaushik :

so most possibly it is the onset of an underlying condition as cetrizine is hardly associated with such kind of onset of psychiatry illness..

Dr. Kaushik :

or any psychiatry illness for that matter

Dr. Kaushik :

so i will suggest that this is not withdrawal side effects of cetrizine

Customer:

Theirs went away within 2 days of quitting their respective drugs. No hint of any trouble ever again. They were only on them for about a week though. Can being on it longer, cause the side effects to take longer to go away? There is a lot of patient documentation of Zyrtec causing these side effects, so I must politely disagree. Especially since his sibling/dad reacted to strictly and only their meds.

Dr. Kaushik :

it is a mere co-incidence that the withdrawal of this drug occurred with the onset of these symptoms

Dr. Kaushik :

and i respect your disagreement

Dr. Kaushik :

but i will suggest that you have an open mind here

Dr. Kaushik :

the way i am willing to have

Dr. Kaushik :

and i will have to ask you here that why was your son pt on cetrizine for 5 long years ..

Dr. Kaushik :

why was it taken for so long

Dr. Kaushik :

it is never recommended like this

Dr. Kaushik :

you may ask any doctor of good reputation

Dr. Kaushik :

abiut this

Dr. Kaushik :

]about this

Customer:

The symptoms started when the drug seemed to stop preventing his skin rash (allergic to mold, nickel, fragrance), and continued for 9 months till now. He's been off Zyrtec 2 weeks, and the depression part has eased, but insomnia and anxiety continue.

Dr. Kaushik :

ok..

Dr. Kaushik :

then it is not depression and paranoia

Dr. Kaushik :

per say

Dr. Kaushik :

i must tell you here that paranoia is a psychiatry term

Dr. Kaushik :

which is stricly reserved for use

Dr. Kaushik :

when the person starts behaving in a bizarre fashion with delusions and hallucinations taking place

Dr. Kaushik :

is this the case with him

Dr. Kaushik :

or is he just anxious and restless and insomnia

Dr. Kaushik :

after the withdrawal

Dr. Kaushik :

because these many symptoms areb expected

Customer:

That's why I want him checked for bipolar. He has had racing thoughts, some which include the feeling that he is being watched. Just have read people having the same symptoms from Zyrtec. I'm fully aware that it may be bipolar, it's just that many have had identical effects from Zyrtec. He didn't show any outward changes, so we were surprised to hear that he was having these thoughts.

Dr. Kaushik :

ok..

Dr. Kaushik :

that sounds like paranoia

Dr. Kaushik :

and delusion of persecution

Dr. Kaushik :

that is the feeling of being watched

Dr. Kaushik :

and i would still jnot jump to a hasty conclusion of putting him in the bracket of bipolar

Dr. Kaushik :

as his symptoms do not suggest it ..

Dr. Kaushik :

May be this could be a brief psychotic disorder ..

Dr. Kaushik :

but i am not yet sure about the cause

Dr. Kaushik :

and anyways it is although good to know that he was withdrawn from cetrizine

Dr. Kaushik :

but by now the drug would have come out of his system in 2 weeks

Customer:

He feels that his moods vary between highs and lows, and when he read about bipolar he told us what he was experiencing. It's all very confusing, especially when his brother reacted the same to Claritin, though shorter.

Dr. Kaushik :

which is a long enough duration and so thinking sensibly his symptoms would have stopped by now

Customer:

OK, that's what I wanted to know... how long it could possibly still affect him....

Dr. Kaushik :

i believe there is only a remote possibility that the drug is still there in his system ..

Dr. Kaushik :

so by now it hsould have been wahsed out completely..

Dr. Kaushik :

but the withdrawal side effects if they were that ( i still would like to reserve my belief on it ) would last a bit longer say 2-4 weeks

Dr. Kaushik :

the range is due to different people reacting differently

Customer:

I was taking Zyrtec for seasonal allergies, and quit the same time as him. I still get bouts of itching, under my skin, which tells me that my body is still adjusting to the suddenly uncontrolled histamine production. Since that hasn't completely leveled off yet, I though maybe his system could still be adjusting too..

Dr. Kaushik :

so i will suggest that you continue with his evaluation preferrably a child psychiatrist or child psychlogist

Dr. Kaushik :

i can understand and value your opinion

Customer:

In the off chance that it IS from the Zyrtec, should I wait another 2 weeks before trying him on any suggested medications?

Dr. Kaushik :

but you see only because he is your son does not gaurantee his body to react the way your body reacts

Dr. Kaushik :

may be he is more genetically inclined towards his father

Dr. Kaushik :

and so responds to drugs the way he did

Dr. Kaushik :

No ...

Dr. Kaushik :

you should not ait any further

Dr. Kaushik :

the more you wait for proper evaluation the more muddled diagnosis it may become

Dr. Kaushik :

and it is always better to get hold of symptoms much in the early stage so as to have a good prognosis

Customer:

OK, we see the therapist on Tuesday regardless. Just wanted to get an additional opinion on the Zyrtec angle.

Dr. Kaushik :

well..

Dr. Kaushik :

like me ..

Dr. Kaushik :

you shall also have an open mind

Dr. Kaushik :

and do not try to colour the perception of the therapist by your theory which ma be right after all

Dr. Kaushik :

but colouring the perception of the evaluator would only give a biased sense of picture from the evaluator

Dr. Kaushik :

Let the therapist be told about the withdrawal but do not tell him that you think that it all happenned due to withdrawal

Dr. Kaushik :

this will colour his evaluation and he ay start thinking on that pattern which will rule out other commonly seen possibility of a geneitc angle or idiopathic onset of illness

Dr. Kaushik :

However siince you mention that his father and brother also had similar pattern of illness but shorter in duration ( possibly due to shorter duration of taking the drug )

Dr. Kaushik :

so it is quite likely that his symptoms fade away on their own

Customer:

I just didn't want to put him on something too soon. I'll trust what they say. And to clarify again, it didn't START with withdrawal, it just hasn't GONE AWAY with withdrawal.

Dr. Kaushik :

so when did it start

Dr. Kaushik :

while he was on the drug

Dr. Kaushik :

?

Customer:

9 months ago.

Dr. Kaushik :

ok..

Dr. Kaushik :

that makes more sense ..

Dr. Kaushik :

so you mean to say that his paranoia is 9 months old..

Dr. Kaushik :

and is persistently present all this while , each day..

Dr. Kaushik :

?

Customer:

Yes. He has good days in between, but poor sleep. We saw no signs of it. He still joked with us, seemed fine. Recently informed us of it, so we cut out the Zyrtec in case.

Dr. Kaushik :

Hmm..

Dr. Kaushik :

I feel this is not you think

Dr. Kaushik :

this is not drug induced

Dr. Kaushik :

i can nderstand and accept that you may not agree to this

Dr. Kaushik :

but being in this branch for so many years i will trust my training

Dr. Kaushik :

this is a condition which has been there with episodes or islets of normalcy in between

Dr. Kaushik :

but you got to know sometime back because it had grown over a period of 9 months or so and now it has started showing what is called as functional impairment

Customer:

OK, was thinking it should have started to resolve by now if Zyrtec, wanted a withdrawal duration.

Dr. Kaushik :

that is effecting his thougjhts and actions

Dr. Kaushik :

i am sure if you shall wait for another 1-2 months the condition may not resolve

Dr. Kaushik :

if it is what i believe it is

Dr. Kaushik :

that is onset of bipolar which has a specific age of onset at 14- 15 years in teenage

Dr. Kaushik :

so without wasting any time get him evaluated by a chuld psychiatrist

Dr. Kaushik :

and let him apply DSM criteria for the diagnosis so that you can have proper proof of what he has

Dr. Kaushik :

please do not restrict your thought to one track only .

Dr. Kaushik :

repeatedly i am urging you to have an open mind to accept the diagnosis

Customer:

He was more tired... skin allergies were worse. Personality didn't change outwardly. Bipolar is his hunch, so you're probably right. We'll see the therapist soon. He has talked to a bipolar family friend a lot, and is very open to talking to a therapist. I'll toss the Zyrtec theory. : )

Dr. Kaushik :

and then follow it with the right drug regime , if the need arises

Dr. Kaushik :

no..

Dr. Kaushik :

please i am not asking you to get influenced by me ..

Dr. Kaushik :

i am just asking you to have an open mind and let yoursef be a bit more flexible

Dr. Kaushik :

as the faster he gets diagnosed and started on proper treatment

Dr. Kaushik :

the better it will be for his future

Dr. Kaushik :

and his prognosis will be better

Dr. Kaushik :

is this understood ..

Dr. Kaushik :

i hope you see reason in this ..

Customer:

I'm flexible. I want him to get some relief. The the rare side effects of Zyrtec DO include mental changes, so I wondered.

Dr. Kaushik :

do not go for rare things first

Dr. Kaushik :

that is the tendency of all of us

Dr. Kaushik :

first look at common things first

Customer:

NO, just due to the family history of drug reaction that I thought that.

Dr. Kaushik :

hold on to your theory but atleast let him be evaluated , diagnosed and treated first.

Dr. Kaushik :

uou know he has a strong family history of mental illness

Customer:

Okay. Thanks for your input! I appreciate it.

Dr. Kaushik :

his bfather and brother bothb had it

Dr. Kaushik :

so it can be more contributing for his diagnosis.

Customer:

Uh... no mental illness that I know of. They had it only for a week while on the drug, completely disappeared within 2 days of withdrawal.

Dr. Kaushik :

yes

Dr. Kaushik :

..

Dr. Kaushik :

but they have a short duration of abnormal behaviour

Dr. Kaushik :

so that holds very high significance

Customer:

Oh, I see.

Dr. Kaushik :

you will get to know more ABOUT genetic factors once you get him

Dr. Kaushik :

evaluated by a specialist

Dr. Kaushik :

and do make a point to mention the family hisory

Dr. Kaushik :

history

Dr. Kaushik :

that is utmost important

Dr. Kaushik :

you see in the previous cases the drug could have been the preciptating factors

Dr. Kaushik :

of a short duration self limiting mental / behavioural problem

Customer:

OK

Dr. Kaushik :

so our main objective shouod be

Dr. Kaushik :

to first find a conclusive diagnosis and treat it to the best ability .

Dr. Kaushik :

The cause or preciptiating factor is important in psychiatry medicine but not the most important part of it

Dr. Kaushik :

so firts get him evaluated , diagnosed

Dr. Kaushik :

which may be in the form of 2-3 differential diagnoses ..

Dr. Kaushik :

but atleast it wil be clear so as to know what can be done to solve his symptoms

Dr. Kaushik :

I hope this helps you to get some insight ..

Dr. Kaushik :

Hold on to your theory which you can discuss with his spcialist therapist once he has started making some concrete steps towards diagnosing him

Dr. Kaushik :

this will bring out the best possible differntial diagnoses and which will help in providing the best possible solution to his probloem

Dr. Kaushik :

Wish you all the best..

Dr. Kaushik :

Please press the ACCEPT button if you are satisfied with the answer as only then will i be credited for my service.

Dr. Kaushik :

Warm regards..

Customer:

Thank You! Feels good to discuss it... while waiting to discuss it again.

Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4000
Experience: MD Psychiatry
Dr. Kaushik and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education