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 without side effects.

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. These lower dosage tablets allowed me to gradually reduce my intake of the medication, which avoided the withdrawal effects of itching.

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 and then took 5mg the next.

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.

(note: 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)

I can still take a tablet as needed without problems. The medication is still very effective for an allergy flare-up. I also found that a 5mg cetirizine hydrochloride dose is just as effective for me as 10mg.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: 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. Talk with your doctor before making a change in any medication, especially if your doctor asked you to take the medicine in the first place.