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Allergies - Food Community
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Avatar universal

Can Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) suppress growth in children?

Hi,

I have a child with food allergies.  He takes about 2 tsp of Zyrtec every day, per his allegist's direction.  He is now almost 4 yrs old and been taking it since he was 9 months old.  I noticed for the past year or more that his growth has not been the same as when he was an infant/toddler.  A friend had told me that she saw online somewhere that Zyrtec can suppress growth in children.  Maybe when used for a long time?

Does anyone know about this?  Is this true? Or is this a possibility that Zyrtec taken for allergy could suppress growth in children?
9 Responses
168348 tn?1379360675
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi

Here's a link from our drug database (located in the health topics above) which gives indications of usage, side effects, etc. of Zyrtec.  

http://www.medhelp.org/drugs/Zyrtec/show/2892

Might your friend be thinking of steriods which, when used long term, can cause issues with growth in children?  Just a thought.

C~
Avatar universal
Could be. She saw something online a while ago when she was looking up information on allergy medications.  I think I'm going to lower the dose for him.

I did see online that steroid and stimulant drugs can suppress growth in children, but could not find anything related about Zyrtec.

Thanks for your response!
168348 tn?1379360675
COMMUNITY LEADER
One other thought to talk to your allergist/pediatrician about .. also, is that when there are many food allergies at play, your Dr. should be carefully charting weight and height percentiles, to be certain he is on track and getting the proper mix of nutrients on  a daily basis from other foods, etc., which he isn't allergic to.

Sometimes a nutritionist is able to help if this occurs ....

My daughter was below the charts for 2 years ..... back then, nobody realized or took food allergies seriously.  Today, it is so much different.  Definitely mention your concern to your doc.

C~
Avatar universal
I don't know about problems with Zyrtec; however, you mention that your child has food allergies. Celiac is an autoimmune disease caused by the body's reaction to gluten in food. Celiac can cause short stature in a child when it is undiagnosed and gluten continues to be consumed. It can cause many other health issues if let go. You might want to have your child checked for this.

My son was avg size at birth and then just kept going down on the charts. Doctors just kept saying he wasn't going to be very big because my husband & I aren't. At 15, an pediatric endocrinologist finally diagnosed him as Celiac. Then found that he was growth hormone deficient. He was 4'9", 63 lbs. Now at 18, after being GF for 3 yrs and on growth hormone, he is 5'5"; 105 lbs and still growing. It would have been much easier if he had been diagnosed earlier.

Feel free to email me at ***@**** if you would like more info.

Judy
Avatar universal
I give my son Pediasure , per my my mom's recommendation who is a nutritionist, so I guess he should be getting proper nutrition.  I will still consult with his doctor.

I had a question for you though.  You had mentioned that your daughter was below the chart for 2 years, so after 2 years you saw an improvement?  Did you do anything after those 2 years or during the 2 years for her to get back on track?
Avatar universal
My child has food allergy to wheat, eggs, and nuts.  So, we don't give him any products that has these. We actually never got him tested for gluten. That's something to think about.  

168348 tn?1379360675
COMMUNITY LEADER
She saw improvement as she outgrew the allergies and her asthma got well under control.  Once her immune system seemed to level off and wasn't constantly challenged, she began to gain weight and today is very tall, slender and athletic at the age of 16!  When she was a toddler she tested skin + to 12 of the 16 foods with reactions and severe nasal congestion so bad it came out her eyes cause it had nowhere to go and then into asthma .. they misdiagnosed it as clogged tear ducts at 9 mos old and then I, the mom, realized it was food!!!!  She was reacting to baby food terribly!!!!!  Then they listened.

Avatar universal
Thank you both so much for your inputs! I've made an appointment with his pediatrician for this week.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to add that, like just4me1, my children were average at birth and gradually sank to the bottom 10th percentile in height and weight as they aged. I ragged the pediatrician for years to figure out what was wrong but nothing showed up. An endocrinologist finally discovered the gluten allergy. We're now a gluten-free household. Both children took growth hormone and are now average height, but insurance wouldn't pay for it for my daughter and it cost a fortune.

There is gluten in a lot of things that aren't obviously wheat--the coating on coated French fries, soy sauce, and if you're really getting careful, malt flavoring--so it might be worth getting the tests for gluten antibodies. It's one of the test for food allergies that doctors seem to take seriously and agree on. And it might be worth eliminating other foods from your child's diet to see if there are other allergies lurking--dairy or soy, for example.

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