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Avatar universal

Zyrtec vs Xyzal

I have had hives since July this year. I had them about 7 years ago, they lasted about a year. I'm taking Zyrtec (once a day), Zantac (2 / day), Doxepin (150 mg @ bedtime), and Benadryl as needed. I had been on prednisone on and off since July but my doctor has taken me off of it (for obvious reasons). Unfortunately nothing I've taken other than prednisone has worked. My hives are particularly associated with pressure (underwear) - Since September i have worn a tank top under my clothes due to hives associated with wearing a bra. Since there are times that my clothing requires wearing a bra (like yesterday) and sure enough, hives were back by last night. Very, very itchy.... i drank a ton of Benadryl (the liquid version since that works more quickly than pills). I am ready to ask my doctor about other options - Xyzal, Atarax (I do have a quickly dimishing number of these pills from when I had to go to the emergency room), and perhaps dapsone. Does anyone have experience with these drugs? Right  now, i'm sitting here feeling so itchy (better than last night, but not good) and discouraged. I would appreciate others experience. Thanks!
53 Responses
363243 tn?1331037450
First of all I have to say I feel your pain and frustration.  I'm 35 and I've been dealing with hives since I was 18.  At 18 I had hives for four months,  the cause was never found, and they went away.  I had another episode five years ago which lasted about five months (head to the bottom of my feet).  They never found the cause then either.  And now I'm going through it again.  This time it started in May.  I sought the help of an allergist who put me on Zantac 150mg BID, Allegra 180mg BID, Zyrtec 10mg QD and a course of prednisone.

Prednisone is the only drug that works but the Allergist doesn't want me to take this everyday (for obvious reasons).  I saw him last week to talk to him about other alternative drugs because nothing is working.  He put me on Xyzal.  I was told that it's new here but they've been using it in Europe for some time.  I've been taking it for four days now.  It hasn't stopped the hives completely but I'm giving it some time and praying every time I put one in my mouth.

I should mention that those people who have been suffering with hives for months test positive for antibodies against their mast cells (mast cells release histamine).  This is a new test and it suggests an autoimmune process rather than an allergic one, but the treatment stays the same.  The doctors treat the symptoms but not the cause.  They're not that savvy yet.  Also some test positive for antibodies against their thyroid.  If the TSH is elevated also this could be Hashimoto's thyroiditis, another autoimmune disorder, which has hives as a symptom.
Avatar universal
Diane, have you ever had yourself tested for food allergies???  I did a couple of months ago and found several, since I have made a very concerted effort to elimate these food items (eggs, milk, yeast, etc) from my diet my hives have almost completely disappeared.  I tried for my son's wedding to eat just a small piece of cake and lo and behold HIVES.  I looked like I had been attacked by bees.  If I stay within my diet restrictions I am a much happier, less itchy person.  It might be worth a try.
Avatar universal
Has the Xyzal worked?
Avatar universal
I have hives on and off my whole life.  I just turned 40.  The Prednisone does work for me, but I don't want to take it anymore (for obvious reaons)  The doctor does know that mine is caused by certain lotions, detergents, and crams I put on my skin.  He figured that out a long time ago, when I was 20...The chemistry of lotions and other things such as soaps change on a regular basis.  Also, they have discovered I am allergic to latex....when I wore latex gloves in a setting I worked in...hives all over my hands.  I am now giving the XYZal a chance.  I hope it works...makes me a little sleepy, but it is worth it not to be itching.  I really am fortunate in having a great doctor.  He has tried several meds with my case, but I am trying to not have a lot of meds in my system.  I hope this will work.  
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm Andre (38) from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Here Xyzal is prescribed by doctors since 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xyzal), (http://www.xyzal.com/).
I'm using it since two years now because of allergy of particles in the air (like dust) upon inhaling. It works very well (I feel about 90% better) and I have no side effects.  
It says it is effective against hives as well.
Also I saw these advertisements: www.hivotin.com  and  www.hivotab.com
I really hope your problems will improve.
Good luck.
Avatar universal
I live with hives every day. And have done so for a long time.I have severe allergies and vocal cord wheezing. I have been getting allergy injections for 38yrs. I have tried almost every OTC and Rx allergy med.The CAUSE is the key. My hives are generally caused from my allergies. But the vocal cord wheezing is from BOTH allergies and GERD.
I have been taking the Xyzal for about a week. I do not see a difference. I still need to take Benadryl through out the day. I also tried the Zyrtec - seemed to last about 12hrs as well. One did not seem any better than the other. Its like the Claritin going to Clarinex.
If it is a PRESSURE issue, antihistamines may not help at all. You need to lessen the pressure. Is it an ELASTIC issue? I also have MANY environment issues - including Latex. If it is an reaction to elastic, it could explain why the Prednisone worked. If I have a severe enough reaction (but not enough to make me go to the hospital), steroids is the only thing that will help.
As for antihistamines: 6hr meds last about 3hrs, 24hrs meds might last 8-12hrs and 12hr meds about 6-8hrs. The allergy injections have helped greatly. I am no longer sick 3 months of the year.
Good Luck - I am still looking for answers myself. I am now happy if I don't have anaphylactic reactions with my shots, foods or environment.
Avatar universal
Hi, I came across this forum. Today, I was given a prescription of Xyzal.  I am researching on it now, coz the first time I took it, I had to stop it after only 2 days due to headache. But since November 2007, the first time I had wheals, till now, my urticaria has not left me.  I'd have wheals almost daily, especially when am exposed to cold and after playing volleyball. The Virlix I was taking at daytime wasn't working.  At night, I'd take Iterax and Ketotifen (Zaditen), and when I wake up, the wheals are gone.  They are highly sedating.  But since my wheals still appear daily, I'm currently going through a lot of tests to find out exactly what's causing my urticaria. # 1 suspect is still the Tetralysal I took for 5 months.  Auto-immune disorders are also being ruled out.  In the meantime, I need help to relieve and minimize the urticaria episodes which is why my new doctor told me to shift to Xyzal, which incidentally was the very first med prescribed to me except that i had to discontinue it due to headaches. Now, with the positive articles I saw on the web, saying it would relieve wheals, I'm giving it another try.  I hope I respond to it well.  God bless to all of us allergy sufferers... Thanks!  hope to get more feedback on Xyzal.  Sorry this is quite long... : )
Avatar universal
I have been on claritin, clarinex, zyrtec and xyzal.  I am continuing with zyrtec now becaue of the cost of xyzal ($200/3mo) due to my healthcare selectively removing antihistamines from the formulary.  Xyzal was definitely better for me than any of the others, and I have something more than the standard statement to go with that.

Last week I had an allergy test done.  RAST/Interdermal type.  Right arm had something around 30 shots of different types of allergens and I was not taking any antihistamines as to not interfere with the test.  As soon as the test was over, I was given a xyzal tablet and prescription.  

Tablet swallowed then left. Within the hour all the reaction spots from the test were gone, only small bloodmarks remained and absolutely no itching.  24 hours later I had found out about the price and that this medicine was based on zyrtec which I had taken before and found decent.  I take my meds before bed, so I waited till evening but my shot marks from the previous day started to come back, itchy and swolen.  So rather than pay 200 bucks I took the zyrtec.  The shot  inflamation spots went down to about 10-20% of original, and in fact are still down a few days later but NOT gone like what the xyzal did.  They are visible and itch.

To me this is a pretty clear example that in the case of my body physiology, xyzal is a better medicine.  If it wasnt so darn expensive I would take it.  Then again, I am spending that same money on allergy drops so hopefully I won't need anything eventually.  
Avatar universal
Ive had hives (plus swollen lips and at times, eyelids and eye area)since April  07; had allergy tests on arms  , had blood tests and poo analysed.
No result. Should I do food tests myself?..Home pharmacy kit? Should I get thyroid tested? What do you  reckon on hivotin? If its good then we'd all be cured?
Im on 1 antihistamine tablet a day (tried Xyall Claratin and benadryl:all make me drowsy)
I dont have emergency andrenaline;should I?
Thanks hive sufferers  It's a real pain...
Avatar universal
Hi, I have been dealing with hives on and off mostly on for the last five years...was living in San Francisco, and have recently moved to the Central Valley , CA, in January of 08, and they have increasenly gotten worse....whats the cause, who knows, have been to the emergency room three times with my throat about to close up...have epi pen....causes? Heat, alcohol, stress,tomatoes, sun exposure( forget the tan) cats, dogs, fleas, parents? who knows, but it seems to be happening in full effect at least on big flare up once a month, especially rt before my period....always itching, eyes swell up, lips, it looks like someone beat me up...hands swell up like clubs and my feet too, I know what it does to your self esteem....it *****!!!!!  am getting blood work tomorrow, but was given the prescription for Xyzal, and it sounds good, the europeans usually know best, so I am going to pay the price and fill the prescription...so we will see.........
535822 tn?1443980380
Me too , I have had Hives or Chronic Urticaria since Mid May after Dental Work, I live in Southern CA , the doctors I have seen gave me HYdroxyzene which made me feel sick and I had pains similar to a Gall Bladder attack and I read Hydroxyzine can cause viral infections, , I have also been given topical cream, but it is steroid so I use sparingly.ant histimes ease the itch but they make me feel so tired even the "non Drowsy ones, I am researching my self and looking for Natural Remedies now. I may give Zyrtec a chance,as it seems to recomended here.I also have Dermographism,that is I break out in lines and marks all over if I run a pen down my arm the mark comes up with the buning immediatly. Any ideas and suggestions out there.
Avatar universal
I went to the doctor and he put me on loratadine, and ranitidine, and gave me a prescription for  Xyzal, they also did blood work to check thyroid, liver, ect and food, pet alllergies.....havn't got results back yet..but when my whole hand and fingers swelled up like a club recently, now that its over, now my skin is peeling...does it ever end?
Avatar universal
I have found something that WORKS. I started on PATANASE Nasal spray in June. It has made a significant difference in my life. I no longer have short of breath, vocal cord wheezing or HIVES. The Patanase was for Allergic Rhinitis. But it has resolved my hive issues as well. I am down to using 1 Benadryl in a day instead of 6-8 tabs. Also, I am down to 1 Claritin a day.
Another good allergy med is Zadator opth for itchy eyes. It works much better than Visine-A and is over-the-counter.
Avatar universal
Hello fellow hives sufferers! My story with hives goes back to 2000. I had them non-stop for about a year and a half. I saw all the dr's, allergy specialists, etc. They were not much help and I found their ***** allergy tests not very accurate either. So I started checking myself for allergies by watching my reactions to each food. Did the food make me tired, heart beat faster, feel strange? If so I cut it out. I also started acupuncture treatments to remove allergies (NAET - google it) which I think had the biggest impact in eliminating my hives. I have been hive-free for years at a time, and only get an outbreak maybe once or twice a year, usually when very stressed by something. When I get them I see the acupuncturist and after 2-3 tx the hives are gone again. Large doses of Vit C (buffered form) will give short-term relief (2-3 grams per dose). Cool showers also give short-term relief. Reducing stress and other burdens on your body (drugs, bad food, substances you are allergic to, etc.) reduce chances for hives. Try to find the root problem causing your hives - it is possible just a lot of work. Best of luck to us all!
Avatar universal
for 6 months I have been trying to figure out this full body itch, rash, hives, burning,wheals thing I've had.  Dermatologis told me it is dermatographism or Urticaria.  Which basically means I can write on my skin by applying pressure.  Everythin that I lean on gives me a swollen rash that itches.  Even holding my baby gives me the rash on my arms.  I tried everything (benadryl, prednisone, claritin, alegra, calamine lotion, hydrocorizone cream, and benadryl cream)  with little to no relief.  It woke me at night, it itched so bad at times.  He prescribed xyzal.  Even after the first dose the itch was gone.  I still got hives from everything but not as much swelling and it didn't itch.  I missed my follow up appt. so I bought zyrtec at the store and it only works about 50% as good.  I still itch an swell just not enough to make me wake at night to itch.  They may be practiclly the same drugh, but there is definetally a difference.  Good luck to all of us!!!!
Avatar universal
Do a search here on allergies associated with bras.
Avatar universal
I was prescribed xyzal in Aug, but I've been taking it on and off with allegra.  I think xyzal and allegra have about the same effect on my hives.  I've had chronic hives on and off since 1991.  I've had allergy tests done but the tests were inconclusive since I was allergic to almost everything they gave me.  I'm afraid to go back for the blood tests because they'll probably just tell me that it was inconclusive too.
499534 tn?1328707778
Hi everyone....I went to my drugstore to get my new script of Xyzal filled. It was $89.00. I asked the pharmacist what the diff was between this and zyrtec....she said that the 2 mirror each other....identical. Biggest difference was the outrageous price. I opted for the zyrtec and had her put the script back in stock.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,
I'm new to hives.  I've had a limited case on my hands (fingers) since end of June after putting on a latex glove accidentally (it's now the end of Nov.).  In mid-Oct. the thing spread to my arms.  I tried Xyzal (allergist's recommendation) and it spread further.  They had me try Allegra, it made it worse.  The only thing that seems to  calm the hives down is Benadryl and prednisone.  I also use a steroid cream (for 10days).  I'm into about 5 weeks of this.  Exercise (I do ballroom) makes the cycle starts all over again, so I'm really afraid my greatest pleasure in life is about to end.  

I just gave 4 vials of blood today to get thyroid, liver, etc. checked.  BTW, to the gal in San Francisco who moved to the Central Valley, it's the fertilizers, etc. in the air that's making you crazy.  I moved to an ag town from the SF Bay Area and got adult onset asthma within a year.  All the allergist said to me was, "Welcome to ___ (name of the town).  Agh.  We turn over 3 crops a year and I do notice my asthma is bad when they are tilling the soil or spraying the crops.

Has anyone else had a bad reaction to Xyzal?  My doctor is really pushing it, so I'm suspecting kickbacks from the manufacturer.
681148 tn?1437665191
I never heard of Xyzal, but I can comment on the medications that people are taking for the GERD.  The comments about food allergies are right on the money.  One thing that no one ever mentions about these acid reducers and proton pump inhibitors is that they actually make the problem with GERD worse.  A friend of mine with similar problems to mine was using the same proton inhibitor at the same dosage that I was on for two years.  She told me that it ended up destroying the linings of her stomach and small intestine.  She has to get vitamin B shots weekly for the rest of her life now.  As soon as she told me that, I stopped taking the stuff altogether.  Besides, it was starting to make me feel nauseous all the time.  

After that another friend of mine told me about the connection to food allergies.  Ah ha!  When I started the basic food elimination diet, I didn't even know that's what I was doing.  I was just removing things that I knew I was having a reaction to.  Some time later, my chiropractor told me about a naturopath who works with low-income people on a sliding fee schedule.  Most insurance carriers won't cover naturopathic doctor visits.  I'm fortunate that mine will even cover chiropractic.  It was when I first started seeing the naturopath that I even heard about the elimination diet.  She told me that I had already instinctively eliminated everything on the basic elimination diet.  So, I had already figured out that I was sensitive or allergic to all the big items on the basic elimination diet.

The friend who mentioned food allergies being connected to GERD said she had accidentally discovered the connection when she took Benadryl because her sinus allergies were bothering her.  Her GERD was bothering her, too.  A few minutes after she took the Benadryl, the burning stopped bothering her so much, and she was able to get some sleep that night.  After that, she did more investigating and found out that she had a ton of food allergies.

So, when she told me this, I discovered that all of this was the same for me.  Now that I'm avoiding the foods that are the biggest problem for me, I don't have nearly as much of the burning from the GERD.  The bonus is that by avoiding the food allergies, I lost a huge amount of weight and my total cholesterol went down.  I'm no longer pre-diabetic and my fasting blood sugar is where it's supposed to be.

I still have problems with other allergies, which is why I joined this forum, and other health concerns, but this big problem has finally been whittled down to size and is much more manageable.  

Another bonus that may be of interest to other women is that after I cut out dairy and gluten, as I've discovered lactose and gluten intolerances, I don't have as many problems with my periods as I used to and I no longer get the giant blood clots.  

My diet is pretty limited, but it's better than suffering so many side effects from food allergies.  I eat only high quality natural foods now, too.  The list of allergies is pretty extensive.  I no longer drink coffee or real tea or any kind of soda.  Drinking large amounts of soda is a big part of many peoples' lives, but it really only damages peoples' health in so many ways.  High quality filtered water is much better for people.

Like everyone else, I've experienced unexplained hives and eczema.  I never did find out why this happens to me either.  I am definitely allergic to rubber/latex.  It takes so long for these things to go away and stop bothering me.  I've got some kind of rash on my back and arms right now that really feels like it's burning.  If I wasted my time seeing a doctor, the doctor wouldn't know what to do for this either, except prescribe steroid creams and ointments and expect me to use this stuff over large portions of my body.  

But, I don't get this as often as I used to since I started using natural, plant-based dish liquids and laundry powders.  I was getting such terrible eczema on my hands that people were avoiding any contact with me.  As if I wanted to have anyone touch an already sensitive part of my skin in the first place!  I've had eczema that started out as one giant blister that eventually opened up on it's own and just kept spreading.  I tried everything I could think of at the time.  The ointments prescribed to me didn't seem to help at all.  Then, as mysteriously as it appeared, it disappeared, but not until I had suffered with it for months.

I still have these unexplained hives, like everyone here.  I don't know what I can offer for the hives, since I haven't been getting anywhere with them either.  But, I thought it was really important to tell people how dangerous those medications for GERD are, and that there is a way to reduce the burning and suffering.  We're better off not using those medications, including the chewable tablets.  The body can't really use that form of calcium, and the things are full of many artificial ingredients and mineral oils.  DGL is a reasonable alternative, if you don't find yourself sensitive to licorice root, like I am.  So, that stuff didn't help me at all.  It might work for other people, though.
681148 tn?1437665191
I can relate to the environmental allergies, since I have MCS, too.  You mentioned Patanase.  I never heard of this one.  My allergist started me with Nasonex, which is unscented.  It is only about 50% effective for me.  Have you experienced any sedating effects with Patanase?  Is Patanase another steroid medication?  Does it help get rid of the sinus headaches caused by the sinus allergies?  I'm not able to take ANY pain medications whatsoever.  I can't take NSAIDs due to a kidney issue I didn't know I had, and I'm allergic to everything else.  If I am anywhere near a hospital where I'm being treated for anything, I always have to remind everyone on the staff that I'm ALLERGIC to Tylenol, eventhough I already wrote down what all my medication allergies are.  

A number of years ago, I had a terrible reaction to rubber gloves myself.  I got a lot worse than itchy and scaly hives.  The allergic response actually caused all the skin on the backs of my hands to disintegrate, so I had a giant open raw sore on the back of each hand.  I thought it was bacterial, but the doctor knew it was an allergy.  I was fortunate that it didn't become infected, since I had no outer skin on my hands at all.  I never tried to get another dishwashing job after that.  Now, I avoid ALL rubber/latex products, even if they aren't meant to come into contact with my skin, because the off-gassing will make me sick, too.
Avatar universal
I have had hives for years off and on and for a year non-stop.  I have lots of allergies and have been treated for them for 40 years.  A few years ago I was going through menopause and was put on a maintenance dose of antibiotics to be taken at different times during the month.  I became allergic to everything I took and my hives got extremely worse.  I was like the person above that could write letters on her body.  Everything I touched seemed to give me hives.  Pressure, heat, cold, etc. I was taking estradiol, and fosamax as well.  OTC antihistamines cause me to have irregular heartbeats and I get totally wired so Benadryl was not an option for me.  I took Zyrtec but got very little relief.  Claritin didn't help.  I used Benedryl gel like water and my hives were so much worse at night.  I ran out of my estradiol one time and noticed my hives got better.  I quit taking them as well as the fosamax and my hives improved.  My dermatologist diagnosed my problem as an immunity problem and gave me xyzal.  I know you stated the pharmacist said they were the same thing, but they definitely are not. Ask your dermatologist to explain the difference.  Even tho I have to pay $100 a month for them cause HealthNet HMO will not cover them, (they only cover generic - what a rip!)  it is totally worth the relief of not having the torment of itching and hives from head to toe every day!  You can go online and compare the ingredients of both drugs and note they are not the same.  The zyrtec didn't help me much but the xyzal is a godsend.  
724166 tn?1236804658
I know some people dont realize that one thing is causing the hives and they may blame something else. I came down with horrible hives, plus about 20 other symptoms, out of NO where a year ago. I thought it was my clothes, maybe laundry. Then I thought it was my house, then back to clothes. Everytime I put on a clean outfit within 30 minutes I would start to get sick again. Then I realized eveytime I put on clean clothes I was going out...and usually going out to eat. I finally figured out after 100s of tests that I am now, at 25, allergic to potatoes and tomatoes and a few other things.

So even though you think its the pressure from clothes KEEP SEARCHING. I know it gets hard but I thought it was pressure too!! I swore it was my bra and jeans...both are tight, but it was the food.
Avatar universal
i need help!!  i am new to hives and been having it for more than a month now!! i went to a doctor but didnt get a allergy test, the doctor gived to a steriod to take, now i just finish the medision!! and it start again!!! i been taking zyrtecs too, but dont know if thats good for me, because i have to take about 2 to 4 a day, to work!!  i cant find out what cause it, and i am scaried its going to continue!!! which should i do? can u guys please help me !!!
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