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Coming off antihistamines during Whole30


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Hello all :) Looking for a little guidance on antihistamines.

A little background - my allergist recommended I do Whole30 to try and figure out a food sensitivity that gives me chronic hives. All my allergy tests came back negative; liver is fine; thyroid is fine. I've been on Zyrtec 2 1/2 years. When I went off the Zyrtec to have the allergy tests done, I had hives 1000 times worse than when I went on the medication. I've found a lot of other people with this same kind of "Zyrtec withdrawal", but my allergist dismissed it but told me I could wean off it if I wanted.

A week before starting Whole30 I cut my Zyrtec dosage to 25%, and on Day 8 I stopped taking it altogether. I'm on Day 11 and the hives are still terrible. Some folks (not on whole30) recommended taking quercetin to get yourself through the approx 2 weeks of withdrawal (though some folks talk about it going on for months). This isn't like having bad mosquito bites; it's maddening, tear your skin off full body itchiness.

I'm wondering if taking quercetin for two weeks would be okay, or if that would mess with whole30?

I'm concerned that my reintroduction will be useless if I can't get my hives back to "normal" before the end of the Whole30. I didn't wait to start initially because I figured the change in eating could only help the withdrawal, plus it was the best time frame for me with the least roadblocks for completing the 30 days.

Has anyone been through anything similar?


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Hi Vilandra;

I'm not altogether familiar with Zyrtec Withdrawl but I did look up Quercetin and found this from Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercetin


'Although quercetin is under basic and early-stage clinical research for a variety of disease conditions, there exists no sufficient evidence that it has any beneficial effect in the human body.[25][2] The US FDA has issued warning letters,[26] e.g. to emphasize that quercetin is not a defined nutrient, cannot be assigned a dietary content level and is not regulated as a drug to treat any human disease.'


I personally wouldn't take it altho it is also found in some form in foods.

Maybe you need to wean off the Zyrtec slower?  cutting your dose by 75% and then 8 days later completely eliminating it isn't exactly 'weaning'


With regard to the re-intro, some conditions take longer than 30 days to heal.  Be mindful when you get to your 30th day that you personally may need more time to get your symptoms under control in order to do a meaningful re-introduction.

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Hi Vilandra, I would love to hear an update on how you are doing -- I am on Day 12 of a Whole30 to specifically see if it helps my seasonal allergies and to be able to stop taking OTC allergy meds. I was still waking up multiples times per night with a runny nose so I bought some quercetin. I actually learned about it from an older post on this forum, after googling "Whole 30 seasonal allergies."

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Hi Vilandra,

I too am interested to hear how things go for you! I also have chronic urticaria (started spontaneously about 1.5 years ago). For a little over a year, I've been taking Zyrtec 2x a day and Zantac, Singulair, and vitamin D supplements each 1x per day (with an Allegra added when things are bad), as well as monthly shots of Xolair. I am only on day 3 of my Whole30 but hoping to perhaps identify if any foods trigger or exacerbate my hives. Blood tests showed I'm allergic to cats and dust mites but I don't think either is the cause of my hives (or at least not the sole cause, as I've had cats for years and never had allergy symptoms, and even when I was away from my cat for 2 months last year my condition didn't improve). So my doctor thinks there may be something else going on -- not an allergy but some other reaction, perhaps to diet, causing my hives. Unlike you, I'm still taking all my meds (I haven't had a chance to talk to my allergist about the Whole30) but I usually only start breaking out towards the end of the month when I am due for my shot now, so I hope I might be able to see around then if there is any difference. Anyways, just wanted to say hello and that I am trying Whole30 for similar reasons so I will be interested to share results! And obviously I know you hope to get off the Zyrtec with diet changes but if that doesn't work, I'd consider asking your doctor about Xolair as it's the only thing that has really made a difference for me.

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To answer an earlier question, yes, my allergist did do a metabolic panel in addition to the allergy tests, and also tested me for H Pylori which were all fine.


I'm on Day 33 and still having hives every day. I didn't end up taking the quercetin, but drank a lot of rooibos tea and when it was very bad took Willow Bark. It did get "better" after about two weeks of being off the Zyrtec, and it was not as bad as when I had gone cold turkey for my allergy tests a couple of months ago.


So I am going through reintroduction just to see how these things affect me otherwise, and then I am going to continue on whole30 and start taking some supplements to try and heal my gut in case that is the problem. I've been trying to stay away from high histamine foods as well, and will probably try cutting them out completely after reintro is over. Also might try being more restrictive with additives.

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