Compare Clarinex vs. Zyrtec

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Clarinex
(desloratadine)

Zyrtec
(cetirizine)

Treats allergy symptoms. Clarinex (Desloratadine) is a good option for once-daily allergy relief. It doesn't make you feel sleepy, but you need a prescription.Treats allergy symptoms. Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.
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Coupons for Clarinex
Best available price for 30 (5mg) tablets of desloratadine
Coupons for Zyrtec
Best available price for 30 (24 hour) tablets of cetirizine
Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Clarinex (desloratadine)
Not enough review data. Review it!
of people (All ages) say Clarinex (desloratadine) is worth it
Not enough review data. Review it!
say it works well
Not enough review data. Review it!
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Clarinex (desloratadine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zyrtec (cetirizine)
76%
-14% worse vs. Clarinex (desloratadine)
47%
-33% worse vs. Clarinex (desloratadine)
7%
+23% better vs. Clarinex (desloratadine)
1232 reviews
Have you used Zyrtec (cetirizine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ClarinexZyrtec
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Dry mouth 1%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Headache 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Indigestion 2%
More Clarinex side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Zyrtec side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec »
How it works
ClarinexZyrtec
Clarinex (Desloratadine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions.Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. Antihistamines can also make you sleepy, but Zyrtec is a low-drowsiness version.
Type of medication
ClarinexZyrtec
Prescription only
Prescription or OTC
Available as
ClarinexZyrtec
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ClarinexZyrtec
Risk factors for serious side effects
ClarinexZyrtec
    Coming soon.
    • Age 65 or older
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Current kidney disease
    • Current liver disease
    Detailed Zyrtec (cetirizine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

    Kidneys and liver
    ClarinexZyrtec
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    • People with kidney or liver disease may need to take a lower dose of Zyrtec (Cetirizine) to prevent overdose. Talk with your doctor to be sure you are using the correct dose.
    Sleep
    ClarinexZyrtec
    • Preferred for older people since it causes little to no drowsiness compared to other antihistamines like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
    • Works faster than other non-drowsy antihistamines like Loratadine (Claritin).
    • Can give you a headache or diarrhea, but it rarely causes drowsiness or dizziness.
    • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
    Upsides and benefits
    ClarinexZyrtec
    • Relieves allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, congestion, hives, or itchy skin.
    • Preferred for older people since it causes little to no drowsiness compared to other antihistamines like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
    • Works faster than other non-drowsy antihistamines like Loratadine (Claritin).
    • Side effects are rare and usually mild.
    • Available as a liquid or fast-dissolving tablet for people who don't like swallowing pills.
    • Zyrtec (Cetirizine) works as well as other antihistamines to treat sneezing and runny nose, but causes less sedation.
    • Works well to also treat hives and itchy skin.
    • Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is available over the counter without a prescription.
    • It comes as a tablet, liquid, and quick-dissolving tablet.
    • It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
    • It's okay to take with most other medications because it has few drug interactions.
    • Most people don't get any side effects from Zyrtec (Cetirizine).
    Downsides and risks
    ClarinexZyrtec
    • May not work as fast as the other antihistamines that make you sleepy (like Benadryl).
    • Not a good medication for pregnant women to take.
    • Although it works fast, its effectiveness wears off for some people over time.
    • Zyrtec (Cetirizine) can be slightly more sedating than Allegra or Claritin.
    • Some people find that other more sedating antihistamines, like Benadryl, are more effective for them than Zyrtec (Cetirizine).
    • If you have daily allergy symptoms, a prescription nasal steroid spray might be better for you long-term.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ClarinexZyrtec
    • Starts working in an hour.
    • Take it once a day when needed.
    • Works the best if used regularly during allergy season.
    • Can give you a headache or diarrhea, but it rarely causes drowsiness or dizziness.
    • Starts working in a few hours. Only take it once a day.
    • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
    • Avoid some of the side effects by drinking plenty of non-caffeinated liquids.
    • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor about trying a nasal steroid instead since it might work better for you long-term.
    • Using an antihistamine eye drop instead can also work better to treat itchy or watery eyes.
    Learn more
    More about ClarinexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Clarinex (desloratadine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about ZyrtecSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Zyrtec (cetirizine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it