Compare Zyrtec D vs. Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu

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

Zyrtec D
(Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)

Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
(Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine)

Relieves congestion and allergy symptoms. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) relieves allergies and congestion without causing daytime sleepiness. It can keep you up at night if you take it too close to bedtime.Relieves cold and flu symptoms, and helps you sleep. Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is good for multiple cold symptoms at night, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.084233261339093Zyrtec D
Reviews for Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
75%
of people say Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) is worth it
43%
say it works well
9%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec D »

We haven’t found good data for Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu »
How it works
Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) is a combination medicine for allergies. Cetirizine (an antihistamine) prevents allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes or skin. Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) clears your sinuses.Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that clears your sinuses. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that relieves a runny nose and makes you very sleepy.
Type of medication
Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
Antihistamine
2nd generation
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Antihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Cough suppressantDecongestantOver-the-counter
Available as
Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
Risk factors for serious side effects
Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
  • History of high blood pressure
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 or older
  • History of seizure
  • Women of childbearing age
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Current kidney disease
    • Current liver disease
    Detailed Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) risks & warnings »
    • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
    • History of liver disease
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
    • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • History of smoking
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Glaucoma
    • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    Detailed Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
    NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • People with kidney or liver disease may need to take a lower dose of Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) to prevent overdose. Talk with your doctor to be sure you are using the correct dose.
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    • The antihistamine (Cetirizine) can cause more drowsiness than similar antihistamines, like Allegra D (which contains Fexofenadine) and Claritin D (which contains Loratadine).
    • You might not sleep as well due to Pseudoephedrine's effects and you can also have strange dreams while taking it.
    • The antihistamine (Cetirizine) in Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) causes less drowsiness than other medications like Benadryl.
    • It's better to take Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) early in the morning or when you wake up, otherwise you can have trouble sleeping later.
    • People age 65 and older have a higher risk of troublesome side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine). Watch out for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. Also, feelings of drowsiness may leave you "unsteady" on your feet. This can make you more likely to fall causing broken bones or other serious injuries. Talk with your doctor before using Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) and stop using it if you have side effects.
    • The antihistamine (doxylamine) can help you sleep.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
    • The antihistamine (Cetirizine) in Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) causes less drowsiness than other medications like Benadryl.
    • The decongestant (Pseudoephedrine) in Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) is stronger than other decongestants. It can also help relieve congestion-related headaches and ear pressure.
    • The stimulant effects of Pseudoephedrine can give you some extra energy during the day.
    • Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse congestion symptoms after you stop taking the medicine) like decongestant nose sprays can.
    • It's available without a prescription, unlike other strong allergy medicines.
    • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have a stuffy nose, a cough, fever, and pain.
    • The decongestant (phenylephrine) has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine. It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
    • The cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) works well and has very few side effects.
    • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
    • The antihistamine (doxylamine) can help you sleep.
    Downsides and risks
    Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
    • You can have more side effects when using combination pills than when using single-ingredient medications.
    • The antihistamine (Cetirizine) can cause more drowsiness than similar antihistamines, like Allegra D (which contains Fexofenadine) and Claritin D (which contains Loratadine).
    • The decongestant (Pseudoephedrine) can make your heart race or give you anxious or restless feelings.
    • You might not sleep as well due to Pseudoephedrine's effects and you can also have strange dreams while taking it.
    • Pseudoephedrine can raise your blood pressure, so don't take it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
    • Although you don't need a prescription, you do need to show a photo ID to buy this from behind the pharmacy counter.
    • If you don't really need all of the medications in this combination, you're taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
    • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
    • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
    • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    Zyrtec DAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and Flu
    • Starts working in 30 minutes.
    • You need to show an ID to buy Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains Pseudoephedrine.
    • Don't cut, crush, or chew tablets; swallow them whole.
    • It's better to take Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) early in the morning or when you wake up, otherwise you can have trouble sleeping later.
    • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
    • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor since a different medication might work better for you.
    • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) starts working in about 30 minutes.
    • Doxylamine (the antihistamine ingredient) can make you tired, so take it close to bedtime.
    • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
    • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days, or if you have a really bad sore throat with a fever, headache, nausea, or vomiting.
    Learn more
    More about Zyrtec DSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold and FluSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert