Compare Zyrtec D vs. Flonase

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

Zyrtec D
(Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)

Flonase
(Fluticasone)

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 allergy symptoms. Flonase (Fluticasone) is a good first-choice medicine for treating a runny or stuffy nose caused by allergies, and it's cheaper than some alternatives.
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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
Reviews for Flonase (Fluticasone)
72%
3% vs. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
43%
Same vs. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
7%
+2% vs. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
Side effects
Zyrtec DFlonase

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec D »
  • Asthma symptoms 4%
  • Nausea/vomiting 3%
  • Nosebleed 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • Cough 1%
  • Sore throat 1%
More Flonase side effects »
How it works
Zyrtec DFlonase
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.Flonase (Fluticasone) is a nasal steroid. It works directly in your nose to reduce swelling and inflammation caused by allergies.
Type of medication
Zyrtec DFlonase
Antihistamine
2nd generation
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Prescription or OTC
Available as
Zyrtec DFlonase
  • Extended release
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
Zyrtec DFlonase
Risk factors for serious side effects
Zyrtec DFlonase
  • 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 »
    • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
    • Using other inhaled steroids with Flonase (Fluticasone)
      • Long-term use
      • Taking more than recommended dose
      • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
      • Using other inhaled steroids with Flonase (Fluticasone)
      • Long-term use
      • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
      • Exposure to tuberculosis
      • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
      • Long-term use
      Detailed Flonase (Fluticasone) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      Zyrtec DFlonase
      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
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      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.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      Zyrtec DFlonase
      • 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.
      • First-choice medication for treating runny and stuffy noses caused by allergies. It works by reducing inflammation in the nose.
      • Because it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, it has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
      • Can be used as needed to help control symptoms in people age 13 years or older.
      • Available as a generic medication.
      Downsides and risks
      Zyrtec DFlonase
      • 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.
      • Flonase (Fluticasone) doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left (each bottle has 120 sprays).
      • Needs to be primed (pressed/pumped until a fine spray appears) up to six times prior to using it for the first time, or if you haven't used it in 2 weeks.
      • Since the medicine in Flonase (Fluticasone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      Zyrtec DFlonase
      • 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.
      • It can take several days for Flonase (Fluticasone) to start working fully.
      • Don't take more of it than was prescribed for you.
      • Blow your nose before using Flonase (Fluticasone).
      • Can cause thrush (a fungal infection) inside the nose and throat.
      • Can also cause a headache, sore throat, or nosebleeds.
      Learn more
      More about Zyrtec DSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about FlonaseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert