Zyrtec D vs. Nasacort AQ

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Zyrtec D
(Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)

Nasacort Aq

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. Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is the only medication in its class available over the counter for treating stuffy and runny nose due to allergies. You have to use it every day for it to work.
How it works
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.Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a nasal steroid. It works directly in your nose to help reduce swelling and inflammation from allergies.
Type of medication
2nd generation
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
Prescription or OTC
Available as
  • Extended release
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
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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)
of people say Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
-8% vs. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
-4% vs. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
-1% vs. Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)
Side effects

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec D »
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Cough increased 2%
  • Tooth disorder 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Throat pain 2%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Bronchitis 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Common cold 1%
More Nasacort AQ side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
    • Long-term use
    • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
    • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
    • Exposure to tuberculosis
    • Long-term use
    • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
    • Using other inhaled steroids with Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)
    • Long-term use
    • Taking more than recommended dose
    Detailed Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    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
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    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.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    • You might not sleep as well due to Pseudoephedrine's effects and you can also have strange dreams while taking it.
    • 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.
    No specific sleep-related info.
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • 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.
    • Available over the counter without a prescription.
    • 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.
    Downsides and risks
    • 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.
    • Can't be used on as-needed basis. Must be taken every day.
    • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left.
    • Since the medicine in Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
    • Needs to be primed before use and re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • 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.
    • Use Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) once a day, following age-specific recommendations on how many sprays to use. Don't take more than prescribed.
    • Blow your nose before using.
    • Can cause thrush (a fungal infection) inside the nose and throat.
    • Can also cause nosebleeds, a sore throat, and headaches.
    • Needs to be used regularly during allergy season for it to work. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for the medicine to start working fully.
    • Check with your doctor or pharmacist on how to use the nasal spray the right way.
    • Shake well before using it. Before the first use, prime the bottle by spraying it until you see a fine mist.
    Learn more
    More about Zyrtec DSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about Nasacort AQSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert