Compare Zyrtec D vs. Phenylephrine

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

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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 927 reviewsforZyrtec D
Clears your sinuses.

Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a good medication for relieving stuffy nose. It doesn't work as well as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), but it has fewer side effects.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 164 reviewsforPhenylephrine
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Works to clear nasal congestion and helps you breathe better.
  • Helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches.
  • 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.
  • Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse symptoms when you stop taking it) like nasal spray decongestants do.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • Can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
  • Shouldn't use it before you want to sleep.
  • Not as effective after using it for 4 days in a row.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops
  • Suppository
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
927 reviews so far
75%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
9%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)?

Leave a review
164 reviews so far
44%
saidit'sworth it
24%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Age 65 or older
  • Seizure
    • History of seizure
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Taking the wrong medication
  • Increased side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Overdosage
    • Current kidney disease
    • Current liver disease
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings