Scroll horizontally → to see comparisons

Zyrtec D
(Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)

Rhinocort Aqua

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 nasal allergy symptoms. Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) is a steroid nasal spray that works best when used regularly for your nasal allergy symptoms.
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.Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) is a steroid nasal spray that works directly in your nose to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms.
Type of medication
2nd generation
DecongestantPrescription or OTC
CorticosteroidPrescription only
Available as
  • Extended release
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
of people
say Zyrtec D is worth it
say it works well
say it’s a big hassle
5.082162162162162Zyrtec D925reviews
of people
say Rhinocort Aqua is worth it
say it works well
say it’s a big hassle
Side effects

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec D »
  • Nosebleed 3%
  • Sore throat 1%
  • Bronchospasm 1%
More Rhinocort Aqua side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
Pregnancy category

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)

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
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)
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.
  • Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide) lowers the number of nasal symptoms you'll get during allergy season.
  • Most people don't have many side effects since it works in the nose and doesn't affect the rest of your body.
  • Doesn't make you drowsy or dizzy.
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.
  • Needs to be used everyday to work, so it can't be used as needed.
  • Can hace an unpleasant smell or taste.
  • It's good for 120 sprays, but there isn't a counter to help you keep track of sprays.
  • Can't be used in kids younger than age 6 years.
  • Need a prescription to get Rhinocort Aqua (Budesonide).
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.
  • Works best if used everyday. It takes about one week to start seeing the best results.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you know how to use this nose spray correctly.
  • Shake the spray gently and clear your nose before each use.
  • Before using it for the first time or if you haven't used it in 2 days, prime the spray pump until you see a fine mist.
  • Breathe in slowly as you're spraying and tilt your head back slightly after spraying. Wait 15 minutes before blowing your nose if needed.
  • Some people get minor nose irritation, nosebleeds, sore throat, or headaches after using it.
Learn more
More about Zyrtec DSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Rhinocort AquaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Compare other medications ›