Compare Zyrtec D vs. Sudafed

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

Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)

Prescription or OTC

Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)

Prescription or OTC
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.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 927 reviewsforZyrtec D
Clears your sinuses.

Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) relieves stuffy nose, but it could keep you up at night. Don't forget your photo ID or you won't be able to buy it in the drugstore.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 1740 reviewsforSudafed
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.
  • One of the best over-the-counter options to clear stuffy nose and help you breathe better.
  • Clears nasal congestion better than other decongestants like phenylephrine.
  • Can be helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches and pressure in your ears.
  • Available in regular and extended release forms.
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.
  • Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
  • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
  • Can raise blood pressure so check with your doctor before using it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
  • Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) isn't as effective after using it for more than 4 days straight.
  • Need to show a photo ID to buy it in the drugstore and there is a limit on how much you can buy each visit.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
927 
75%
think this treatment is worth it
43%
think this treatment works well
9%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)?

Leave a review
1740 
82%
think this treatment is worth it
45%
think this treatment works well
6%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)?

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 (Pseudoephedrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Seizure

    History of seizure

  • Harm to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

  • Increased side effects

    Age 65 years or older

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Overdosage

    Current kidney disease

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

  • Harm to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

See more detailed risks and warnings