Treats allergy symptoms. Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy. Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap. How it works Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. Antihistamines can also make you sleepy, but Zyrtec is a low-drowsiness version. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy. Type of medication Antihistamine
› 2nd generation
Prescription or OTC Antihistamine
› 1st generation
Prescription or OTC Available as Pill Liquid capsule Dissolving tablet Liquid Pill Oral solution Cream, gel, or ointment Used for (click to learn more) Find lowest prices Save on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance. Reviews & ratings Everyone Men Women Button Group. All currently active Everyone Men Women All ages 18-34 35-54 55+ Button Group. All currently active All ages 18-34 35-54 55+ 5.158456486042693 Zyrtec
Reviews for Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
of people say Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
vs. Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
+11% vs. Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
-1% vs. Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
We haven’t found good data for Zyrtec side effects.
FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec »
We haven’t found good data for Benadryl side effects.
FDA side effect reports for Benadryl » Risk factors for serious side effects › Taking with alcohol › Taking other medicines that make you less alert › Current kidney disease › Current liver disease Detailed Zyrtec (Cetirizine) risks & warnings » › Using other drugs with the same ingredients › Taking with alcohol › Taking other medicines that make you less alert › Children age 6 years and younger › Enlarged prostate › History of bladder problems Detailed Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) risks & warnings » Pregnancy category N FDA 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 B FDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)
Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.
See the FDA package insert
Alcohol No specific alcohol-related info. › Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
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 (Cetirizine) 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 No specific sleep-related info. › Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
Weight No specific weight-related info. No specific weight-related info. Upsides and benefits › Zyrtec (Cetirizine) works as well as other antihistamines to treat sneezing and runny nose, but causes less sedation. › Works well to also treat hives and itchy skin. › Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is available over the counter without a prescription. › It comes as a tablet, liquid, and quick-dissolving tablet. › It's okay to take with most other medications because it has few drug interactions. › Most people don't get any side effects from Zyrtec (Cetirizine). › It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults. › Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is often better than other antihistamines at treating allergy symptoms and hives. › It makes you sleepy, so it'll help if your allergies are bothering you at night. › The effects wear off in 4 to 6 hours, so side effects don't last that long. › It comes as a tablet, capsule, liquid, and quick dissolving tablet. › It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults. Downsides and risks › Although it works fast, its effectiveness wears off for some people over time. › Zyrtec (Cetirizine) can be slightly more sedating than Allegra or Claritin. › Some people find that other more sedating antihistamines, like Benadryl, are more effective for them than Zyrtec (Cetirizine). › If you have daily allergy symptoms, a prescription nasal steroid spray might be better for you long-term. › Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec. › You shouldn't drive after taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) until you know how it affects you. › Talk to a pediatrician before giving Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to a child. › It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). › Don't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) if you are breastfeeding. Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication › Starts working in a few hours. Only take it once a day. › Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed. › Avoid some of the side effects by drinking plenty of non-caffeinated liquids. › If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor about trying a nasal steroid instead since it might work better for you long-term. › Using an antihistamine eye drop instead can also work better to treat itchy or watery eyes. › Take it as needed every 4 to 6 hours. › Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can make you dehydrated, so avoid this side effect by drinking plenty of fluids. › Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep. › Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy. › If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term. › If you only have itchy or watery eyes, try using just an antihistamine eye drop. Learn more More about Zyrtec Side effects Reviews & ratings Alternatives FDA package insert More about Benadryl Side effects Reviews & ratings Alternatives FDA package insert