Compare Zyrtec vs. Dimetapp Cold and Allergy

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

Zyrtec
(Cetirizine)

Dimetapp Cold And Allergy
(Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine)

Treats allergy symptoms. Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.Relieves congestion and allergy symptoms for kids. Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) is good for multiple nasal symptoms, but it can make you really drowsy.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.158456486042693Zyrtec
Reviews for Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
76%
of people say Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is worth it
46%
say it works well
7%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec »

We haven’t found good data for Dimetapp Cold and Allergy side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dimetapp Cold and Allergy »
How it works
ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
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.Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) is a combination medicine that relieves allergy and cold symptoms. Brompheniramine (an antihistamine) prevents allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes or skin. Phenylephrine (a decongestant) clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
Antihistamine
2nd generation
Prescription or OTC
DecongestantAntihistamine
1st generation
Over-the-counter
Available as
ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
    • Age 65 or older
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Current kidney disease
    • Current liver disease
    Detailed Zyrtec (Cetirizine) risks & warnings »
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
    • Women of childbearing age
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking MAO inhibitors
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Glaucoma
    • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
    Detailed Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    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
    • People age 65 and older have a higher risk of troublesome side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Zyrtec (Cetirizine). Watch out for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. Also, feelings of drowsiness may leave you "unsteady" on your feet. This can make you more likely to fall causing broken bones or other serious injuries. Talk with your doctor before using Zyrtec (Cetirizine) and stop using it if you have side effects.
    • Brompheniramine (the antihistamine) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, dry eyes/mouth, and constipation.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
    • 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 can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
    • 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).
    • Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) is a combination medicine with a decongestant and an antihistamine that's helpful in treating nasal symptoms related to cold and allergy.
    • Brompheniramine (the antihistamine) is useful for itchy eyes, runny nose, or constant sneezing.
    • Phenylephrine (the decongestant) is good for relieving congestion.
    Downsides and risks
    ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
    • 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.
    • If you don't really need both of the medications in this combination, you'd be taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
    • Brompheniramine (the antihistamine) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, dry eyes/mouth, and constipation.
    • Phenylephrine (the decongestant) doesn't last as long as other oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine, but can cause jitteriness.
    • The two medications in this medicine can somewhat work against each other, with one making you sleepy and the other making you jittery.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ZyrtecDimetapp Cold and Allergy
    • 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.
    • Only use the provided dosage cup to measure the medicine. Don't use a spoon.
    • Follow the age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package.
    • Talk to a doctor if the symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
    Learn more
    More about ZyrtecSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about Dimetapp Cold and AllergySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert