Compare Zyrtec vs. Flonase

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

Zyrtec (Cetirizine)

Prescription or OTC

Flonase (Fluticasone)

Prescription or OTC
Treats allergy symptoms.

Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.

5.2/ 7 average rating with 1232 reviewsforZyrtec
Relieves allergy symptoms.

Flonase (Fluticasone) is a good first-choice medicine for treating a runny or stuffy nose caused by allergies, and it's cheaper than some alternatives.

5.0/ 7 average rating with 890 reviewsforFlonase
Upsides
  • 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).
  • First-choice medication for treating runny and stuffy noses caused by allergies. It works by reducing inflammation in the nose.
  • Because it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, it has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
  • Can be used as needed to help control symptoms in people age 13 years or older.
  • Available as a generic medication.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Flonase (Fluticasone) doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left (each bottle has 120 sprays).
  • Needs to be primed (pressed/pumped until a fine spray appears) up to six times prior to using it for the first time, or if you haven't used it in 2 weeks.
  • Since the medicine in Flonase (Fluticasone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
Price
No pricing information available
Lowest price near you
$200.08
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Reviews
1232 
76%
think this treatment is worth it
47%
think this treatment works well
7%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Zyrtec (Cetirizine)?

Leave a review
890 
72%
think this treatment is worth it
43%
think this treatment works well
7%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Flonase (Fluticasone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Zyrtec (Cetirizine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Flonase (Fluticasone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Increased side effects

    Age 65 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
  • Adrenal suppression

    Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Decrease in growth in children and teenagers

    Long-term use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Adrenal suppression

    Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Thrush in the nose and throat

    Long-term use

  • Reduced immune system

    Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Decreased wound healing

    Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses

  • Changes in the nasal septum

    Long-term use

See more detailed risks and warnings