Compare Zyrtec vs. Nasacort AQ

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

Zyrtec (Cetirizine)

Prescription or OTC

Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)

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.

Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is the only medication in its class available over the counter for treating stuffy and runny nose due to allergies. You have to use it every day for it to work.

4.8/ 7 average rating with 328 reviewsforNasacort AQ
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).
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • 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.
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.
  • Can't be used on as-needed basis. Must be taken every day.
  • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left.
  • Since the medicine in Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
  • Needs to be primed before use and re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
Price
No pricing information available
Lowest price near you
$4
Find instant savings
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, and other pharmacies.
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
328 
67%
think this treatment is worth it
39%
think this treatment works well
10%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Zyrtec (Cetirizine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) 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
  • Changes in the nasal septum

    Long-term use

  • Decreased wound healing

    Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses

  • Reduced immune system

    Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Glaucoma and cataracts

    Long-term use

  • 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

See more detailed risks and warnings