Compare Zyrtec vs. Nasonex

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

Zyrtec
(Cetirizine)

Nasonex
(Mometasone)

Treats allergy symptoms. Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.Relieves allergy symptoms. Nasonex (Mometasone) is a good first-choice treatment for stuffy and runny noses caused by allergies.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.17Zyrtec
Reviews for Zyrtec
76%
of people (All ages) say Zyrtec is worth it
47%
say it works well
7%
say it's a big hassle
1232 reviews
Have you used Zyrtec (Cetirizine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Nasonex
68%
+8% better vs. Zyrtec
39%
+8% better vs. Zyrtec
8%
+1% better vs. Zyrtec
675 reviews
Have you used Nasonex (Mometasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZyrtecNasonex

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec »
  • Arthralgia 4%
  • Asthma 4%
  • Bronchitis 4%
  • Chest pain 4%
  • Conjunctivitis 4%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Dyspepsia 4%
  • Earache 4%
  • Flu-like symptoms 4%
  • Myalgia 4%
More Nasonex side effects »
How it works
ZyrtecNasonex
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.Nasonex (Mometasone) is a topical steroid. It works directly where it's applied to help reduce swelling and inflammation in your nose.
Type of medication
ZyrtecNasonex
Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
ZyrtecNasonex
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
Used for
ZyrtecNasonex
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZyrtecNasonex
  • 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 »
  • Long-term use
  • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
Detailed Nasonex (Mometasone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
ZyrtecNasonex
  • 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 kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
ZyrtecNasonex
No pain related info.
  • Long-term use of Nasonex (Mometasone) can increase your chances of getting thrush in the nose and throat. Your doctor will check your nose and throat if you have to be on this medication for a long time. Also, tell your doctor if you notice pain in the nose and throat with redness and white patches.
Sleep
ZyrtecNasonex
  • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
ZyrtecNasonex
  • 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, which is cheaper.
Downsides and risks
ZyrtecNasonex
  • 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.
  • Needs to be primed 10 times before it can be used, or re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
  • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left (each bottle has 120 sprays).
  • Since the medicine in Nasonex (Mometasone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ZyrtecNasonex
  • 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.
  • Use Nasonex (Mometasone) once a day, following age-specific recommendations on how many sprays to use. Don't take more than prescribed.
  • Blow your nose before using.
  • Can cause thrush (a fungal infection) inside your nose and throat. Can also cause nosebleeds, a sore throat, and headaches.
  • Needs to be used regularly during allergy season for it to work. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for the medicine to start working fully.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist on how to use the nasal spray the right way.
  • Shake well before using it. Before the first use, prime the bottle by spraying it until you see a fine mist.
Learn more
More about ZyrtecSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zyrtec (Cetirizine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NasonexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nasonex (Mometasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it