Compare Zyrtec vs. Nyquil Cold and Flu

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

Zyrtec
(Cetirizine)

Nyquil Cold And Flu
(Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine)

Treats allergy symptoms. Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.Relieves cold and flu symptoms, and helps you sleep. Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a useful combination medicine that relieves cold and flu symptoms and will help you sleep. Make sure you really need all of its ingredients.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
No pricing data for this drug at this filter setting. Try searching onGoodRx
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
Reviews for Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine)
83%
+7% vs. Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
42%
4% vs. Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
6%
+1% vs. Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
Side effects
ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec »

We haven’t found good data for Nyquil Cold and Flu side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Nyquil Cold and Flu »
How it works
ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
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.Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that relieves a runny nose and makes you very sleepy.
Type of medication
ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
Antihistamine
2nd generation
Prescription or OTC
Pain reliever
APAP
Cough suppressantAntihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Over-the-counter
Available as
ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
    • 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 »
    • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
    • History of liver disease
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Glaucoma
    • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
    Detailed Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
    NFDA 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
    NFDA 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
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
    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.
    • The antihistamine (doxylamine) will help you sleep.
    • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
    • 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).
    • Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have watery eyes, a cough, fever, and pain.
    • The cough medicine (dextromethorphan) works well and has very few side effects.
    • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
    • The antihistamine (doxylamine) will help you sleep.
    Downsides and risks
    ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
    • 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 all of the medications in this combination, you're taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
    • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
    • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ZyrtecNyquil Cold and Flu
    • 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.
    • Doxylamine (the antihistamine ingredient) can make you tired, so take it close to bedtime.
    • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than recommended on the package.
    • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
    • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
    • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days, or if you have a really bad sore throat with a fever, headache, nausea, or vomiting.
    Learn more
    More about ZyrtecSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about Nyquil Cold and FluSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert