Compare Zyrtec vs. prednisolone acetate

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


(prednisolone acetate)

Treats allergy symptoms. Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.Calms down redness and swelling in the eye. Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) is a steroid used in the eye that is effective for treatment and symptom relief, but with long-term use, it can have some side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Zyrtec
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1232 reviews
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Side effects
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate

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

FDA side effect reports for Zyrtec »

The prednisolone acetate FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about prednisolone acetate side effects »
How it works
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
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.Prednisolone acetate is a steroid that is similar to your body's natural steroids. It reduces swelling in the eye and alleviates pain, discomfort, or harm.
Type of medication
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
Prescription or OTCPrescription only
Available as
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Liquid
Used for
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • Inflammation Of The Eye
Risk factors for serious side effects
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • 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 »
  • Asthma
Detailed Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) risks & warnings »

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.

Kidneys and liver
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • 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.
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
No pain related info.
  • If inflammation or pain gets worse or lasts longer than 2 days while taking Omnipred (prednisolone acetate), talk to your doctor.
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • Can make you feel sleepy, so take it at bedtime if needed.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • 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).
  • Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) works only within the eye, so it will relieve symptoms without having the side effects of oral steroids.
  • Kicks in relatively quickly to relieve symptoms.
  • Available in generic form.
Downsides and risks
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • 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.
  • Depending on the condition, you might have to use Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) up to 4 times a day, particularly in the beginning.
  • If using Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) long-term, may require some monitoring by your doctor.
  • Contains sulfite, so depending on the severity of your allergy, may not be suitable for those with allergies to sulfite.
  • Long-term use can lead to increased risk of more serious side effects.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Zyrtecprednisolone acetate
  • 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.
  • If inflammation or pain gets worse or lasts longer than 2 days while taking Omnipred (prednisolone acetate), talk to your doctor.
  • Only a small drop is needed per eye. Tilt your head back and place a drop into your lower eyelid, being careful not to touch the bottle tip to your eyelid or other surface. Afterwards, pinch the top of your nose (in between the eyes) for 15-30 seconds so that the liquid gets absorbed into your eyes.
  • If dose calls for multiple drops, wait 5 minutes in between each drop.
  • Shake well before use. You can store Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) at room temperature, but keeping it in the refrigerator can help alleviate symptoms of pain. Do not freeze.
  • Temporary burning and stinging in the eye may occur after putting in the drop.
  • If you are taking Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) long-term, you may need to gradually stop taking this medication. Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed and do not stop suddenly.
Learn more
More about ZyrtecSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zyrtec (cetirizine)?
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More about prednisolone acetateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Omnipred (prednisolone acetate)?
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