Compare Phenylephrine vs. Zyrtec
Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.
Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a good medication for relieving stuffy nose. It doesn't work as well as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), but it has fewer side effects.
Zyrtec (cetirizine) can help you with some allergy symptoms without making you very drowsy.
- Works to clear nasal congestion and helps you breathe better.
- Helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches.
- Has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
- It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
- Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse symptoms when you stop taking it) like nasal spray decongestants do.
- Zyrtec (cetirizine) works to treat sneezing and runny nose, and causes less sedation compared to Benadryl.
- 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 relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
- Zyrtec (cetirizine) has few drug interactions with other medicines.
- Most people don't get any side effects from Zyrtec (cetirizine).
- Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
- You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
- Can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
- Shouldn't use it before you want to sleep.
- Not as effective after using it for 4 days in a row.
- Although it works fast, Zyrtec (cetirizine)'s effectiveness wears off for some people over time.
- Zyrtec (cetirizine) can make you a little more sleepy compared to Allegra or Claritin.
- Some people find that other more sedating antihistamines, like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), are more effective for them than Zyrtec (cetirizine).
- Nasal spray
- Eye drops
- Chewable tablet
- Dissolving tablet
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- High blood pressure
- History of high blood pressure
- Taking MAO inhibitors
- Heart problems
- History of heart problems
- Age 65 years or older
- Harm to fetus
- Women of childbearing age
- Increased side effects in the elderly
- Age 65 or older
- Impaired alertness
- Taking with alcohol
- Taking other medicines that make you less alert
- History of liver or kidney conditions
- History of liver or kidney disease