Compare Sudafed vs. Zyrtec
Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.
Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) relieves stuffy nose, but it could keep you up at night. Don't forget your photo ID or you won't be able to buy it in the drugstore.
Zyrtec (cetirizine) can help you with some allergy symptoms without making you very drowsy.
- One of the best over-the-counter options to clear stuffy nose and help you breathe better.
- Clears nasal congestion better than other decongestants like phenylephrine.
- Can be helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches and pressure in your ears.
- Available in regular and extended release forms.
- 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).
- Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
- It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
- Can raise blood pressure so check with your doctor before using it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
- Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) isn't as effective after using it for more than 4 days straight.
- Need to show a photo ID to buy it in the drugstore and there is a limit on how much you can buy each visit.
- 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).
- Extended release
- Chewable tablet
- Dissolving tablet
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- High blood pressure
- History of high blood pressure
- Heart problems
- History of heart problems
- Age 65 years or older
- History of seizures
- 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