Compare Zaditor vs. Zyrtec

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

ADVERTISEMENT

Zaditor (ketotifen)

Over-the-counter

Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Over-the-counter
Relieves itchy eyes due to allergies.

Zaditor (ketotifen) is the first-choice OTC treatment for allergy-related itchy eyes, but it doesn't treat infections and may not help for more serious allergies.

Treats allergy symptoms.

Zyrtec (cetirizine) can help you with some allergy symptoms without making you very drowsy.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1232 reviewsforZyrtec
Upsides
  • Works within minutes to relieve itchy eyes.
  • Available to buy over-the-counter, which makes it cheaper.
  • Can use in children age 3 or older.
  • Unlike pills which can affect your whole body, Zaditor (ketotifen) only affects your eyes, which means it has less side effects than anti-allergy pills.
  • 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).
Downsides
  • Can only use Zaditor (ketotifen) for a short period of time.
  • Administering the medication into the eye safely may be more difficult for some people than taking anti-allergy pills.
  • 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).
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
1232 reviews so far
76%
saidit'sworth it
47%
saiditworked well
7%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zyrtec (cetirizine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Zaditor (ketotifen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Zyrtec (cetirizine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Allergy to ingredients
  • Risk for eye infection
  • Not to be used with contact lenses
    • Those who wear soft contact lenses
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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
See more detailed risks and warnings