Compare Zyrtec D vs. Benadryl

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

Relieves congestion and allergy symptoms.

Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) relieves allergies and congestion without causing daytime sleepiness. It can keep you up at night if you take it too close to bedtime.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 927 reviewsforZyrtec D
Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap.

4.1/ 5 average rating with 294 reviewsforBenadryl
  • The antihistamine (Cetirizine) in Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) causes less drowsiness than other medications like Benadryl.
  • The decongestant (Pseudoephedrine) in Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) is stronger than other decongestants. It can also help relieve congestion-related headaches and ear pressure.
  • The stimulant effects of Pseudoephedrine can give you some extra energy during the day.
  • Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse congestion symptoms after you stop taking the medicine) like decongestant nose sprays can.
  • It's available without a prescription, unlike other strong allergy medicines.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is often better than other antihistamines at treating allergy symptoms and hives.
  • It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
  • It makes you sleepy, so it'll help if your allergies are bothering you at night.
  • The effects wear off in 4 to 6 hours, so side effects don't last that long.
  • It comes as a tablet, capsule, liquid, and quick dissolving tablet.
  • You can have more side effects when using combination pills than when using single-ingredient medications.
  • The antihistamine (Cetirizine) can cause more drowsiness than similar antihistamines, like Allegra D (which contains Fexofenadine) and Claritin D (which contains Loratadine).
  • The decongestant (Pseudoephedrine) can make your heart race or give you anxious or restless feelings.
  • You might not sleep as well due to Pseudoephedrine's effects and you can also have strange dreams while taking it.
  • Pseudoephedrine can raise your blood pressure, so don't take it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
  • Although you don't need a prescription, you do need to show a photo ID to buy this from behind the pharmacy counter.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Talk to a pediatrician before giving Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to a child.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine).
  • Don't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) if you are breastfeeding.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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927 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
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Have you used Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine)?

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294 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)?

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Side effects
The Zyrtec D (Cetirizine / Pseudoephedrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Age 65 or older
  • Seizure
    • History of seizure
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Taking the wrong medication
  • Increased side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Overdosage
    • Current kidney disease
    • Current liver disease
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Overdose
    • Using other drugs with the same ingredients
  • Increased side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Hyperactivity
    • Children age 6 years and younger
  • Trouble urinating
    • Enlarged prostate
    • History of bladder problems
  • Vision changes
    • Glaucoma
  • Breastfeeding
    • Nursing mothers
See more detailed risks and warnings