Compare Zyrtec vs. Beconase AQ

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

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Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Over-the-counter
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
Relieves nasal allergy symptoms .

Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) is a strong steroidal nasal spray that is very effective at relieving nasal allergy symptoms, but is only available as brand so it may be expensive.

Upsides
  • 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).
  • Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) is very strong and can be used in children as young as 6 years old.
  • Since it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
  • Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) doesn't make you drowsy or dizzy unlike other anti-allergy medications.
Downsides
  • 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).
  • Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) needs to be used daily to work instead of on an as needed basis.
  • Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) doesn't have a dose counter to help you keep track of the number of sprays left in the bottle.
  • Unlike anti-allergy pills, Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) only works on nasal symptoms and not other allergic symptoms such as watery and itchy eyes.
  • May not be a good choice if you've recently had surgery on your nose.
  • Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) is available only as an expensive brand name prescription product.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
Price
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Reviews
1232 reviews so far
76%
saidit'sworth it
47%
saiditworked well
7%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Zyrtec (cetirizine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
1possible side effects
  • Mild nose/throat irritation
    24%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Thrush in the nose and throat
    • Long-term use
  • Changes in the nasal septum
    • Long-term use
  • Decreased wound healing
    • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Immune suppression
    • Long-term use
    • Untreated infections
    • Exposure to infectious diseases such as chickenpox and tuberculosis
  • Glaucoma and cataracts
    • Long-term use
    • History of glaucoma or cataracts
  • Adrenal insufficiency
    • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
See more detailed risks and warnings