Compare Zyrtec vs. Flonase

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

Zyrtec (Cetirizine)

Prescription or OTC

Flonase (fluticasone)

Prescription or OTC
Treats allergy symptoms.

Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a once-daily allergy relief medication that won't make you feel too sleepy.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1232 reviewsforZyrtec
Relieves nasal allergy symptoms.

Flonase (fluticasone) is a good first-choice treatment for allergies of the nose, but long-term use can increase the risk of nosebleeds.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 890 reviewsforFlonase
  • Zyrtec (Cetirizine) works as well as other antihistamines to treat sneezing and runny nose, but causes less sedation.
  • 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 quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
  • It's okay to take with most other medications because it has few drug interactions.
  • Most people don't get any side effects from Zyrtec (Cetirizine).
  • Only need to use Flonase (fluticasone) once a day. Its effects can last for up to 24 hours.
  • Available over-the-counter and cheaper than many of its alternatives.
  • Highly effective treatment of allergy symptoms in the nose.
  • Flonase (fluticasone) gives you very little to no side effects since it's a nasal spray and doesn't expose the rest of your body to the medicine.
  • Although it works fast, its effectiveness wears off for some people over time.
  • Zyrtec (Cetirizine) can be slightly more sedating than Allegra or Claritin.
  • Some people find that other more sedating antihistamines, like Benadryl, are more effective for them than Zyrtec (Cetirizine).
  • If you have daily allergy symptoms, a prescription nasal steroid spray might be better for you long-term.
  • Flonase (fluticasone) is not an appropriate medicine for people who have an injured nose or had a recent surgery in the nose.
  • Can slow down the growth rate in children.
  • Can increase the risk of bleeding and fungal infections in the nose.
  • Not recommended for those who are also taking other medicines that lower their ability to fight off infections.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
No pricing information available
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1232 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zyrtec (Cetirizine)?

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

Have you used Flonase (fluticasone)?

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Side effects
The Zyrtec (Cetirizine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
7possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Nosebleed
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Cough
  • Nasal burning/nasal irritation
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Taking the wrong medication
  • Increased side effects
    • Age 65 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
  • Decreased growth rate in children
    • Children
    • Using the medicine for a long period of time
  • Effect on wound healing
    • People who had recent surgery or injury to the nose
  • Lowered ability to fight off infections
    • People who come into contact with others who have chickenpox, measles, or tuberculosis
    • People who have not received a vaccine for chickenpox, measles, or tuberculosis
  • Damage to nose
    • Using the medicine for a long period of time
  • Sinus infection
    • People who recently had the cold or flu
  • Increased risk of nosebleeds
See more detailed risks and warnings