Compare Zyrtec vs. Phenylephrine
Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.
Zyrtec (cetirizine) can help you with some allergy symptoms without making you very drowsy.
Sudafed Pe (Phenylephrine) is a good medication for relieving stuffy nose. It doesn't work as well as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), but it has fewer side effects.
- 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).
- Works to clear nasal congestion and helps you breathe better.
- Helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches.
- Has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
- It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
- Doesn't give you rebound congestion (worse symptoms when you stop taking it) like nasal spray decongestants do.
- 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).
- Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
- You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
- Can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
- Shouldn't use it before you want to sleep.
- Not as effective after using it for 4 days in a row.
- Chewable tablet
- Dissolving tablet
- Nasal spray
- Eye drops
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- 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
- High blood pressure
- History of high blood pressure
- Taking MAO inhibitors
- Heart problems
- History of heart problems
- Age 65 years or older
- Harm to fetus
- Women of childbearing age