Compare Zyrtec vs. Zaditor

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

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Zyrtec (Cetirizine)

Prescription or OTC

Zaditor (ketotifen)

Over-the-counter
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 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.

Upsides
  • 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).
  • 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.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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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.
The Zaditor (ketotifen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • 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