( Zyrtec )

Medically Reviewed by HaVy Ngo, Pharm.D.

Last Reviewed: Jun 14, 2022

Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of Cetirizine?

pros header.svg

  • Available over-the-counter with a generic form at an affordable price
  • Once-daily dosing that provides all-day allergy relief
  • Well-tolerated by most people
  • Few adverse effects
  • Quick relief for allergies and hives
  • Less drowsiness than Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Oral syrup, oral-disintegrating tablets, and chewable tablets are available for adults and children with problems swallowing.

cons header.svg

  • Can cause more drowsiness than other second-generation antihistamines like Allegra (fexofenadine) and Claritin (loratadine)
  • Can cause a serious allergic reaction for people who are allergic to hydroxyzine.
  • Higher risk of adverse effects in people 65 years or older and those with hepatic and renal impairment.