Can You Take Zyrtec With Sudafed?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to use Zyrtec (cetirizine) and Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) together.


Can you take Zytrec with Sudafed? I have bad allergies and Zyrtec, while working somewhat, isn't touching my nasal congestion. I need something to help me breath and was wondering if using Sudafed was safe with Zyrtec.

Asked by Marcia On Feb 12, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Feb 12, 2018

Zyrtec (cetirizine) may safely be taken with Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and there is no interaction between the two medications. In fact, both medications are available in a variety of combination products over the counter such as Zyrtec-D and TopCare Allergy-D.

Taking Zyrtec (Cetirizine) With Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)

Zyrtec (cetirizine) is classified as a second generation antihistamine and has a duration of action of around 24 hours. While most second generation antihistamines (e.g. Claritin) do not cause drowsiness or sedation, Zyrtec is not considered non-drowsy unfortunately. Clinical studies for Zyrtec have reported around 10-13% of users will experience some sort of sedative effect.

Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) is a commonly used over the counter nasal decongestant which works by producing vasoconstriction in the nasal passages, shrinking swollen nasal membranes which helps to alleviate nasal congestion. Sudafed also acts to increase nasal airflow and drainage of sinus secretions. Sudafed products must be stored behind the pharmacy counter due to the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, so be sure to ask the pharmacy if you need to purchase the product.

As mentioned above, Zyrtec and Sudafed are considered safe to take with each other. Their combined use helps to tackle a wide variety of cough/cold/flu symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sinus pressure and sneezing. If you are looking for a product that combines both Zyrtec and Sudafed, be sure to go to your pharmacy and ask for Zyrtec-D (or an equivalent generic product). It will be stocked behind the pharmacy counter.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Office: 716-389-3076

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