Does Zyrtec Make You Drowsy?

While spring and early summer are seasons many people look forward to, those suffering from allergies may not feel the same. After all, allergies tend to get worse between February and early June, according to the experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. This is primarily due to the pollen released from the trees, grass, and ragweed.

Therefore, to avoid the bothersome symptoms that come with allergies, like sneezing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, and runny nose, people are likely to turn to allergy medication. Luckily, there are a variety of options for this. However, like most over-the-counter medications out there, they tend to come with their own list of side effects. Take, for example, Zyrtec. The overall purpose of the medication is to help relieve symptoms of allergies, whether they're experiencing them indoors or outdoors. However, can this particular product make you drowsy? Here's what we know.

The side effects of Zyrtec

As effective as any medication may be, it's essential to be aware of the side effects that could come along. When it comes to Zyrtec, taking the allergy medication can make you feel drowsy, as per their website. In fact, those looking to take it should steer clear of consuming alcohol or anything mixed with it for the rest of the day, as well as sedatives and tranquilizers, seeing as they may exacerbate feelings of drowsiness. On that note, getting behind the wheel of any type of vehicle is not recommended. 

While drowsiness may be one of the after-effects of consuming Zyrtec, it's not the only one. Additional effects include dry mouth, dizziness, headaches, nausea, insomnia, trouble breathing or passing down food, and sore throat, among others, as per Women's Health. Luckily, there are different things people can do to fight off the drowsiness brought on by Zyrtec.

How to manage the drowsiness effect

Although Zyrtec may cause someone to feel drowsy or worn down, there are ways to combat it. For starters, plan on taking it during a time of the day when you don't have a lot going on. That way, if feelings of drowsiness do hit, you're at home or not in need of driving anywhere. In fact, if possible, take it before heading to bed, recommends Dr. Robert Eitches, an allergist at Tower Allergy, via Women's Health. "That way you wake up in the morning relatively clearer too."

In case it's not possible to take it before bed due to severe allergies, consider fighting the drowsiness feeling by exercising, drinking small sips of coffee, or simply switching to a non-drowsy over-the-counter allergy medication (via WebMD). That being said, if any other side effects do come up, even after switching, consider reaching out to your primary doctor.