Zyrtec-D: worst packaging ever

Wednesday August 06, 2008 @ 11:43 AM (UTC)

I’m a very allergic person. I’ve been on one antihistamine plus decongestant or another for years, which is often inconvenient. For one thing, the insurance companies don’t like paying for all those meds, so they get the fast-track to over-the-counter. For another, the decongestant in my pills, pseudoephedrine, can be misused as a meth precursor. So the law restricts how much I can buy, requires me to submit my name to a Federal database, requires the store to keep them behind the counter, yada yada. Oh, also (thanks, Wikipedia!) the feds require “Non-liquid dose form of regulated product may only be sold in unit dose blister packs.”

I go back and forth between on-brand and store-brand, between Zyrtec-D and Claritin-D – varying antihistamine is better for your allergies, and sometimes there are coupons! Claritin-D comes in standard blister sheets: 6 or 8 pills, perforated divisions, exactly the sort of packaging we’ve all been opening since our parents couldn’t get child-proof stuff open and we volunteered to help. You rip the blister, out pops the pill.

Zyrtec, on the other hand, has this:

Zyrtec-D's packaging sucks

First of all, this is a waste of resources. The box is bigger and more complex (internal divider) to hold piles of individual blister packs, the blister packs use more plastic and foil than a traditional blister sheet. Secondly, they are absolutely positively without any doubt not “Easy Open” (who thought of the phrase “Easy Open Blister” anyway? The word ‘blister’ not associated with leisure and ease, folks.). You have to fold the tear to get it started, the loooong tear sometimes goes awry and doesn’t hit the blister, and even when it does follow the curving perforation perfectly, it only removes a shred of the blister around the pill, leaving the patient to dig at the heavy foil for a while before she can get the damn thing out. That’s without getting into picayune stuff, like it being easier to estimate how many pills you have left from a sheet than from a jumble of blister sarcophagi.

I know, I know, free market, free country, why do I keep buying them? Because I still have some $5 off coupons, and when you need medication to breathe, $5 off three weeks’ supply is not bad. And I can’t believe that the company won’t wise up eventually. After all, I am not the only person to post a picture of this package to Flickr with a grumpy caption. They can’t kid themselves they’re saving the world from meth by adopting such ridiculous packaging when the other brands aren’t encasing their pseudoephedrine in hyperbranded pucks that look like mini-golf greens. Give over, guys. I just want to take my allergy pill and go to sleep without sneezing. You just want me to buy it. Why can’t we get along?


All of us allergy, asthma and sinus sufferers are treated as potential criminals. Almost as fun as going to the airport these days! Zyrtec-D is the one I’m using right now, and I hate hate hate the package.

I can’t wait until I get a Claritin-D coupon again. I liked it when I got one register coupon or the other every time I went in – maybe Claritin has now resigned itself to the loss of market share.

With my son leaving for college, I can only send one month at a time with him unless we all go to the pharmacy together to get him a few months worth while he is home. WHAT A PAIN. Blister packs are aweful thanks FDA. Narrow thought process AGAIN! Don’t you think Meth adicts use big scissors to open all at once? We’re using Zyrtec D now too — but not for long. As soon as something else is available I’m gone!

I don’t think it’s just for the pseudoephedrine. I bought regular Zyrtec, needed scissors to open it, and found this message board when I searched for a place to rant.

I’m switching to the generic.

I just noticed that at the drugstore yesterday; previously, the drug store had only had the non-decongestant variety in the larger quantity pack, in which the pills come in a little bottle. If you can get the larger quantity, that should increase ease of use considerably.

“You have to fold the tear to get it started….” I didn’t know there was a method to the madness. I just rip the thing open in the morning and always fail of course. I will have to look at this as an early morning puzzler that I must master before I go crazy. Again, the packaging is ridiculous and needs a refresh.

Thank you for your eloquent and educated rant. I just took the scissors to 14 of those little bastards because the store was out of the bottles. I figured I would do them all at once instead of getting pissed off 14 times. Whoever designed this has no understanding of the irritability that can be associated with an allergy!

rumor has it, McNeil is changing the packaging for all Zyrtec products

I finally learned how to open those packs. after 50 tries!
once you get it down it still is hard. What are these wrappers for? some sort of covert tracking system to locate possible meth addicts. I hear carrying more than 30 pills will set off a metal detector. hope they get new packaging.

Try being an older person with weak hands and trying to open those damm individual things. I use the scissors & open all of them at once and put them in a pill bottle. What gets me is the pills are 12 hour pills & I need to take them twice a day. With the limit of one box I guess they expect me to just not breathe for the other half of the month. So the whole family goes to buy a box each. Boy the government really outsmated the druggies didn’t they? Druggies would never think of taking the whole family!

I have to take Zyrtec D or my whole body gets large hives and I have had 2 surgeries for sever sinus polyps. I have arthritis in my thumbs and wrists. I had to get a perscription for the Zyrtec D so I could buy 2 boxes a month but you only get 48 pills from the 2 boxes so for six days I’m screwed. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For Zyrtec-D I stop at a couple of drug stores and get a pack at each store on the same trip. I open them by cutting a partial cicle through the clear plastic covering around the base of the pill with a small jackknife. I works pretty slick after a few times. I usually do a week or two’s worth at a time. Wouldn’t you think that somebody who works for them would come in one day and say, “Geez, our packaging really sucks!?”

Suggest everyone use the “contact us” link at the zyrtec.com site and complain about it. At least that will give them fodder when they go to the FDA with a mountain of complaints about the packaging rules.

I thought of calling the company’s 1-899 number, but figured it would be worthless. I am old and have arthritis in my hands and have to ask my partner to open up the individual capsuals. Unfortunately Zyrtec D is what I have been taking for years.
Glad to know that other people have a problem.

Every time I have to open the packageing of Zyrtec D my wrists bleed under the skin from the bones pinching blood vessels and breaking them. I have arthritis. It comes from the bones pinching blood vessels and breaking them. I know it’s because of the difficulty opening the blister packs. That is why I open all of them at one time or I would have red wrists every day of my like. I’m thinking of a law suit for the company. What do you think?

I absolutely destest the packaging of this product!!! My arthritic hands CANNOT open them! My husband has to use his pocket knife to open each little tough-plastic covered little bastard pill out of it’s indestructible #*!%#$@ cocoon. Superman would probably have a tough time opening these little suckers……

i just sat down and took 15 minutes cutting open every blister pack of zyrtec D and put all the pills in a baggie. i hate the packing so much i dont buy unless i have a coupon. arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

After many many tries I accidentally came across a flaw in the packaging.If you grab the blister pack by the smaller blisters at the bottom then bend the very edges the white foil cover opens on the side and I can get it off!! What a waste of packaging not environmentally sound each pack has space for two Zyrtec-D for the whole day but they only put a single dose in! So much for corporate helping fix “global warming” shame shame. Not to mention I have to PAY to get my blood pressure up every time I have to take one of the darn things. FRUSTRATED BEYOND….

This does work well, just don’t pull it too hard or fast. It might tear, I think. You are a genius. :-)

Zyrtec-D has the worst packaging – they should state “scissors madatory.” Even the generic isn’t fun – you must use scissors. Great comments Cyndi!

I totally agree on the packaging. My daughter has terrible allergies and we just started using Z-D. I cannot believe the struggle we had with the packaging. We finally just used a pair of scissors to pill out. Obviously there was not a focus group tested to determine usability of this packaging.

Obviously people were complaining back in 2008 and Z-D has not gotten the message. Glad I only bought a box of 12 – I couldn’t believe how difficult and wasteful this packaging was and how mad I got trying to open the package. I will be going back to Claritin for this one reason!!

We used to be able to simply fill a prescription from the doctor and get a bottle with a 90-day supply through Medco. Now not only doenn’t insurance help cover the cost, but you have to go through the whole criminal record procedure to get the mini package of 24, which for me is good for a week and a half.
I cannot begin to open the packs, so I’m thankful that my husband can help me. What tdo singles do.maybe we should band together and insist that the drugstore open the pills for us.
And the final blow is that the Regular zyrtec is sold in convenient bottles, but not the strong stuff for serious sufferers!

Please work on the packaging. I hate these blister packaging. I have to use my scissors to cut around the pill in order to open.

Zyrtec’s manufacturers were insane to put out this product.

The penultimate example of the Heisenberg Unpackaging Principle, i.e., that any attempt to open the packaging reduces the contents to a broken, powdery mess.

Perhaps they were thinking “The customers will never forget this!” – indeed true.

I tried everything, including grandkids, to get the package open without scissors, just because it had so many intriguing instructions, maybe it was a game. You know, like those mazes we had when we were kids where the little ball rolled around and you tried to get it to the center. Yes, I’m old. Zyrtec should do that— let you roll the pill around for a game, and THEN you can get the scissors.

Now I feel better. ;)

Hey for the first time ever I sent a note to my Assemblywoman and Senator regarding gun control. Read on. I think the packaging of Zyrtec D pills could go a long way for a better use.

Why can’t bullets be encased in very difficult to open packaging just like Zyrtec D and be sold in the same manner? They are allowed for purchase, only after so many days, and needing a valid ID, for some kind of national registry. I am not even sure who or what runs the registry, but you can’t buy decongestants without all this: single pill encapsulation, scanning a valid ID at purchase, and only allowed every so many weeks.

You Zyrtec D owners know all this, each and every pill is packaged very tightly, with a foil tab and a plastic encasement that is almost as hard to open as small electronics packages.

If the anti-drug lobby can do this for individual pills, that I guess can be used to make ‘meth’, why can’t we do this for bullets that don’t need to be used by the x numbers per second? Maybe this, along with other gun controls could stop the senseless killings or slow them down.

Thanks for letting me steer this post in a new direction. If you like the idea, please forward to your congress people too.

they sure need a consultant; with five years of complaints about the battle-blister packaging, i can’t believe that neither the company or the doctors haven’t reacted. Yet docs still suggest the z-word. i will never buy it again. i will go to the two other doctor-suggested allergy tabs. i would rather switch than fight.

I consider myself a strong female operating farm machinery etc, but I have to take a hammer to the green cap on the Zyrtec bottle. I have never been able to squeeze the cap to open the bottle.

Found Walgreens has generic brand so saving a few bucks there. But the biggest money saving comes from NOT BEING ABLE TO OPEN THE PILL PACKAGES!! What is up Zyrtec? If they just had the foil backing we could push the pills out. Cutting the package doesn’t make it any easier!!!! Please reconfigure your packaging for the senior citizens that cannot get into the packages!

Shoe Bomber Mentality… I hate blister packaging, of course I am only a man and lack the patience it takes to get a Sudafed from the blister pack.

One shoe bomber and our government says that the only way we can combatthat offense is for everyone who flies (Millions of them) is to have them all remove their shoes before boarding a plane, so being consistent, and because addicts are after decongestants the only way that they could come up with to combat those offenders is to make every person in this country suffer trying to get a pill from something called a blister pack… go figure that one out?

Thank you.—all of you (except for the bullet-idea person). For a while I thought that there must be something wrong with me. There must be a reason why I can’t get these things to tear-bend-tear right. I mean the manufacturer must have put millions of dollars and years of thought behind this insidious design. Right? They must have market-tested the design. Right. So obviously I must be one of the 1% of the idiots who can’t figure out how to work this thing. It has directions. It has perforations. What could go wrong?

Well, I am so glad to know that this Evil Zyrtec Bubble Pack Support Group exists. I will visit it often.

I agree .
Solution .. The "big wigs must change their attitudes ..this bad attitude of ‘’those higher up’’ – in their ivory towers – is a prime reason whys things are so slow to improve .
Who gives a rats ass about scum-bag ’’meth’’ addicts ..The law abiding should not suffer !

I hate the package! Why can’t you put them in a bottle?

The packaging is awful— I can’t push the pill through and the peel- back is often stuck and not easy to use. Therefore I usually buy the Walgreens store brand—Walzyr which I can push out. As far as protection is concerned, use a childproof cap on a bottle.

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