Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The great Hayfever Conspiracy

Republishing this one...its that time of year and time to re-iterate DO NOT PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR ALLERGY TABLETS. Tesco Citirizine is now 7p a tablet... as opposed to 49p for Zirtek.

I have suffered seasonal hayfever for years now, enough to make summer a misery and struggled for ages to find something that worked as an antihistamine. Nasal sprays were semi-effective but very uncomfortable. Then I heard about Zirtek one a day. I tried them and they were fantastic. They deserved to be for £3 per 7. (about 43p EACH) so i decided to soldier on with the sprays and the sneezes.
A few years later my good woman asked the pharmacist for recommendations and he suggested Citirizine Hydrochloride at about £3.50 for 30 (about 11p each) these worked brilliantly, compared to the Zirtek the effects were identical and they were nearly 1/4 of the price. zirtek_allergy_tablets_1840The story doesn't end there. One day out of curiosity I looked at the Zirtek packet to find out what the active ingredient was. Guess what? Citirizine Hydrochloride. Every time a Hayfever sufferer buys Zirtek or Benedryl one a day they are paying nearly 30p a tablet for the pretty box and name.
It still doesn't end there. Another popular tablet is Clarityn which retails from Tescos at 2.99 for 7 (43p each again)> you may say its a different product, well it is. Its Loratadine. The exact same stuff as in the Tesco Non-Drowsy Hayfever tablets at … 80p for 7 (11p each)
We hear all the time that non branded meds are cheaper then branded but I never considered it being by a factor of 4!65ce_2The bottom line is that I take a hayfever tablet every day for around 5 months a year. 150 days at 43p a day is £64.50. At 11p its £16.50. I save £48 a year by simply ignoring the flashy boxes on the shelves and asking for the product direct.
So next time you hit the hayfever season give it a try. Instead of Zirtek or Benadryl ask the pharmacist for Cetirizine and if you normally use Clarityn ask for Loratadine. Your pockets will love you for it.
Cetirizine Wiki and Loratidine Wiki
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