It’s hay-fever time. This means that people across the country will be forking out money on hay-fever remedies. What you need to remember is that the four main brand names — Zirtek, Claritin, Benadryl and Piriton — each has its own active ingredient. Once you have discovered what the active ingredient of your usual remedy is, by looking at the packaging, you can save cash simply by buying the generic (shop’s own brand) version of it for a fraction of the cost. This excludes Benadryl, as there are no generic versions available.
The savings can be considerable. The chemist’s own-brand version will typically cost around £1 or £2 for a week’s worth, compared to around £4 for a branded version. This is exactly the same drug doing exactly the same thing, except you are now paying a lot less.
You can save even more by buying up to six months’ worth by ordering online at either ChemistDirect.co.uk or Chemist-4-u.com, for under £6. But be careful if you have food or drug allergies, as you should not assume that the non-active ingredients are the same in the generic product as the branded one.