Pharmacology. That's the class where we learn each medication has at least three different names and one of them is something like fifteen letters long and four syllables to sound out. The active ingredients are all pretty much the same. The price on the shelves in the store is something completely different.
This is not medical advise, [enter disclaimer] it's common sense. I am not suggesting any kind of switcheroo with prescription meds, just making you aware of the usual over-the-counter variety with the purpose of saving a little change for exactly the same medication. For those of us who have pain, allergies and the occasional upset stomach, here are some of the tricks of the trade I spent thousands of dollars in nursing school to learn.
Tylenol is a pain reliever/fever reducer. This medicine is sometimes known as Acetaminophen. Same-same except the brand name is almost twice as much money. Check the labels for the milligrams and compare. This medicine is taken every 4 hours.
Motrin is a pain reliever/fever reducer. Sounds like the stuff above but it's different. The tongue-twister name is Ibuprofen. These two are the same as well. Don't go by pain reliever/fever reducer- look at the names. This medicine is taken every 8 hours.
It's allergy season and this year is worse than average. Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, yeah, it's frustrating. The weather also gives us bees, those little punky bug things, and other flying annoyances. For relief, you can turn to Benadryl, or be smart and look for Diphenhydramine HCl. Don't try to sound it out, just look carefully at the letters. Without getting into a physiology lecture, this is an antihistamine used to block histamine (those things that cause the trouble above).
Most of the public has heard of Claritin. It is also known as Loratadine. I recently went label shopping and noticed the name brand was $9.99 while the store brand was $3.99.
If you suffer from gas issues and use something like Gas-X, try Simethicone the next time you need relief.
Again, if it gives you peace of mind, most store brands or off-labels will have some notation on the package to compare it to the name brand. Or ask your doctor or the pharmacist (my professional advise). The active ingredients of both packages should be the same. This is one instance where a higher price does not ensure a higher quality item. Be a savvy and safe shopper, just be sure it's the same strength because Junior Strength and Children's versions are different.