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Consumer Reports Swine Flu Survival Kit Prepares Consumers for Potentially Tough Flu Season This Fall
Date:8/3/2009

December 2004, Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs is a public health initiative that rates more than 200 prescription drugs using comparative effectiveness research. Best Buy Drugs reports are available for free at www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org/BestBuyDrugs. By opting for Best Buy Drug choices, consumers can realize significant monthly savings while receiving the most effective and safest treatments for their condition.

As the new school year approaches and weed pollen allergen levels peak, Consumer Reports also lists other useful information for treating colds and allergies without medication. For colds, the best remedies are the simplest and can often be found in your kitchen, not a drugstore. For example, you can soothe a sore throat with a saltwater gargle, or try honey or non-medicated lozenges for a cough. Controlling allergies starts by limiting exposure to the triggers, keeping windows shut when outdoor triggers are high, and using an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to reduce humidity. To treat allergy symptoms with over-the-counter drugs, Consumer Reports recommends using generic versions of Claritin and Zyrtec - loratadine or cetirizine.

Avoiding Hidden Drugstore Traps

No matter your ailment, consumers need to watch out for the following traps at the drugstore when shopping for remedies:

  • Brand-name extensions. Drug manufacturers often use brand names to launch related but different products. There are 34 Vicks products and 14 Sudafed products, and countless store brands and generic versions. With so many products to choose from, people might take medications that are inappropriate or even risky.
  • Recommendation: Choose remedies by active ingredients, not the brand.
  • "Shotgun" remedies. Many products are loaded with multi
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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