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     When you are feeling ill but not bad enough to go to the Doctor you will need to buy some Over The Counter (OTC) medicines which can seem expensive.

     However there are cheaper versions of many of the common medicines used today. When a drug is first discovered by a drug company, they put a patent on it to cover the cost of their research and development. These patents last for about 20 years after which any manufacturer can use the formula.

     These other manufacturers are usually called generic companies and the versions they produce are cheaper then the branded product (the original product). It is much like a branded cornflake compared to the supermarket’s own make.


To help you save money we have created a short list of some of the most common brands and their generic equivalents.

1) Canesten cream 1%=Clotrimazole cream 1%

2) Diflucan capsule=Fluconazole 150 mg

3) Zovirax 2% cream=Aciclovir 2% cream

4) Anadin=Aspirin

5) Panadol=Paracetamol

6) Calpol=Paracetamol Suspension

7) Nurofen=Ibuprofen

8) Ibuleve=Ibuprofen gel

9) Imodium=Loperamide

10) Adult Meltus or Veno’s for dry cough=Pholcodine linctus

11) Adult Meltus or Veno’s for chesty cough=Guaiphenesin Syrup

12) Solpadeine=Co-codamol

13) Clarityn=Loratadine

14) Zirtek=Cetirizine

15) Opticrom=Sodium Cromoglycate eye drops

16) A simple moisturiser=Aqueous cream

17) A simple antacid=Magnesium Trisilicate

18) Ambre Solaire suntan cream/lotion, Piz Buin etc.=Delph suntan cream/lotion

19) Cymalon, Cystopurin, etc.=Potassium Citrate Mixture (Mist. Pot. Cit.)

20) Clearblue Pregnancy Test=Rapid Pregnancy Test.

21) HC45 cream=Hydrocortisone 1% cream

There are also a couple of others ways you can save money.

Prepayment certificate:

     If you normally pay for your prescriptions, first of all check to see if you might be exempt from paying for them. If you are not exempt, you can save a considerable amount of money if you buy a prepayment certificate.

Care at the Chemist:

     If you are exempt from paying for your prescription, you may be able to get some items you normally buy over the counter free of charge.  Many pharmacies now operate Care At The Chemist schemes, also called Minor Ailment schemes. This means if you or a member or your family has a minor illness e.g. head lice, chesty cough, cold sore etc. you can get a medicine, after speaking with your pharmacist, from a limited list, free of charge, paid for by the NHS.

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