Heading into cough/allergy/flu/cold season always brings out the folks navigating the aisles for over-the-counter remedies.
I feel bad for the mom who scours the shelves for some magic elixir to help her kid's (and hers) relentless, sleepless nights. She excitedly brings me a bottle of NEW!!!! Pediaminic Just Fer Kidz Cough/Cold Nighttime So Your Child Can Rest Bubblegum Berry Liquid, and asks me what I think. I hate having to break the news that it's just, well ----- Benadryl.
I don't blame people for being totally confused about OTC stuff, and I can't imagine the money that is wasted because people don't know what they are buying, or that the product is no different from ten other products they already have in their medicine cabinet.
NEW Zyrtec Itchy Eye Drops -- "Nothing Works Better!!"
Well, maybe nothing works better, but there's a whole bunch of stuff that works as well, because it's the same drug. That would be Alaway, Zaditor, Claritin Eye, and probably other stuff I haven't seen yet. But people are genuinely baffled that all these things appear on the shelves next to each other as though there is actually a choice to be made between them. Sometimes I think people believe I'm pulling the wool over their eyes. I guess I am in a way, but if I had the power to dictate what was on our OTC shelves about 75% of that stuff would be gone.
My point is if you ask your pharmacist about an OTC product and they say, "Don't waste your money, get this one," don't be surprised, or suspicious. Just because it's on the shelf doesn't mean it's any good. Very seldom does "NEW" mean new. The FDA only approves certain products for OTC use and to see something genuinely new is rare.