Our experts have concerns about a favourite hayfever tablet and the evidence supporting some alternative remedies.
As the hayfever season approaches, we asked academic and practising pharmacists and a professor of pharmacognosy to look at how well hayfever treatments work.
They recommend anti-histamine tablets which have newer active ingredients, such as loratidine (in Clarityn) and cetirizine (in products including Zirtek). These have fewer symptoms than our readers’ favourite tablet Piriton, which contains the older active ingredient chlorphenamine and can have a sedative effect.
Which? members can read about other remedies in the full article Hayfever Forecast in the April 2010 edition of Which?
Save money on hayfever remedies
Our experts also recommended shopping by active ingredient and looking on the shelves for the cheapest prices as we found that – when asking for the cheapest ‘generic’ equivalents to well-known brands at Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy – we were sold the shop’s own brand despite there being cheaper alternatives on the shelves.
Which? also found big savings in swapping to ‘generics’ and recommends shopping around – prices for the same products varied considerably between shops.
After looking at manufacturers’ evidence to support some alternative remedies, such as the Lloyds Pharmacy Allergy Ionising Air Purifier and Nelsons Pollenna tablets, our experts said that more research was needed before they could recommend them.