Guest Post: The Great Hayfever Rip Off

This week I have a selection of fabulous budgeting mums guest posting for me and we start with @budgetingmummy1 from the Pret-A-Mummy blog. I’ve never had hayfever myself, know nothing about the nedication but I think this post makes a very interesting point….

The Great Hayfever Rip Off….

As a red head (well auburn-ish) it seems to be my lot in life to suffer from the various ills and ailments that seem to affect those with ultra fair skin; sunburn in February, eczema, generally looking as pale as a ghost, you know the score. But the one I find the most debilitating is the horrendous condition I suffer from every year – hayfever. In fact it’s not just hayfever, as I’ve got older I seem to have become more susceptible to allergies of every sort – dust for example I find sends me into sneezing fits, itchy eyes and general misery (worst when I’m cleaning the house, a good excuse not to do it but then it gets more dusty!). Hayfever starts in around March, I don’t know what sort of pollen is around at that time of year but it doesn’t do me any favours. By April I can not open my eyes properly until around 10am. I have no idea why I am so badly affected in the mornings, but contact lenses seem to make the problem worse, and sunglasses slightly help. May and June are a write off and I mainly cower indoors, especially if my husband is cutting the lawn. Picnics are a no-no as is going near any sort of animal. My symptoms are always the same, ridiculously sore eyes that are mega dry and make my contact lenses pop out; really really runny nose all the time, sore throat and constant sneezing.
I’ve tried all sorts of remedies, though when I was pregnant and couldn’t take any medication at all I was particularly miserable. That year I tried eating lots of honey from local bees after being reassured by thebee keeper that this was a failsafe technique. It didn’t work, and I got really bad toothache.
Now I take a daily hayfever tablet, nose spray and multiple eye drops, it takes the edge off it but it doesn’t seem to really hit the spot. A few times I’ve been to the doctors for super strong hayfever tablets but have been given the ones that make me really really sleepy, I’m knackered enough as it is without taking medication that makes me more so.
I’m a bit of an expert on the cost of hayfever medication, as a thrifty mum I’m always on the lookout for cheap hayfever tablets to stock up on.  Recently I’ve been buying Boots value range which is 99p for seven tablets. I noticed on the packet that it says they are 10mg tablets containing the ingredient Loratadine.  With a bit of investigative work I noticed that this is the same ingredient that is in the coloured box, snazzy looking “Boots” branded ones which cost £4.49! For 14 rather than 7 but that still makes them double the cost! So for a nice looking box you have to pay double for exactly the same product. The Clarityn ones (which used to be my brand of choice!) are £3.39 for 7, which is more than double the cost of the value ones, even though they contain exactly the same ingredient. At the moment these are on buy one get one free which makes them better value, but still quite a lot more than the value ones.To me, this shows a lack of transparency about what you are buying and what you are getting for your money. I always thought that branded products were better quality than the “value” ranges, but in this case, if the active ingredient is the same, surely it is exactly the same product.
Do you have any examples of “value” ranges being exactly the same are much more expensive branded products?



  1. Becky Plummer
    July 9, 2012 / 2:47 pm

    I’m amazed at the differing prices of paracetamol and ibuprofen when they are basically all the same.

    Also went to buy calpol the other day from Tesco and their own brand was £1.35 for 200ml as apposed to £5.09 for the named brand!

  2. Emma Howard
    July 10, 2012 / 7:44 am

    I also suffer from hay fever and made sure that when I had my son I stocked up on my medication to take advantage of the free prescriptions for the year following his birth! Once he turned one and I had to start paying again I took my Piriton prescription to Boots and asked the pharmacist whether he had anything cheaper to buy over the counter. He disappeared, and came back with a pot of 500 tablets and said shall we call it £10?! I’ve since done the same again with no problems and saved myself a small fortune.

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