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Cheap hay fever tablets and allergy medication

Hay fever can turn even the best summer's day into a fight against nature's irritant: pollen. But don't let it hit your finances too - find out how to get medication on the cheap.

cheap hay fever pills

If you're a hay fever sufferer, you'll understand that the toll it can take on your bank balance is almost as painful as the four months of itchy eyes, blocked nose and scratchy throat.

Hay fever is often too annoying an ailment to ignore, but sadly, the medication can be pricey. Fortunately, there are some far cheaper ways of soothing your allergies... if you know where to look.

Read on to find out how to get the cheapest hay fever medication, as well as some cheap ways to deal with your allergies when tablets just aren't enough.

Are branded medicines more effective than generic alternatives?

When you're buying medication - be it for hay fever or anything else - there's always one thing to bear in mind: branded medicines are a bit of a rip-off.

Why? Well, despite the fact that your standard dose of medication will have a ton of different ingredients, there's usually only one that matters: the active ingredient. This is the one that actually does the work, and as long as it's in there, you're sorted.

In other words, if you take Piriteze, Zirtek, Clarityn, or whichever medication works for you, there's almost certainly a generic alternative out there that does exactly the same thing, but for a fraction of the cost!

Think of it like coffee and energy drinks - they're different products, but they both contain caffeine so they both get you wired.

As for safety, you needn't worry that the generic alternative isn't fit for consumption. Regardless of the manufacturer or retailer, all medicines in the UK are made to the same strict standards.

So, if you have a choice between two boxes of tablets - both the same quantity, both with the same active ingredient, but with drastically different price tags - there's usually no reason to go for the more expensive version.

If you have any food or drug allergies, always check the non-active ingredients too! The medication may include something that you're allergic to, and you shouldn't assume that branded and generic products have the exact same contents.

Cheap hay fever tablets

Now we've established that generic, unbranded medications are just as effective as the branded products, let's take a look at the cheapest medicines that contain the all-important active ingredients.

As most of us recognise our medication by the brand, and not the active ingredient, we've included pictures of all the major brands containing each of the main active ingredients.

We've also listed the cheapest in-store prices for generic hay fever medicines, just in case you need to buy some while you're out and about - or simply have an aversion to shopping online.

Note that the prices listed exclude any special offers, so do have a quick double check to see if there any deals on before handing over your cash.

Acrivastine

cheap benadryl acrivastine hay fever tablets

Which hay fever medicines contain acrivastine?

  • Benadryl Allergy Relief

Now, we have some good news and some bad news here. The bad news is that Benadryl Allergy Relief is the only product out there that contains acrivastine, meaning there's no cheaper alternative.

The good news is that this is the only major hay fever pill without a cheaper, generic equivalent. If you take any other medication, the chances are that you can get a cheap-as-chips version instead.

Cheapest places to buy Benadryl Allergy Relief

As there are no generic hay fever tablets containing acrivastine, we've listed the cheapest places to buy Benadryl Allergy Relief instead.

We've gone for the 24 capsule pack, as it's usually better value for money than a 12 pack. However, these prices exclude any special offers, and it can sometimes be cheaper to get two 12 packs instead.

Cetirizine hydrochloride and cetrizine dihydrochloride

cheap benadryl zirtek piriteze cetirizine hydrochloride hay fever tablet

Which hay fever medicines contain cetirizine hydrochloride?

  • Benadryl One-a-Day Relief
  • Piriteze
  • Zirtek

Some hay fever medicines will list their active ingredient as cetirizine hydrochloride, while others will list it as cetirizine dihydrochloride. However, as there's no known difference between the two, we've lumped them together for this price comparison exercise.

Cheapest cetirizine hydrochloride tablets

Online:

  • Amazon - 180 tablets for £4.05 (2.3p per tablet) (free delivery)

In store:

  • ASDA - 30 tablets for £1.90 (6.3p per tablet)
  • Boots - 60 tablets for £11.49 (19.p per tablet)
  • Morrisons - 30 tablets for £2.50 (8.3p per tablet)
  • Sainsbury's - 30 tablets for £2.50 (8.3p per tablet)
  • Superdrug - 30 tablets for £1.99 (6.6p per tablet)

Chlorphenamine maleate

cheap Chlorphenamine Maleate piriton tablets

Which hay fever medicines contain chlorphenamine maleate?

  • Piriton (tablets and syrup)

Note that, despite the similar packaging and brand name, Piriton and Piriteze are not the same product. They're made by the same company, but the two medicines contain different active ingredients.

Cheapest chlorphenamine maleate tablets

Online:

  • Pharmacy First - 112 tablets for £3.64 (45p plus £3.19 delivery) (3.3p per tablet)
  • Chemist Express - 500 tablets for £9.50 (£3.29 delivery) (2.5p per tablet)

In store:

  • Boots - 60 tablets for £5.89 (9.8p per tablet)
  • Superdrug - 30 tablets for £2.79 (9.3p per tablet)

Loratadine

cheap loratadine clarityn hay fever tablets

Which hay fever medicines contain loratadine?

  • Clarityn

Loratadine is arguably the most common active ingredient in hay fever pills. While Clarityn is the only major branded hay fever medicine to contain it, loratadine is often the only active ingredient used by supermarket's in their own-brand range.

Cheapest loratadine tablets

Online:

  • Amazon - 240 tablets for £5.29 (2.2p per tablet) (free delivery)

In store:

  • ASDA - 30 tablets for £1.90 (6.3p per tablet)
  • Boots - 30 tablets for £1.99 (6.6p per tablet)
  • Morrisons - 30 tablets for £2.50 (8.3p per tablet)
  • Sainsbury's - 30 tablets for £2.50 (8.3p per tablet)
  • Superdrug - 30 tablets for £1.99 (6.6p per tablet)
  • Tesco - 30 tablets for £2.75 (9.2p per tablet)
  • Waitrose - 30 tablets for £2.95 (9.8p per tablet)
  • Wilko - 30 tablets for £1.50 (5p per tablet)

5 ways to reduce hay fever symptoms

Hay fever medicine does a great job of relieving the agony... most of the time. Sometimes the pollen count is so high that no amount of medication can stop the itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, and whatever other symptoms your hay fever brings out.

In these instances, it's good to have some back-up hay fever remedies that will go the extra mile.

  1. Use eye drops and nasal sprays

    eye drops and nasal spray stop hay fever

    Credit: Warner Bros

    Don't listen to Rachel - eye drops aren't that bad at all. In fact, the relief they'll give you from the agony of itchy eyes will be more than worth overcoming any fears you have about putting something in your eye.

    Eye drops don't tend to hurt, but if you're really not keen on using them (or you wear contact lenses - most eye drops aren't suitable for use if you're wearing contacts), you can now get eye spray too.

    Eye sprays are usually suitable for use with contact lenses (always check the packaging though, of course), and all you have to do is close your eyes and spray your eyelids. Nothing to be afraid of!

    As for nasal sprays, it's important to remember that blocked noses are not caused by mucus - they're actually a result of swollen blood vessels in your nose. So, if you're just a bit snotty, it might not be worth buying some nasal spray. That said, if you're having trouble breathing through your nose, nasal spray could be the solution.

    One of the hidden terrors of hay fever is waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe because your nose is so blocked, and if you know you're susceptible to a blocked nose, it might be worth investing in a nasal spray for the bedside table.

  2. Avoid itchy eyes by wearing an eye mask

    cover eyes to prevent hay fever

    Now, as far as we know (from extensive Googling), this tip doesn't exist anywhere else on the internet. That's right - it's a Save the Student original.

    We stumbled across this trick by accident, when a t-shirt draped over the face seemed to be the only way to soothe some very, very itchy eyes. It got us thinking... could preventing itchy eyes in the morning be as simple as covering them over night?

    Well, according to the 100% success rate of our new hack, yes - it is that simple.

    All you need is an eye mask (we went for this one as the silk means it's not only comfortable, but great for staying cool on hotter nights), and you're there. Plus, you get the added bonus of blocking out the early-rising summer sun that seems so keen to wake you up at 5:30 in the morning...

  3. Hoover your room to get rid of pollen

    vacuum hoover room get rid of pollen

    Credit: 20th Century Fox

    Pollen is basically just dust - hence why, on spring or summer days, you can see a thin layer of it decorating all the cars on your street.

    So, to get rid of the pollen in your room, just do exactly what you'd do to get rid of dust: hoover. Even hoovering your mattress, pillows and duvet is worth doing, as they'll hold a lot of dust and you'll be literally covering yourself in them every night.

  4. Don't hang washing outside

    hang washing inside reduce hay fever

    This one's pretty simple. Just as you'll expose yourself to a ton of pollen by failing to hoover your room, you'll find yourself in the same predicament if you hang your washing outside.

    The solution is simple, too - get yourself a foldable clothes airer so you can dry your clothes inside all year round.

  5. Shower before going bed

    shower to get rid of pollen

    Credit: Nickelodeon

    It's not just clothes and beds that can carry pollen - you can, too! However, by showering before you go to bed, you should hopefully be able to wash away most of the pollen that's clung to you throughout the day, meaning you're less likely to be rudely awoken by hay fever symptoms.

    Plus, after a hot summer's day, there's nothing better than cooling off in the shower. Double win.

Hay fever is a cruel mistress, but hopefully this guide will help you reduce your symptoms, as well as the damage it can do to your bank balance!

Got any hay fever hacks of your own? Let us know in the comments so we add them to our guide.

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