January 23, 2010

Save On Your Allergy Medication: Get A Prescription


Claritan D 24Zyrtec DPseudoephedrine

A few years ago, the rules for buying certain over the counter (OTC) allergy medications changed and it became more difficult to buy what you need.  First, we hated having to go to the doctor to get a prescription for basic allergy medication.  Then someone had a brilliant idea to just make it available over the counter.  No more having to go to the doctor for something so basic as allergy medication like Sudafed, Claritan-D, Zyrtec-D, even Triaminic or Tylenol products that have pseudoephedrine as the active ingredient.

But that all changed and instead of a quick trip to the store, you now have to go to a store that has a pharmacy, give your ID, and sign your life away.  And, you’re limited as to how much you can purchase so you have to figure out how you’re going to get enough medication for your entire family without the pharmacist thinking you’re trying to make drugs in your bathtub.

Rather than keep it to myself, my pharmacist friends heard about it all the time.  That was until one day, PharmaAmy told me to ask my doctor for a prescription.  She told me that I’d still have to pay out of pocket because insurance probably wouldn’t cover it even though it was a prescription.  I didn’t mind that.  What I minded was having to go to 4 different stores several times a month to get enough allergy medication for my family.

I asked my doctor for a prescription for Claritan-D and explained why.  At the pharmacy my prescription was filled for enough Claritan-D for the ENTIRE MONTH!  WooHoo!  I didn’t have to go back for weeks.  And, it had refills so I could order ahead and have my stuff waiting for me.

As you likely know if you take these OTC, but not really, medications the prices vary widely depending on where you shop.  I’ve put together the following tips to help you save money on your ‘quasi-OTC’ allergy medications.

1.  Get a prescription – OTC drugs that are still regulated and sold behind the counter can be purchased with a prescription.

2.  Shop at a warehouse club – Even if you are not a member of a warehouse club, all of them open their pharmacy to the general public.  You can not buy anything without a prescription, but these ‘quasi-OTC’ drugs for which you now have a prescription are available to you at their super low price.

3.  Prescription Transfer Bonuses – Many drug stores offer great incentives to transfer new prescriptions.  They also often put these ‘quasi-OTC’ allergy medications on sale.  Take advantage of the low sale price AND the Prescription Transfer Bonus.

4.  Use Coupons and Sales to Your Advanatge – There are rarely drugs that you purchase with a prescription that manufacturers give coupons.  The name brand versions of these  ‘quasi-OTC’ allergy medications often have manufacturer coupons which you can use even if you buy them with a prescription.  Also, if the name brand or store brand is on sale you can maximize your savings because you can buy in a larger quantity because you have a prescription.

5.  Stop Driving Around – You may shop multiple stores each week, but having to figure out where you can or can not purchase your ‘quasi-OTC’ allergy medications can waste time and money.  Now you can manage these on-line and have your medications waiting for you instead of you waiting for your medication.

Next time you talk to your doctor, ask about getting a prescription for your ‘quasi-OTC’ allergy medication.  Allergy season is right around the corner!

For other insights on frugal living, check out Madame Deals and Life As Mom!


{ 1 comment }

Renae @ Madame Deals January 28, 2010 at 2:56 am

Thanks for linking up! Sorry that I am just getting around to your post now. I bet going through the drive up window at the pharmacy is a huge time saver for you too! I know it is tough on me to unload my small boys and haul them in. Thanks for the tips!

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