Martin Lewis’ MSE reveals how to get cheap hay fever tablets – you could save £9 a pack


HAY fever sufferers can save a whopping £8 per pack according to Martin Lewis and his MoneySavingExpert (MSE) team.

With much of the UK basking in sunshine and as temperatures soar, many will be feeling the effects of the high pollen count.

Martin Lewis and his team at has revealed how to cut the cost of hay fever medication

The cheapest generic hay fever tablets are over half the price of their brand name alternatives

To deal with the itchy eyes and running nose, many will be reaching for allergy tablets and eye drops from big pharmacy names.

Whether you’re after Benadryl, Claritin and Piriton, Martin Lewis and his team is warning shoppers not to get duped into spending more than they need to.

The MSE team said: “Dust and pollen allergies can be hard on the pocket as well as the nose, but you can get exactly the same allergy relief for less than half the price big brands will charge. 

“The key thing is to find what the ‘active’ ingredient of your usual remedy is. Then buy the cheapest with the same ingredient.”

Generic medications, like own-brand supermarket alternatives, will often contain the same active ingredient as branded hay fever medication – but they’ll cost substantially less.

The most common active ingredients to treat hay fever symptoms in pill form are cetirizine hydrochloride and loratadine.

The former is marketed under the Piritize brand name and the latter under the Clarityn brand.

Optrex hay fever eye drops contain sodium cromoglicate which is also readily available in generic form.

But shoppers could save upwards of £8 by switching to buying their meds in their generic form at other supermarkets and high street shops.

Shoppers wanting to pick up 30 Piritize tablets could expect to spend between £6.75 and £11 depending on where they shop.

But if the same shoppers were to switch to buying a generic containing the same active ingredient, they could end up between £2 and £6.99.

The same savings go for those wishing to bag 30 Clarityn tablets which could set shoppers back between £6 and £10.49.

But if you were to switch to a generic form you’d only need to spend between £2 and £3.25 depending on the retailer.

Shoppers who need instant relief from symptoms and prefer Piriton tablets which contain chlorphenamine can also save by switching to generics.

Those buying Piriton from the high street can expect to spend between £4.99 and £7.99.

But the cheapest generic alternative costs just £2.99 from Boots.

You may find that retailers also stock smaller packs of the same tablets, but in general bigger boxes work out as better value for money.

Shoppers can also save on eye drops marketed to help those with itchy eyes.

Optrex hay fever drops contain sodium cromoglicate, but a 10ml bottle can cost between £5.40 and £6.85.

But shoppers who buy the same generic alternative from Boots would spend just £4.55.

The MSE team has also warned families not to pay over the odds for hay fever medications marketed for children under 12.

The team said: “Kids’ versions of products can cost more than the adult versions, but the same money saving principles apply.

“Branded syrups can share the same active ingredient, often only featuring different flavourings, and generic versions may be available.

“Look at the ingredients and the dosage guidelines, rather than the spiel and fancy packaging, but remember you can always ask your pharmacist if you’re unsure.”