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Kids and Allergies: Generic Zyrtec — at last

Submitted by on Thursday, 28 August 2008 2 Comments

Coming to a discount retailer near you — or, at least, me: Generic Zyrtec for children!

I saw the syrup with my own eyes at Target today. Unfortunately, Big Guy views “swallow pills” as a mark of maturity and disdains syrup as baby stuff. But where there’s syrup, tablets couldn’t be too far behind.

We’ve loved Zyrtec from afar for the past year. I had to give it up last summer and switch Big Guy back to Claritin after our insurer dropped Zyrtec from its formulary. I hated to do it — Zyrtec worked far better for him — but at $50 a month, I simply couldn’t afford it.

I considered going back to Zyrtec when it went over the counter at the beginning of the year, but it still was pricey.

Now, though, there’s hope. The generic liquid was $6.49 a bottle, $3 less than the brand name. I’m hoping the pills will follow the same pattern.

Even nicer: The competition has, of course, forced down the price on the brand name as well. I bought a 12-pack of Zyrtec tablets for $9.49 today. That’s 79 cents a dose or $23.73 for the average month — a heck of a lot more affordable than the $50 of a year ago. It’s also cheaper than the going rate for Claritin chewables — $10.49 for 10 — though more expensive than Claritin generics — $6.99 for 10 locally.

What astounds me, though, is that it’s taken so long. Zyrtec’s patent expired in December and the generic for was approved more than a year ago, according to emax.com.

I suppose in medical time, a year to market could be downright speedy. It doesn’t seem like it, though, when you’re waiting for medicine for your kid.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Emily said:

    Check Costco, too, if you shop there. Great deals on allergy meds, and it’s wonderful to have several hundred pills to get us through a season.

  • Debra said:

    I have kind of a love-hate relationship with Costco, but that’s a whole other blog I need to write! The way the guys inhale food, though, I think I’m going to have to start hitting it again. Thanks for the tip!