#childsafety | 21 Best Drugstore Products 2020 | The Strategist

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If you’re like us, you tend to ponder the same things over and over when you go into the drugstore: Are generics just as good as the name brand? Is it really fine to get my flu shot here? How about my running socks? And so we posed the following 20 questions to experts — pediatricians, podiatrists, fashion people, a hangover specialist — to get some official answers. The takeaways include good news about off-brand Band-Aids and pregnancy tests, quick fixes for blisters and pant rips, and a set of guidelines for what to look for in your vitamin labels. Should you also happen to be curious about the most popular CVS purchases among New Yorkers (they include melatonin, of course), read on for a list of those, too.

1) Is there a circumstance where I should be buying name brand over-the-counter medication instead of a generic drugstore brand?

According to Dr. Judy Tung, internal medicine specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, the FDA pretty strictly regulates the amount and quality of the active ingredient in both varieties of medication. So there aren’t obvious or known situations where brand is superior over generic here. But, Tung does note that it can sometimes be easier to shop for generics, simply because they’re labeled more clearly (e.g., you’ll see a bottle of “Acetaminophen” and know just what you’re getting — the analgesic/fever reducer — as opposed to having to look more closely at a brand-name bottle in order to decode what’s in it). Whether the medication is name brand or generic, Tung notes that the taste, color, and texture can impact your overall experience with it, which is why she personally buys those in transparent containers, to make sure the tablets are coated, and not too big: “’I know coarse, large pills are harder to swallow,” she says, “and pills without coating will taste bitter.”

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