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Painless Tips on Shopping for Headache Medicine

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Experts compare name brand and generic headache medicine for value, effectiveness and savings.

Savings Experiment: Vitamins
When you have a headache, what do you reach for?
A generic pain relief medicine.65802 (47.9%)
A regular and trusted brand headache medicine.34464 (25.1%)
Extra strength or migraine pills. The stronger the better.24239 (17.7%)
A glass of water.12791 (9.3%)
Did you find our video on headache medicine helpful?
Yes, it's a great idea9592 (39.8%)
Yes, useful and entertaining6106 (25.3%)
No8393 (34.8%)
Headaches are no fun, which is why many of us reach for over-the-counter pain relievers to help ease the discomfort. But, the price of products like Advil and Aleve can add up quickly, especially if you're purchasing a lot over time. Here, our experts show you how you can save on these go-to drugs.

First, read the labels -- what's stronger is not always better. For example, Advil makes 24-tablet bottle of 200 milligram pills for $3.48. However, Advil Migraine comes in a 20-tablet bottle, has the same units of ibuprofen (200 milligrams), but costs $4.12. In this case, purchasing the migraine brand gets your less of the same size pills at a higher cost.

Second, go generic. The FDA requires that generic brands offer the same quality, strength, purity and stability as name brand drugs, so you're better off grabbing these over the higher-priced offerings. For instance, Aleve liquid-gels cost $5.89 for 20 220-milligram tablets of naproxen, while the generic brand has the same size bottle of the drug for just $3.79.

Headache medicineIn short, generic medicine is equally as effective, but at a lower price. So, the next time you're about to purchase a pain reliever, keep these wallet-friendly tips in mind.

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