Survey reveals over-the-counter medicines pharmacists prefer most

Pharmacist picks divided into 14 different categories

Author: Sarah Mayberry, M.P.H., Local 4 Health Producer, @4goodhealth
Published On: Jun 19 2013 05:02:47 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 19 2013 06:47:28 PM EDT

Drug store aisles are filled with a dizzying array of over-the-counter medicines.  How do you know which one to pick?  Why not ask the pharmacist.

For 17 years, the industry trade publication Pharmacy Times has surveyed thousands of pharmacists nationwide about the products they prefer for a wide variety of problems.

The pharmacist picks are divided into 14 different categories and dozens of subcategories. 

For allergy sufferers, Sudafed was a far more popular decongestant with pharmacists than Claritin D.  For antihistamines, the non-drowsy choices Claritin and ZYRTEC were close.

If you have a cough, pharmacists are most likely to suggest Delsym, followed by Mucinex DM and Robitussin.

For a run-of-the-mill headache, all pain relievers were close, with Tylenol,  Excedrin, and Advil having an edge over Aleve.   But for a migraine, Excedrin Migraine was preferred by a large margin of pharmacists over Advil Migraine.

If pain is your problem, the type makes a difference.  For arthritis, pharmacists picked Aleve, Advil, and Motrin about equally.  But for menstrual pain, Midol was preferred over Advil, Aleve and Motrin.

For stomach troubles, in the antacid category, Tums was selected more often by pharmacists than Mylanta or Maalox.   To control diarrhea, pharmacists preferred Immodium by a wide margin over Pepto-Bismol.

To see the complete OTC Guide, click here.