Painkillers: save or spend?
Consultant medical information pharmacist Nargis Ara says the cheap options often do the job just as well. 'If itís a plain and simple headache, thereís really no difference between the basic painkillers.'
'The difference lies in something called the excipients. These arenít active ingredients, rather theyíre added to the formula to bulk up the tablet to make it usable. Manufacturers may use lactose or magnesium sterate as a lubricant or bulking agent. These excipients can vary so you might find you prefer a particular type. Otherwise, 500mg of paracetamol is the same whatever you buy.'
However, there are time you may want to spend more. 'When there is a slight difference is if they make a claim such as fast-acting or long-lasting. It means they will have added certain ingredients. Drug companies cannot make a claim unless they have proved it in product quality tests before it hits the shelves.'
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