Allergy medication is now over-the-counter for less


Last week I received a letter in the mail from my local Walgreen's pharmacy informing me that Zyrtec is now available as an over-the-counter medication. My eight year-old son takes the medication for seasonal allergies, which begin to cause itchy eyes and sneezing by early to mid-March here in the Northeast.

My insurance covers the prescriptions, but my co-pay is still $40 per month. Since my son takes Zyrtec for about seven months, it costs nearly $300 a year. The estimated cost of OTC Zyrtec is just $25 compared to $91 for the prescription, which consumers without insurance or a prescription plan pay for out of pocket.

The letter went on to say that the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has approved OTC Zyrtec for all indications except for children between six months and two years, who still require a prescription.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, maker of Zyrtec, offers a $2 coupon on its website towards your next purchase of any Zyrtec product. A Q&A sheet published by the manufacturer warns that Zyrtec may no longer be covered by insurance although you can still use flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts to pay for the medication.