Cost-Effective Medications and Supplements

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In these days of rising medical costs and sagging economics, many of us are looking to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing our health. Medicines are one of the most expensive daily use items for many people, especially if you do not have insurance. Consumer Reports hosts a website to help consumers identify the most effective and inexpensive medicines for their health conditions. Click on over to Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs to view reports on the best choices for medicines for particular health conditions. They also list information, opinions, and comparisons for particular medicines. We’re really pleased to see this kind of information becoming available to consumers. By consulting this site and other like it and working with your doctors, you are much more likely to be able to hold down your medical costs substantially.

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Best Buy Drugs: Information on Insomnia Medications

For instance, those with insomnia using Ambien would find out that zolpidem is the generic version of that medicine and can be much less expensive. The site also has in-depth reports on particular conditions and medications for them. As an example, an 18-page PDF report Evaluating Newer Sedative Drugs Used to Treat Insomnia Comparing Effectiveness, Safety, and Price reviews several insomnia drugs based upon actual usage and feedback from patients. You find out that generic zolpidem costs about a third of name-brand Lunesta (which isn’t yet available in generic form), but works better in many ways. And if you’re depressed and have insomnia, you find out that generic trazodone is even less expensive still but usage feedback indicates that it may only work on people with depression.

Consider Proven Inexpensive Medicines First

When considering what medications to take, it’s generally better to start with medicines that have a longer track record and are less expensive. Try those first. If they don’t work, if the side effects are intolerable, or there is another strong reason for a newer and more expensive medicine, then re-evaluate your choice. Obviously for prescription medicines you need to have your doctor involved in this process. Doctors are not always conscious of how much medicines cost, plus they are heavily influenced by pharmaceutical seminars and other marketing tactics. Therefore it is helpful to bring along information you can show your doctor about the relative cost of different medication options for your condition.

Best Buy Drugs Doesn’t Include Free Dietary Supplement Information

One type of information on this site that is not free is the section for non-prescription dietary supplements in Consumer Reports Natural Health. Well-researched dietary supplements are realistic alternatives that are sometimes superior to prescription medicines and are often less expensive and have fewer side effects. For instance, our recent article on using theanine to help reduce anxiety and insomnia discusses several advantages over common prescription benzodiazepines. But to get to the Consumer Reports information on theanine, you must subscribe to their website at $19.00 per year or $4.95 per month. While their natural medicine index lists a lot of dietary supplements and may be worth $19 per year for somebody making extensive use of natural medicine, similar information is available via other free sites.

University of Maryland Medical Center’s Free Natural Medicine Information

One of our favorite free information sites on alternative and natural medicine is the University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index. It’s got a wealth of information on a wide range of supplements, herbs, and conditions. For instance, if you’re looking for information on insomnia, they have an extensive article UMM: Insomnia that explains the condition and gives many options to help reduce it varying from changes in habits (no computers in bed!), timing of exercise (exercising after dinner may promote insomnia), to dietary supplements (5-HTP, Valerian, L-Theanine, and Melatonin can help you sleep).

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Further Reading

L-Theanine for Anxiety, Insomnia, and Depression

More Data + Less Care = Lower Cost + Better Health


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned on this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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