Active Ingredients for Common Illnesses

With so many over-the-counter medicine options to choose from, it can be confusing to know which one to get. Then there’s the brand name medicine versus the generic or store brand medicine. What only really matters is the “active ingredients”. This post will list and describe the active ingredients for common illnesses so you can make better decisions when deciding which medicine to buy.

Tip: Always buy store-brand medicine, e.g. Target’s Up & Up or Costco Kirkland brands. They contain the same active ingredients and are always cheaper.

Cough Suppressant

Generic name: Dextromethorphan HBr

Common brands: Robitussen


Generic name: Eucalyptus Oil (topical)

Common brands: Vicks VapoRub

Expectorant

Generic name: Guaifenesin

Common brands: Robitussen

An expectorant is a medicine you can use when you have a cough that produces mucus. Expectorants help thin the secretions in your airway and loosen up mucus, so you can make your cough more productive.

Allergy Symptom Reliever

Generic name: Fluticasone Propionate (glucocorticoid)

Common brands: Flonase, Aller-Flo (Costco Kirkland)

Temporarily relieves symptoms of hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies including nasal congestion, itchy nose, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes


Generic name: Cetirizine HCI (Antihistimine)

Common brands: Zyrtec, Aller-Tec (Costco Kirkland)

Temporarily relieves symptoms of hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies including runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes, itching of the nose or throat


Generic name: Loratadine (Antihistimine)

Common brands: Claritin

Temporarily Relieves These Symptoms Due To Hay Fever Or Other Upper Respiratory Allergies: Runny Nose, Sneezing, Itchy, Watery Eyes, Itching Of The Nose Or Throat


Generic name: Mometasone Furoate Monohydrate (Glucocorticoid)

Common brands: Nasonex

Uses temporarily relieves these symptoms of hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies: nasal congestion runny nose sneezing itchy nose


Generic name: Fexofenadine Hci

Common brands: Allegra

Temporarily relieves these symptoms due to hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies: – runny nose itchy, watery eyes sneezing – itching of the nose or throat


Generic name: Triamcinolone Acetonide

Common brands: Nasacort

Temporarily relieves these symptoms of hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies: nasal congestion runny nose sneezing itchy nose


Generic name: Azelastine Hci (Antihistamine)

Common brands: Astepro


Generic name: Diphenhydramine Hcl (Antihistamine)

Common brands: Benadryl

Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose

Temporarily Relieves These Symptoms Due To Hay Fever Or Other Upper Respiratory Allergies: Runny Nose Sneezing Itchy, Watery Eyes Itching Of The Nose Or Throat


Generic name: Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride (Antihistamine)

Common brands: Xyzal

Temporarily relieves these symptoms due to hay fever or other respiratory allergies: runny nose itchy, watery eyes sneezing itching of the nose or throat


Generic name: Triprolidine Hcl (Antihistamine)

Common brands: Mucinex

Triprolidine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat/skin, cough, runny nose, and sneezing.


Generic name: Chlorpheniramine Maleate (Antihistamine)

Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat/skin, cough, runny nose, and sneezing.


Generic name: Doxylamine Succinate (Antihistamine)

Doxylamine is an antihistamine, used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. This medication works by blocking certain natural substances (histamine, acetylcholine) that your body makes. This effect helps to relieve allergy/cold symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.


Generic name: Brompheniramine Maleate (Antihistamine)

Common brands: Dimetapp

Used to relieve watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing.

Pain Reliever / Fever Reducer

Generic name: Acetaminophen

Common brands: Tylenol

Relieves mild to moderate pain (from headaches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, or cold/flu aches and pains) and to reduce fever.


Generic name: Ibuprofen

Common brands: Advil

Relieves pain from various conditions such as headache, dental pain, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, or arthritis. It is also used to reduce fever and to relieve minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu.


Generic name: Aspirin

Used to reduce the risk of having a heart attack in people who have heart disease.


Generic name: Naproxen Sodium

Common brands: Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn

Used to relieve pain from various conditions such as headache, muscle aches, tendonitis, dental pain, and menstrual cramps. It also reduces pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by arthritisbursitis, and gout attacks.

Nasal Decongestant

Generic name: Phenylephrine Hcl, Phenylephrine Bitartrate

Common brands: Sudafed PE


Generic name: Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride

Common brands: Mucinex Sinus-Max, Afrin

Sore Throat, Sore Mouth, Canker Sores

Generic name: Benzocaine, Menthol

Common brands: Mucinex


Gargle with salt water