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Sunday, March 23, 2014

zzzquil ripoff scam -- it's just benadryl

I was curious as to what zzzquil was.  Now I know, it's benadryl, only a lot more expensive.

Here's an Amazon review that makes the point:

317 of 356 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SAVE YOUR MONEY; THIS IS ALL HYPEJune 23, 2012
This review is from: ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid Liquicaps 48 Count (Health and Beauty)
The only active ingredient in this "new" product is 25mg of Diphenhydramine hcl which Nyquil ZZZ labels a "Nighttime sleep-aid." This is the EXACT ingredient in benadryl and store brand equivalents, that cost much less, which those manufacturers label as an antihistamine. All Nyquil did was rename it and give it a hyped up name of ZzzQuil and repurpose it as a sleep aid. Antihistamines can make you drowsy but that's not why people take them. This one has been around since the 1940's. What a bunch of BS.

So what are we supposed to think?  Vick's is leveraging its good name (from Nyquil and Dayquil) to repackage benadryl and sell it for several times what it's worth.  It's not immediately apparent on the label, but Vicks is owned by Procter & Gamble.  Do whatever you want with that information.

I haven't taken zzzquil, but I have taken benadryl.  Yes, it puts me to sleep, but I still feel like I'm underwater for much of the next day.  I do not feel rested after a benadryl-induced sleep, so you wouldn't see me taking zzzquil even if it were priced rationally.  Of course, your results may vary -- I heard somewhere recently (I think it was in a Ben Goldacre Book -- either Bad Pharma or Bad Science) that the more we pay for medicine, the more likely it will work for us.  

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