TODAY   |  June 19, 2013

Pharmacists pick top health products

With endless over-the-counter treatment options, it can be difficult to settle on the best products for your ailments, but pharmacists are now offering to help you choose. TODAY contributor Dr. Roshini Raj talks about U.S. News and World Report’s list of top pharmacist-recommended products.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> us turn to our doctors with a question about our health but when it comes to treatment it's often pharmacist who is are on the front line. with that in mind, u.s. news and world report and the industry trade publication pharmacy news have come out with the top pharmacist recommended health products for 2013 - 2014 . we're talking about over-the-counter products. here to walk us through the list is our today contributor. good morning.

>> good morning matt.

>> pharmacists know, they sell the products and then they hear from the customers when they come back about which ones work and don't work.

>> exactly. they get a lot of feedback. sometimes people wonder what role does the pharmacist play these days? but they play a big role. you don't have to call your doctor or look on the internet. i hear people saying what do you think i should take for a cold or cough.

>> so we should listen to these and when they were asked about all over-the-counter products the five top recommended ones were the ones on the counter here. they gave breathe right 99%, lactaid 98%.

>> vicks.

>> part of it might be a mental effect. they were given a choice what do you most recommend.

>> debrox and imodium all got rave reviews. a different category here. eyes and throat. what do we need to know .

>> a lot of products people are familiar with. all over the counters for colds, coughs, eye issues, allergies but many of these contain ingredients that can have potential side effects particularly if you have high blood pressure or heart disease . just because it's over the counter doesn't mean it's safe. you need to check with your doctor.

>> we're not promoting or endorsing any of these products but claritin. cepacol, sudafed all got rave reviews.

>> yes, explain the difference for me.

>> when they ask the pharmacist what do you recommend for pain, most recommended tylenol but when they asked about what inflammation they recommended advil. for inflammation, that is best treated with something like i that. where as tylenol is better because it has less side effects on your stomach.

>> moving quickly, antacids, tums, imodium, gax-x. you once make the points that if people at home are using even these great products too much they have a different problem.

>> these work well in the short-term but if you're popping them like candy several times a week there's an issue there. acid reflux can have serious consequences. if you're using them a lot, talk to your doctor.

>> people should download this to their smartphone so they go in and have a condition they know what products the pharmacists recommend and you can see that on thank