The second annual report covers 123 product categories, including the best cough, cold, and allergy medicines available for over-the-counter use. 

RT’s Three Key Takeaways:

  1. The second annual Best OTC Medicine & Health Products rankings by US News & World Report offer consumers guidance in selecting the most effective over-the-counter remedies, including cough, cold, and allergy medicines.
  2. Product categories such as allergy eye drops, oral allergy medicines, and cold medicines were evaluated, with top-ranked brands including Pataday, Zyrtec, and Sudafed.
  3. Rankings were determined through surveys of 354 pharmacists and 122 dermatologists, with brands receiving top honors based on their frequency of recommendation by the panelists.

US News & World Report, a health care rankings and consumer advice company, today published the second annual Best OTC Medicine & Health Products, including the best cough, cold, and allergy medicines. 

“With hundreds of thousands of over-the-counter health products on the market in the US, the US News annual Best OTC Medicine & Health Products rankings help consumers choose the best OTC products for themselves and their families,” says Sumita Singh, general manager of Health at US News, in a release. “Continuing our commitment to offer consumers trusted, data-backed ratings and rankings to help with their health care decisions, the 2024 evaluation features statistically ‘best’ brands evaluated by hundreds of pharmacists and dermatologists.”

Photo 260147619 © Billy Blume |

The 2024 Cough, Cold, and Allergy product category winners, ranked No 1, are:

  • Allergy eye drops: Pataday
  • Allergy medicines, oral: Zyrtec
  • Allergy nasal sprays: Flonase
  • Cold medicines and treatments: Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) 
  • Cold and flu medicines: Mucinex (Cold & Flu)
  • Cough drops: Halls
  • Cough suppressants: Delsym
  • Decongestants, nasal spray: Afrin
  • Decongestants, oral: Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)
  • Expectorants: Mucinex
  • Flu medicines: Tylenol Cold + Flu
  • Zinc lozenges: Zicam

Ranking Methodology 

In partnership with global market research firm The Harris Poll, US News surveyed 354 pharmacists and 122 dermatologists practicing in the United States regarding 132 product categories. 

To determine the rankings, panelists selected their top three recommended brands within each product category assigned to them. The brands that were highly ranked most often were ranked No. 1 for the corresponding product categories. US News awarded the designations of Best OTC Medicine & Health Products only to those brands that satisfy US News’ statistical assessment of performance on the survey. Based on US News’ analysis, some product categories were awarded more than one winner.

Those looking to choose a health product that’s right for them or their child should consult a medical professional as part of their decision-making process.

Photo 43066023 © Mihai Andritoiu |