CHOICE has shared 10 popular over-the-counter medicines, supplements and health products that are best left on the shelf.

In no particular order these are the 10 products you really shouldn’t bother wasting your money on, according to CHOICE.

Vitamin lollies and goat milk chews
These are essentially treats with little nutritional value. Save your money and buy real food and milk (lactose-free or goat) instead.

Blooms Back, Neck & Shoulders +
Even if this turmeric and magnesium supplement works, oral medicine can’t target pain in specific areas of the body.

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Dick Wicks Magnetic Knee Support
There’s no good quality evidence to show that magnetic bandages work any better than regular bandages, which are a lot cheaper.

Bioglan Melatonin
Melatonin helps some people with sleep problems, but there’s no evidence homeopathic melatonin such as Bioglan Melatonin works.

Toddler and junior formula
Apart from being more expensive than fresh or powdered milk, some toddler and junior formulas contain less protein and calcium, and filling up on these may discourage healthy eating.

Combined paracetamol and ibuprofen pills
Combination pills offer a convenient, though more expensive, type of painkiller that may be more effective than paracetamol or ibuprofen alone. However, they’re not suitable for all types of pain, and confusion around dosage has raised concerns.

Sudafed PE and others
Studies have found that phenylephrine, or PE, the active ingredient in various decongestant medicines, isn’t effective.

Eye drop products with benzalkonium chloride
These can cause eye irritation in some people, and there are concerns that long-term use can damage the surface of the eye.

Fluoride-free toothpaste
Many so-called “natural” toothpastes don’t contain fluoride which, when used as recommended, is a safe and effective treatment to prevent dental cavities.

Last but not least – cough medicine.

CHOICE says there is a surprising lack of evidence that cough medicines even work.

Read the full report on all products here.

Share your comments below

  • Some Mums continue to use toddler formula in conjunction with normal food if their child has dietary problems they use the special one required. e.g. your toddler may have to have lactose free milk and the only suitable one is goats milk. Apart from formula I am not aware of goats milk being readily available. Some can’t digest soy or almond milk at all. I know 2 women who are lactose intolerant. One has a daughter who was lactose intolerant as a baby but now can have a small amount of normal milk once or twice a milk without any side effects.


  • I’ve been yelling at the so called ‘toddler milk’ ads for years! Why waste money on ‘toddler milk’? Toddlers eat solid food and you can just give them ordinary milk – just another money making ploy!


  • Thank you for sharing this interesting article.


  • Wow, good to know. We often trust what we buy from chemists and from trusted businesses. This is an interesting list. The only thing I use is Sudafed PE – it’s the only thing I’ve been told I can use when I have a cold/congestion etc. as I am allergic to codeine. I’ve also been told to use it prior to plane travel as I experience really bad ear problems on the ascent and descent.


  • I don’t use any of these anyway.


  • I don’t use any of these except the occasional cough medicine


  • I use turmeric for my arthritis and I can say it definitely makes a huge difference!! I don’t know about the one with magnesium in it but I wouldn’t thing it would be much different. Just saying.


  • Wow surprised at the cough medicine


  • Homeopathy does work if use properly but not in the way Bioglan makes it. Go to a practitioner who can explain how it works and give you the correct remedies.
    I use fluoride free toothpaste because I do not want to ingest this toxin. Fluoride does not prevent tooth disease, it has never been proven, and if anyone has any information otherwise please let me know.


  • Interesting list and honestly not a list that impacts on me.

    • Thanks for the link to some informative information on these products.


  • I’ve been saying for years that Sudofed PE doesn’t work and the pharmacist always looks at me like I’m stupid when I say i don’t want that and to give me the one with Pseudoephedrine!!


  • I have never purchased these products and it’s great to have confirmation that highest price doesn’t mean quality


  • Thanks for the article ,good to know about the products!


  • Completely agree about the vitamin gummies!!


  • I don’t buy any of these products but am glad to have the information.


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