Abreva- Not All Medicines are Created Equal & a Giveaway (3 Winners)


Looks can be deceiving, especially with all the choices and sophisticated packaging that can be found in the cold sore category. In a recent survey, which asked 1,000 American adults, ages 18 and older about how closely they pay attention to the ingredients of “look-alike” treatments, it revealed 66 percent of Americans believe that when “look-alike treatments” have the same or similar packaging as the name-brand treatment, that it is likely that they have the same ingredients. Additionally, 93 percent of Americans admit to purchasing the “look-alike treatments” in the past solely because they are less expensive.

As an example, the FDA recently issued a warning letter to a marketer and distributor of a product containing Benzalkonium Chloride whose label claims that it heals cold sores. In the letter issued in early May, the FDA asserts that the active ingredient, Benzalkonium Chloride, is not indicated for treating or healing cold sores.

A side by side image of two over-the-counter medicines (Abreva and look-alike cold sore treatment). Readers could take a look at the ingredients and see if they find the real truth…  that not all medicines are the same. This is often a myth and misconception that many consumers believe – especially when it comes to saving a few bucks.

Tips on How to Spot an Imposter (Abreva vs. Look-Alike)
Pharmacist and pharmacy chain store owner Pam Marquess, Pharm.D, a GSK spokesperson provides these great tips on how to look at ingredients and tell which is the imposter – from the perspective of a pharmacist:

•  Look at the Drug Facts of both products:
o  What are the active ingredients?
o  Which one contains docosonal?
o  If the active ingredient is not docosonal, the product does not heal cold sores
•  Am I really saving in the long run by buying the look-alike product that does not heal cold sores?

All cold sore products are not the same. If you suffer from cold sores or have a family member or close friend who does, it is important to know whether you are buying a brand product that heals vs. a look-alike product that does not.

Three lucky Mama Report readers will win a tube of Abreva!

Please use the Rafflecopter entry method provided.

U.S. only.  Winners will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Jeana O'donnell-Murphy says

    Yes I bought antibotic ointment and it works just fine, but other things, the name brand just works better

  2. Yes I buy store brand triple ointment.

  3. Charlotte W. says

    Yeah, My husband gets horrible cold sores. I bought the store brand and it didn’t work as well

  4. Yes! But I do try and check to see if they have the same/similar ingredients.

  5. Yes! I have bought the store brand! Thanks for the chance to win! connie danielson

  6. Jennifer Rogers says

    Yep, and sometimes they are just not created equal!

  7. Shannon Baas says

    I have not.

  8. amy tolley says

    yes i have my daughter suffers from cold sores and it doesnt work when you buy just because is cheaper thanks for this giveaway this product works great but is costly….thanks again….


  9. Seyma Shabbir says

    I have, sometimes it works just as good and sometimes not. Allergy medicine is one to buy the real thing!

  10. Kat Riley says

    Yes, but most of the time it didn’t work as well.

  11. Michelle S says

    I have only purchased Abreva.

  12. Yes I have and regretted it afterwards

  13. pamela james says


    I have bought look alike products.

  14. Chrissy Nestor says

    I have, but they didn’t work as well as Abreva.

  15. Jennifer Reed says

    I have tried look alike products with less than hoped for results.
    repose4jr at gmail dot com

  16. Yes I have tried the look alike products because it was cheaper but usually end up going back and getting the name brand product because the look alike didn’t work ass well

  17. Yes, I am guilty of buying the knock off’s

  18. rachel b. says

    i have in the past

  19. Michelle H. says

    I get horrid cold sores, especially when I’m stressed out. Last time I bought some knock-off brand which was about the equivalent of putting petroleum jelly on my cold sore. It didn’t make it last any less and I thought it actually made it worse. The money I saved wasn’t worth it. Abreva..always!

  20. Carrie Phelps says

    I have purchased a look-alike brand & it didn’t work. My next purchase was for this & it works great. I recommend it!!

  21. Renee G. says

    Yes I have. sometimes it worked ok. sometimes it didnt.

  22. I have only ever purchased Abreva, as I’ve always heard the imitations do not work.

  23. Monica Platz says

    I have and I love it! Works every time!

  24. paige chandler says

    Yes I have and NO it wasn’t as good as Abreva

  25. Jamie Brigham says

    I bought Lysine which claims to be a cold sore treatment and it doesn’t work properly at all.

  26. melina r says

    I have purchased look a like treatments and sometimes they work the same at a lower cost

  27. I am happy to try knock offs and a lot of the time they work just as well for less money. Sometimes I get an off brand that isn’t that great thought.

  28. i do sometimes and it usually works okay. but i have to have name brand soda

  29. susan varney says

    yes ans the results have varied

  30. definitely, it was actually recommended to me too

  31. Katherine D. says

    i’ve never strayed away from Abreva, I trust it too much

  32. yes and it does not work good at all
    tcogbill at live dot com

  33. Sarah Harding says

    yes i use store brand but have always wanted tu use abreva but couldnt afford it

  34. I always compare active ingredients before buying cheaper brands. Sometimes it saves money, but for cold sores, nothing has ever worked as fast as Abreva for my family.

  35. Cindy Merrill says

    Yes, I have. Abreva is so expensive, that the walgreens up our way no longer carries it!

  36. Sherry Compton says

    Not in place of Abreva, but I’ve bought other lookalikes…pain meds, potato chips, oatmeal. Some work some don’t.

  37. Aimee Sanborn says

    I have never bought anything but abreva! I love the stuff. At any sign one may come up I just goop tons of abreva on there ( not exactly advised on label lol!) but it totally works!

  38. Elaine Lund says

    Yes, I have purchased a look alike treatment because it was cheaper

  39. Jennifer Winchester says

    i have on a few things but medicine i usually only buy name brand

  40. Keisa Rogers says

    No never will i ever buy anything but abreva

  41. Brittany Poole says

    No, I’ve never bought a different brand. I love Abreva and I constantly have to have it in the winner. Would be nice to win!

  42. I have to admit I have. I’m all about cheap but quality products and I am willing to try almost anything. Sometimes they just dont stand up to the name brand though

  43. Kristy thiel says

    I never have, I’ve only ever tried Abreva!

  44. Christy Anderson says

    Yes, I’m always looking for ways to same money. However, I have found a lot of medications and such are worth paying the name brand price for,

  45. I always look at name brand vs off and store brands. Sometimes I choose the cheaper option

  46. yes I have

  47. Alecia H. says

    I do buy no name Ibuprofen and Tylenol

  48. No, I haven’t.

  49. Brittney House says

    I love buying knock offs if they work

  50. madison Lanning says

    never tried it

  51. I haven’t- but my husband has. Needless to say– we stick we Abreva now, heals cold sores in 1-2 days (as opposed to over a week!)

  52. Yes I have because these kinds of product really work for my cold sores I get them about once a month

  53. amanda whitley says

    no, i really wanted to make sure got rid of it and thought this one would work best

  54. natalia ryjova says

    I buy the look alike if it has the same ingredients.

  55. Marty Harris says

    Yep, I am guilt of that

  56. christine jessamine says

    i buy look a like treatments often

  57. Denise Donaldson says

    yes I did, and it didnt work

  58. Sarah Yurga says

    I have bought look a like products before, and mostly they do not work.

  59. Yes and I was sorry I did. It’s so worth it to buy what I know works such as Abreva. Thanks for the giveaway!

  60. Courtnie says

    Yes I have, and it didn’t work!
    I get cold sores often, and the only thing that works is abreva.

  61. I’ve only ever used Abreva.

  62. Angela W says

    Yes, I have bought the store brand in the past

  63. Kat Emerick says

    Yes, I have bought cheaper ointments.

  64. Corey Olomon says

    Yes, but will never again!

  65. brenda Elsner says

    Yes, I buy many things in generic cheaper brands. Some are good, others are not.

  66. No – I have only bought abreva!

  67. Ann Council says

    NO I have not.

  68. kathy pease says

    yes i purchase generic products all the time

  69. Tonya Dean says

    Yes, I have. They usually work just fine.


  70. I usually buy Herpecin L which works well.

  71. I’ll purchase a generic brand if it’s significantly cheaper. I have recently done it.

  72. Yes, but it was a natural brand and didn’t have the same ingredients as Abreva.

  73. Yes, I bought the CVS brand before

  74. Yes I have, often. Most tend to work just like the name brand.

  75. Betty Curran says

    Yes, I’ve tried store brands. Sometimes they work and other times the brand name is better.

  76. Teresa Thompson says

    I have and im disappointed every time.

  77. No, the one and only for me. My cousin gets non brand names and it was expense and didn’t work like the real thing!!

  78. Miz Vickik says

    Sometimes, with mixed results.

  79. Chelsea M says

    I’m totally guilty of buying a cheaper version of a more expensive product. I’ve realized that sometimes they just don’t work as well though, but sometimes I don’t have the money to pay for the more expensive version.

  80. Christie R says

    Luckily I haven’t bought a ‘look alike’ product. Abreva is our go-to!

  81. susan smoaks says

    i buy store brand all the time but nothing compares to abreva

  82. Candie L says

    I did and it took weeks to heal instead of days. Thank you

  83. Laurie Emerson says

    Yes I did and I regret it as not only did it not work but I think it made everything worse.
    lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

  84. Yes, I buy them all the time.

  85. no — thank goodness

  86. shirley zolenski says

    Yes we have before

  87. no i haven’t.

  88. Buddy Garrett says

    I haven’t bought a look a like product.

  89. Christina says

    Yes, I’ve done that – but it wasn’t worth it because the product was inferior.

  90. angie boss says

    yes but it really diddnt work it was inferior and just plain diddnt work

  91. Cindy Merrill says

    Yes i have bought the store brand version, took longer for cold sores to heal, prefer Abreva.


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