Misused OTC drugs!

  1. Pain (NSAID'S) medications: Using too much pain medications can thin stomach lining causing ulcers. Taking NSAID'S (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs) everyday can increase a stoke, heart attack, and kidney damage.It is recommended to take pain medications with food or milk because NSAID'S can be harsh in the stomach so by eating or drinking milk with these medications will avoid an upset stomach. It is also recommended not to take NSAID'S more than 10 days in a row. Drug examples: Aleve, Advil, etc.
  2. Antihistamines medications: Causes drowsiness so it is not recommended to take this drug in the mornings if you have to drive to work, it's like driving drunk. You can take a non-sedative antihistamine that does not contain the active ingredient Diphenhydramine HCI, which causes drowsiness. Drug example: Benadryl
  3. Multi-symptom cold & flu medications: People at times take a multi-symptom drug to relieve their cough but the mistake they are doing is that they think by a taking a multi-symptom will make it better even if they do not have all the symptoms such as runny nose, itching, watery eyes, etc but really it makes it worse because you are putting chemicals in your body that you do not need at the time, leading to more unwanted side effects. You should at least have 3 to 4 symptoms to take a multi-symptom medication. Drug examples: Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Vicks DayQuil Multi-Symptom Cold/Flu, etc.
  4. Proton pump inhibitors (heartburn) medications: Taking heartburn medications everyday can make your body  dependent on these drugs within a few weeks of usage and it can lead to rebound reflux. Rebound reflux is a condition that worsens heartburn symptoms within a few weeks of non usage of these drugs. These types of medications should not be taken no longer than 4 weeks. Drug examples: Plavix, Pepcid, etc.
  5. Acetaminophen (headaches) medications: This is the leading cause of acute liver disease in patients who take too much of it. It is recommended to take no more than 400mg (8 tablets) a day. Remember other drugs have acetaminophen in them so it is important to look on the back of the product and read the ingredients and how much of each ingredient contains. Overuse of acetaminophen can worsen headaches, a side effect known as rebound syndrome.
Did you know: Some proton pump inhibitor drugs use to be prescription drugs such as Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Prevacid, and Prilosec. After several years of studies on these drugs, the FDA considered them to become over the counter, safe to use if you follow the package instructions.

Here is a safe tip to use when buying an OTC drug, provided by Dr. Oz

O - Obey directions
T  - Talk to a pharmacist
C - Choose lowest dose first