“Over-the-Counter Medicines’ Benefits and Dangers” (NYT, 11-30-15)

This article on the benefits and dangers of OTC (over-the-counter) medication might be of general interest.

According to the article: “one in five adults who self-medicate admit to taking more than the recommended dose or using the medication more frequently than the label indicates.  […] Even if O.T.C.s are used correctly, there can be problems. Some drugs should not be taken by people with certain health conditions, or be combined with other drugs–prescribed or over the counter–because of the possibility of adverse interactions.”

Two pieces of advice are given:

  • People who have underlying health problems or who routinely take one or more prescription drugs would be wise to consult their doctors before taking an O.T.C. drug. At the very least, check with the pharmacist. […C]arry with you a list of all the prescription and O.T.C. medications you take to show the pharmacist.
  • Among other sensible precautions when using an O.T.C. drug: Read the entire label, including ingredients, dosages, time limits and warnings; note whether the drug should be taken with food or on an empty stomach; don’t mix medicines with alcohol; avoid taking vitamin-mineral supplements at the same time; and, if you experience an allergic or adverse reaction, write down the likely cause so you can avoid that ingredient in the future.

See the article here: well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/30/over-the-counter-medicines-benefits-and-dangers/

Personal Health
The New York Times
“Over-the-Counter Medicines’ Benefits and Dangers”
By Jane E. Brody
November 30, 2015 8:35 am