How Over The Counter Medicine Can Be Harmful

Whether it’s a high fever, a cold, muscle tension, heartburn, or allergic reactions, reaching for over-the-counter medicine (OTC) has become the accepted norm for Americans today. Over 80 percent of American adults use over the counter medications for all types of illnesses and ailments. In the United States alone there are over 250,000 different types of medications available over the counter, amassing over 40 billion dollars in revenue just last year. What’s more is that each year, more and more ingredients that were once only available within prescription medications are making their way into over the counter drugs. While many people assume these drugs are safe, however over the counter does not indicate that they are altogether risk-free. In this article, we touch on some of the side effects and ingredients that can make over the counter medicine harmful:

Liver Damage – One OTC drug known to be potentially fatal is Acetaminophen. This drug is responsible for over 100,000 trips to the emergency room a year. Taking just a small degree more than the daily recommended dose can cause fatal liver damage in just a couple of weeks of regular doses. The drug claims upwards of 150 lives each year in the U.S. The most common cause is what doctors call a “staggered” overdose. Where regular excessive doses are more dangers than acute overdosing on large amounts of the same drug.

Overdosing is easier than you may think –When it comes to Acetaminophen medical research conducted by the Internal Medicine review board has shown that nearly a third of all individuals who taking OTC medications are at risk of accidental overdose. The risk of overdose increases for those who:

. Take just 100mg more than the basic single unit lozenge.

. Combine Acetaminophen with an analgesic or painkiller

. Drink alcohol while using the drug


Laxatives – Perhaps the most abused OTC drug remains laxatives, for treatment of the all too common condition of constipation. Always exercise a high degree of caution when choosing laxative, as many do hold unintended consequences. Some may even cause your bowels to function more poorly. Laxatives can also cause extreme dehydration as well as  abnormal amounts of electrolytes in the blood. Most serious of all is the risk of heart problems and kidney damage.


Sleeping pills – While the idea of simply taking a drug to fall asleep is a tempting one for those struggling with insomnia, sleep medication is a risky choice. OTC sleeping pills often contain Diphenhydrmine, a type of antihistamine that induces a drowsy state. One research project revealed that those who use sleep drugs elevate their risk of dying by a substantial degree relative to those who do not.


Lice Treatment – The head-lice industry preys of the young parent with no clue on how to handle their child’s first case of lice. OTC head-lice medications are not only expensive, but also full of harmful chemicals. Studies show that most of all, children are extremely sensitive to chemicals. It’s recommended that you turn to natural remedies instead. Using solely natural remedies, many San Diego head-lice removal services can be hired at an affordable rate to rid your child of lice.