Dr Oz: Most Misused OTC Drugs: Headache, Heartburn, Allergy & Multi-Symptom

Dr Oz did a show on The Most Misused Over-The-Counter Drugs in America.  Just because you do not need a prescription for Over-The-Counter Drugs (OTC Drugs), does not mean they are all safe.  Doctor Oz said that 200,000 people are rushed to the hospital every year from taking OTC Drugs in the wrong way.  Dr Oz did a count down of the Top 5 Most Misused OTC Drugs: Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu Drugs, OTC Headache Drugs, OTC Heartburn Drugs, OTC Allergy Drugs, and OTC Pain Killers.  You will also want to read the recap of this Dr Oz segment on #1 Misused Over-The-Counter Drug in America

Dr Oz: Why Are OTC Drugs Dangerous?

Dr Oz was joined by Nancy Nkansah, Pharm D and professor of pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco.  Nkansah said that there are two main reasons that OTC Drugs can be dangerous.  One, people Dr Oz Over The Counter Drugscome to the pharmacy and are very busy, so they do not read the active ingredient list or how to properly use the drugs.  Two, many people are intimidated and do not talk with their pharmacist about the right way to take OTC Drugs.

Dr Oz: OTC Drugs vs Prescription Drugs

Dr Oz asked what is the difference between Over-The-Counter Drugs and Prescription Drugs.  The truth is that many OTC Drugs were previously Prescription Drugs.  However, sometimes after a drug has been on the market for years, the FDA might decide to make a Prescription Drug into an OTC Drug, which is great for the consumer since the product’s price often goes down.  However, individuals must be more careful to make sure to take OTC Drugs in the right way since they may not be under a doctor’s care.  Nancy Nkansah said that there is a difference between men and women with respect to OTC Drugs.  Men have more muscle mass and this might make a difference in dosage, which is why you should always ask your pharmacist what the right dose of an OTC Medicine is for you.

Dr Oz: Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu OTC Drugs

One billion people every year buy 700 OTC Remedies to treat colds and the flu.  How do you know which OTC Cold & Flu Drug to buy though?  And could taking the wrong one do you more harm than good?  Dr Oz said that people often make the mistake of buying a Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu Drug, because people assume that more is always better even if you do not have all of the symptoms.  Dr Oz said that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and by taking a Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu Drug you are likely to have more side-effects than you would have with a medicine for a single symptom.


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