If you are like most people, you will probably have at least a couple of different kinds of over the counter medications in your medicine cabinet. What you might not know, though, is that there can be a number of scary side effects that you need to be aware of. Here are nine popular over the counter medications with scary side effects.
First medication: Acetaminophen. Also known by its common brand name Tylenol, this over the counter pain killer is also a killer of livers. This means that if you take more than the maximum dose for just a couple of days can lead to a failure of the liver and to eventual death. Similarly, mixing it with alcohol can also lead to failure of the liver and death.
Second medication: Lidocaine. Also known as Xylocaine, this over the counter local anesthetic can lead to significant effects in the central nervous system as well as the cardiovascular system, such as seizures, a loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest, or heart attacks.
Third medication: Ibuprofen. Also known as Aspirin, Advil, and Motrin, this non steroidal anti inflammatory class of drugs can lead to heart attacks or strokes when used chronically, as well as to diarrhea, ulcers, and bleeding.
Fourth medication: Naproxen. Another non steroidal anti inflammatory drug, Naproxen, which is also known as Aleve, can lead to heavy bleeding if combined with blood thinners, alcohol, or other NSAIDs.
Fifth medication: Dextromethorphan. Also known as Robitussin or Vicks, this over the counter cough suppresant can lead to drowsiness, a loss of coordination, hallucinations, and agitation and rapid heartbeats.
Sixth medication: Pseudophedrine. Also known as Sudafed, this over the counter decongestant can lead to nervousness, arrhythmias, dizziness, and trouble breathing. They should not be taken with diet pills, caffeine, and stimulants, which include drugs for ADHD.
Seventh medication: Aluminum hydroxide. Also known as antacids, which include Mylanta and Maalox, these over the counter drugs can lead to diarrhea and might also lead to constipation. They should not be taken if you have kidney stones, high blood pressure, or a history of diseases that involve the kidneys.
Eighth medication: Type 1 antihistamines. Also known as Dramamine, Alka seltzer, Dimetapp, and Benadryl, these antihistamines can lead to problems in one’s vision and ability to urinate, throat and mouth dryness, and drowsiness and headaches. They should not be mixed with driving, blood pressure medication, or sleeping pills and sedatives.
Ninth medication: Type 2 antihistamines. Finally, these medications include antihistamines such as Claritine, or Loratadine, and Zyrtec, or Cetirizine. The difference between these drugs and the type 1s is that they were designed to combat the drowsiness effects people felt frequently with the type 1 antihistamines.
The problem that arises is that a number of people still report feelings of drowsiness when they take the type 2s. They also mix poorly with a wide range of foods that are commonly enjoyed by people, including orange juice, grapefruit, and apples; all of which can reduce their effectiveness.
In conclusion, while it is possible to use most over the counter medications without problem, the truth of the matter is that they each come with side effects that you should be aware of. Being aware of these side effects will help keep you and your family healthy and safe for years to come.