OTC Drugs: Read The Labels!

Following last week’s announcement by pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, regarding the company’s intentions to reduce the maximum dose for Extra Strength Tylenol, experts are concerned that a growing number of consumers are frequently overusing many over-the-counter medications.

J&J’s McNeil division will soon lower the recommended daily dose for Extra Strength Tylenol from the current 4,000 milligrams (eight pills per day) to 3,000 milligrams (six pills per day). The reduction is being made in an effort to reduce the risk of liver damage resulting from the overuse of acetaminophen. This transition has spurred conversations about the ease of which consumers can purchase and overuse OTC products, such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, like Aleve), Theraflu and Benadryl.

Experts are warning that it is important for consumers to realize that all drugs have side effects, regardless of whether or not they are prescribed or purchased directly from pharmacy shelves. This warning also extends to herbal products, as well as nutritional supplements. Any product containing active ingredients can have side effects which can interfere with the body’s natural processes.

It is important that consumers read the fine print on the labels of drugs they intend to use, as well as consult their physician and pharmacist in order to ensure the products they are taking are safe.

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