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Beware the Risks of OTC Drugs

Posted by Debra Murray on

Questions You Need to Ask (and the Answers)

When we are in pain and seek relief we usually do not question the doctor’s advice. We usually take the prescribed drugs or medications as dutifully as a well-trained dog. Patients are paying the price for this blind allegiance resulting in serious side effects, dangerous for some.

Read the warnings

Everyday there are advertisements broadcast on television about the serious side effects of some prescribed drugs, that make many wonder if they would be better off without that drug ingested into their bodies.

And there are other advertisements advocating lawsuits or settlements against drug manufacturers for the ailments attributed to so many drugs and implants.

When was the last time we actually read the warnings on the labels of the drugs we are told to take? Do we question the doctor or ask to know the side effects before getting a prescription filled, or before buying over the counter (OTC) medicines at the pharmacy or at the grocery store?

Take a closer look at some of the more common drugs available. Pain relievers and fever reducers such as Tylenol and NyQuil contain Acetaminophen; one of the same ingredients as more powerful prescription drugs like Vicodin and Percocet.

Acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. and causes three times as many liver failures as all other prescription and oral OTC drugs, combined.

Advil and Motrin, among others, contain the anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is meant to manage pain, fever, and reduce inflammation, but also can have side effects such as dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, and rash, ringing in the ears, and heartburn.

Ibuprofen can also cause abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Stomach or intestine ulceration and internal bleeding can also occur without warning or abdominal pain. Ibuprofen reduces the blood flow and inhibits the function of the kidneys while water retention and kidney impairment are also possible.

In the OTC pill-form drug Aleve as well as prescription drugs Anaprox and Naprosyn is Naproxen, a drug manufactured to treat moderate to severe pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, menstrual cramps and other discomforts.

However, heart or circulation problems can increase including the risk of stroke or heart attack the longer the drug Naproxen is ingested into the body. Naproxen has been linked to Pseudoporphyria, a photo-sensitive skin condition that causes fragile skin, blisters, hyperpigmentation, and sores that are slow to heal.

Patients experiencing pain or with skin conditions should be aware of these and other side effects before helping themselves to the abundant oral drugs available to them with or without a doctor’s prescription.

The human body is an organism, and anything but food and water can be regarded as a toxin to the organism. Even red meat is regarded by some to be toxic to the body. So what is the alternative to drugs and synthetics to provide relief?

Topical drug versus supplement pills

Just like vitamins, because something comes in pill or tablet form doesn’t mean it is a drug. Over the counter drugs can include topical lotions, creams and oils.

For example, BLUESpring’s supplements are in pill form and are herbal and sometimes homeopathic but are not classified as OTC drugs.

Not all herbal remedies are classified as drugs within the specifications of government agencies established to protect consumers. Therefore, it is important to know which products meet the classifications as a drug or are supplements.

BLUESpring’s topical (oils and lotions) are over the counter drugs and meet or exceed U.S. government specifications for OTC drugs. But the topically applied OTC drugs from Blue Spring do not have ingredients like those mentioned earlier. They are natural, safe AND effective.

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