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 Health Hint #352
Over-the-Counter Drugs: Reducing the Risks of Self-Prescription
 
 
Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer



Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are widely advertised in magazines and on TV and are consumed by millions of people. Generally less potent than prescription drugs, they can be taken without the authorization of a doctor. But before purchasing an over-the-counter remedy, ask yourself::

Am I trying to cover up symptoms that need to be evaluated by a doctor?
Will continued use cause new problems (dependency on laxatives or sleeping pills, for example)?
Are there unwanted side effects from these drugs (for example, increased blood pressure,
dizziness, headaches, rashes)?
Do I already have a similar product at home?

Often, reading the package labels--or looking up the name of the drug in the Physician's Desk Reference for Nonprescription Drugs, can help you answer these questions.

Keep in mind, too, that when taken in large quantities, an OTC drug might equal the dose of a medicine that is available only by prescription.

If there is any uncertainty in your mind whether or not a particular OTC medication will help or harm you, call and check with your doctor before you purchase it.

 About The Author
This article has been taken from A Year of Health Hints: 365 Practical Ways to Feel Better & Live Longer, a book published by the ...more
 
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