According to a report published in the http://annals.org, “Drug overdose mortality rates in the United States have more than doubled during the 21st century, reaching an estimated 63 632 deaths in 2016.” When you think or read about overdosing, it is usually in the context of illegal drugs. However, tragic results are often the outcome of taking more than the recommended doses of over-the-counter or prescription drugs that are very frequently found in the medicine cabinets at homes. Some common examples:
Midol is a very common medicine that is used to obtain relief from painful conditions like headaches, menstrual cramps, joint stiffness, dental pain, tendonitis, etc. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) delivers pain relief by blocking the body’s ability to produce substances that are known to cause inflammation. Useful as it may be, Midol is very easy to take more than the recommended dose when you are eager to get rid of pain quickly. The unfortunate part is that Midol taken excessively can severely damage your liver and even result in your death. Remember to take only the recommended dose and be extra careful not to take any other medication that also contains Acetaminophen (APAP).
Tylenol is very similar to Midol and contains the same active ingredient Acetaminophen that is used to treat painful conditions like headaches, toothaches, menstrual periods, backaches, aches arising from flu or colds, osteoarthritis, or even to reduce fever. Normally, when you take Acetaminophen, it is processed by the kidneys and passed out along in the urine. However, if you overdose, it can cause severe damage to your liver and may even cause it to fail and result in death. It is always wise to remember that drugs kill if you are careless.
The active ingredient of Advil is ibuprofen, which is commonly taken for conditions like dental pain, headaches muscle aches, arthritis, menstrual pains and even to reduce fever or alleviate symptoms of flu or the common cold. Ibuprofen is a popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces pain by blocking the body’s ability to produce natural substances that cause inflammation and pain, thereby, helping to reduce pain, swelling, or fever. All NSAID drugs can result in serious ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding that may even be fatal if they are not taken as per the recommended doses. Be wary of consuming NSAID drugs and if possible, try to adopt other pain management techniques.
Even though Epsom salts have been in use for a very long time as a natural laxative and is approved by the FDA for that use, it has some pretty serious side effects. Epsom salts overdosing may cause infection, react with other foodstuffs, and even rupture the intestinal wall so it is wise to ask your doctor before taking something seemingly as innocent as Epsom salts.
Taken properly, over-the-counter medicines are pretty safe to consume. However, be very careful that you don’t end up overdosing as it can be very easy to do so as many medicines contain the same ingredients. It is a good policy to consult your doctor and strictly follow his instructions so that you don’t end up in a severe medical condition inadvertently.