Our Community Health Improvement Plan:

Over the Counter Medication Recommendations in Cold and Flu Season

Are you taking over the counter medications?

Flu and cold season is officially underway! Are you properly taking your over the counter medications (OTC)? Did you know that one of the most commonly available pain-reliever and fever-reducer OTC medicines is Acetaminophen? It is found in Nyquil, Dayquil, Tylenol, Robitussin, Theraflu and many more. Taking too much can lead to serious complications such as acetaminophen induced liver toxicity.

This morning you had to stay home sick with a crummy cold or flu symptoms. You decided to start taking 2 extra strength Tylenol every 6 hours and Dayquil Cold & Flu every 4 hours. In order to help you get some sleep at night you also decided to take liquid Nyquil Cold & Flu.

Whoa now, take a step back!  When taking all the above at recommended dosages every 4-6 hours you could be ingesting more than 5,000 mg of acetaminophen per day. This is above the Federal Drug Administration recommended maximum daily dosage of 4,000 mg. Taking dosages above the recommended daily amount could lead to overdoes, liver damage, and acute liver failure.

Read the labels! Many consumers are unaware of the risks associated with doubling or even tripling their OTC medication intake.  Use caution! OTC Cold and Flu medicines may reduce some symptoms but will not help you get better faster.   Be sure to consult your doctor or health care specialist before taking any medications.

For more information, visit www.KnowYourDose.org

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