Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines provide us the comfort to deal with extra of life’s aches and pains ourselves from the consolation of our own residence. However, it’s usually overwhelming to know which one to go for when dozens of manufacturers and kinds can be found within the pharmacy and retailer aisles. They all deal with comparable signs, but work in another way and should carry totally different warnings.
So how have you learnt which one to decide on?
1. Know The Types And Their Differences
There are two essential varieties of OTC ache relievers – paracetamol and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine) comparable to aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. They each basically do the identical factor, however the two components work in another way and have totally different precautions, warnings and even dosing instructions.
One kind could also be extra appropriate for you than the opposite, based mostly in your age, well being situations, and different medicines you’re taking.
- It’s necessary to learn about drug-drug interactions particularly should you’re taking prescription or a number of OTC medicine on the similar time. While some medicines like paracetamol have fewer interactions with different generally obtainable OTCs for treating ache and fever, others might have a better danger of interactions with different medicines. If uncertain at all times verify the label.
- Some medicine also can work together with well being situations comparable to diabetes, kidney illness and coronary heart situations or hypertension. Check together with your physician earlier than taking merchandise containing aspirin should you’re taking a prescription blood thinner or if in case you have diabetes or gout.
- If you endure from osteoarthritis, paracetamol is advisable by healthcare professionals to alleviate joint or OA ache significantly if one is susceptible to abdomen ulceration.
This is just not an entire listing. Always learn the label before you purchase and use medicines.
2. What does the label say?
Just as you wouldn’t ignore your physician’s directions for utilizing a prescription medication, don’t ignore the labelled directions when taking OTCs. When selecting your medication, verify the lively ingredient and take inventory of what different medicines you’re at present taking.
It is necessary to know the ‘lively’ ingredient which makes the medication work to keep away from taking both a number of medicines that include the identical actives (which may result in unintended overdose) or danger of interactions with medicines you’re already utilizing (which may have critical uncomfortable side effects).
The medication label will let you know what it’s used for, how to take it and any uncomfortable side effects or dangers.
If you will have an allergy, present well being situation or any issues, do verify together with your physician or pharmacist first earlier than taking any medication.
When choosing ache or fever medication for kids, be sure you selected the fitting medication and formulation. For younger kids below the age of 12 years, dose based mostly on their weight and never age for efficient fever and ache reduction. It is finest to make use of the usual dosing system supplied or buy an appropriate dosage system advisable by your physician if the medication doesn’t include one to present the optimum dose to your baby.
Here’s what to search for:
- Active ingredient: the substance in a medication that treats the situation
- Purposes/ Uses: product class and signs it should deal with, comparable to fever and ache reduction (antipyretic) or cough suppressant and so on.
- Warning: when to not use the product, when to cease taking it, when to see a physician, and doable uncomfortable side effects
- Directions: how a lot to take, take it, and the way lengthy to take it
- Other info: comparable to storage info
- Inactive components: substances comparable to colors, flavouring or binders
three. Check for authenticity and contamination
Be vigilant when deciding to buy medicines on-line. Not all medicines bought on-line are made utilizing secure requirements. They could also be contaminated or not labelled, saved or shipped accurately or could also be counterfeit.1 So be certain that you purchase your medication from trusted and licensed on-line retailers or pharmacists solely.
Also, verify the bundle for tampering and expiration date. Don’t purchase medicines if the packaging has been damaged or if the expiration date has handed because the product might not be secure or as efficient.
If you’re uncertain which ache or fever medication could also be best for you, or use it safely, listed here are some inquiries to ask your physician or pharmacist:
- Based on my age, medical historical past, and different medicines I’m at present taking, which OTC medicines can be most fitted and efficient for me?
- What are the lively components within the different medicines I’m taking? Could I be taking a number of doses by accident?
- Will this work together with my different medicines or dietary supplements?
- How lengthy can I take this medication for?
- Should I take it with meals?
- Does it must be refrigerated?
- What are some potential aspect eﬀects?
If the medication doesn’t present full reduction or your signs persist, then it’s finest you speak together with your physician to evaluate the explanations behind your signs and get suggestion for efficient fever and ache reduction choices.
Children’s Dosing Chart for Paracetamol
As kids develop, so does the correct amount of medication. Whenever utilizing paracetamol, at all times learn and observe the label and dose based mostly in your baby’s weight. If there’s a dosing system that comes with the medication, use it as an alternative of teaspoons or tableware to keep away from the chance of dosing errors. It can be useful to maintain a report of the quantity of medication given to your baby every time and share this together with your baby’s different caregivers to keep away from repeating a dose earlier than the advisable interval of Four-6 hours.
The beneath dosing chart is advisable to be saved wherever you retailer your medicines. This is appropriate for kids below 12 years outdated.
* For kids aged 2 to three months, a single dose of 10 to 15 mg/kg applies for symptomatic reduction of response resulting from vaccination. Seek recommendation from a physician if excessive fever persists after a second dose. For different indications, solely use below medical recommendation.
** Maximum length of continued use with out medical recommendation: three days.
Health At Home is a part of GSK Consumer Healthcare’s broader dedication to teach and empower individuals on use OTC medicines safely and appropriately.
For extra info, please communicate to your physician or pharmacist.