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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
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Toledo, OH 43623

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Some Pitfalls with Over-the-Counter Drugs

separator Even though a medication is offered over-the-counter at the drugstore, you should still give a lot of thought to your drug choices.

For example, many families use Tylenol PM to help an Alzheimer’s patient sleep better. But that medication contains an ingredient that can cause more confusion in someone who has dementia. 

Another example: people who have had stomach ulcers should avoid taking ibuprofen, because it increases the risk of stomach bleeding.

The bottom line is that it’s important to talk to your pharmacist about all the drugs you’re taking. This can help you avoid unintentional overdoses of ingredients that are common to more than one medication. It’s very difficult for the non-medical person to know about all the ingredients in every drug they take. If your pharmacist seems too busy to talk to you, try to find another pharmacist who will.

U.S. News and World Report, 4 June 2001; Visiting Nurse Association.
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