OTC Cold Medicines

February 1, 2019

Recently doctors in Michigan discovered that some popular cold and flu medication brands cause serious pain and damage to patients’ eyes. The announcement was nothing short of shocking, because picking up an over-the-counter cold medication seems like the logical step when your random cold or the flu hit. Most pharmacies will have their shelves stocked with countless popular brands of OTC cold medicines, and the choices can become overwhelming, especially if the patient is experiencing a severe case of cold.  However, the question is: “Is picking up any over-the-counter medication is the right way to handle my cold or flu infection?”


The short answer is: “No.” The majority of OTC medications on the market are geared towards temporarily fighting an illness, rather than maintaining your wellness. Unfortunately, the way we think about fighting a cold infection is, essentially, flawed. Because, we only think about boosting the immune system with defenses when it is already under attack, rather than providing it with the proper nutrients, so that the attack does not happen, in the first place. Or, if/when it happens, the immune system would be in much better shape to fight that cold/flu and expel it out of your body as quickly as possible. Ideally, the ultimate choice should be picking up a wellness product that boosts your immune system to fight infections while providing your body with the nutrients needed to do so, instead of temporarily getting rid of an infection while harming your body and weakening your health with ingredients you certainly do not want or need.


The unfortunate truth is, the largest number of OTC medications contain ingredients that should not, at all, be introduced to patients with preexisting conditions; such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, or liver problems, just to name a few. It is, also, safe to say that pregnant and nursing women should not pick up OTC cold and flu medications without, first, consulting with their OBGYN or their pharmacist about the full effect of the ingredients in the medication on their health and that of their baby’s. So, a lot of times patients will pick up an OTC medication thinking they are aiding their immune system to fight an infection faster, but in reality, they are doing their organs, and subsequently other bodily functions, more harm than good with that choice.


It happens quite often that patients will even combine two or more different kinds of medicine in an attempt to feel better, faster. The medication names could be different with no direct indication that they, basically, contain the same active ingredient. So, the patient would think they are helping their body to get over the cold/flu quicker and raising their immune system defenses by taking 2 different kinds of medicine, however, all they are doing is taking doses higher than what the body needs (and sometimes, can handle) of the same active ingredient, which is certainly unnecessary, and sometimes, just plain dangerous. Hence, comes the importance of checking your medication ingredient labels always. And, consulting with your pharmacist about whether that medication is right for your health and wellness needs, or whether you should consider different medication options.


In our opinion, there are obvious benefits to some OTC medications, but the risks, in some cases such as the ones mentioned above, are not worth it. The best option would be to look for an immune-boosting wellness product that would work as a double-agent — strengthening your immune system around-the-clock by providing it with the necessary the essential nutrients needed for that very purpose, so you would not have to deal with infections and maintain your wellness, and in addition, fight infections faster and quicker, safely and naturally, if they ever occur. Some of the nutrients you should be looking for are: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, L-lysine, Elderberry, and Zinc, just to name a few. We, absolutely, recommend that you consult with your pharmacist about which wellness product would work well for your health needs, and would perform better in conjunction of any medications, or supplements you may be already taking for other conditions. When we you start looking at your wellness as a daily pursuit, instead of an issue we feel needs to be fixed every now and again, only then, we will start treating and taking care of our bodies and health differently, and giving them the proper care they need, rather than just another temporary, and often, more harmful fix.