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宝宝咳嗽及非处方药的一些常识(英文资料)
作者:home99
发表时间:2010-10-01
更新时间:2010-10-18
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先将关于宝宝感冒咳嗽的一些英文资料贴出来,包括一些OTC的常识。这段时间不知是否是stress的缘故,还是运气的问题,本来很少生病吃药的我(除了怀宝宝时吃prenatal vitamins),为了能正常工作和做事情,也不得不多次光顾药店。

★补充一下啊:一个多月才从咳嗽的困扰中解脱出来,除了买梨和冰糖以及白萝卜之类的食疗,也不得不吃药,觉得其中的Chloraseptic Lozenges (Sore Throat + Cough)止咳最管用,是一种含片(有些象水果硬糖,比国内的含片大),起效很快。有规定的剂量,但我通常是几个小时含一片,通常是咳嗽了才含,因为我实在怕吃药。比较常用的还有Sore Throat Sprays,说是睡前使用效果好,我试了别的牌子的,但效果不是太好。

可怜我咳嗽尚未好清,却不知怎么感冒了,鼻子稀里哗啦地不算,而且咳得嗓子疼,无法入睡。吃了一粒Chloraseptic Lozenges (Sore Throat + Cough)咳嗽才止住,第二天一早吃了两粒老公给我的Tylenol胶囊,没想到一天几乎没有感冒咳嗽的症状或感觉,比以前吃过的感冒通或感冒片效果明显多了。后来去Sam’s买到了这种Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Rapid Release,一个包装内有Daytime和Nighttime两种,白天的那种吃了不头晕,对感冒、咳嗽及发烧等多种症状有效,特点如下:

* Multi-Symptom
* Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer, Nasal Decongestant, Cough Suppressant
* Contains 3 Medicines: Fever/Headache & Sore Throat - Acetaminophen, Nasal Congestion - Phenylephrine Hcl, Coughing - Dextromethorphan Hbr.
* Rapid Release Gels
* Daytime Non-Drowsy

●A Guide to Kids' Coughs
●Your Child's Cough
●Coughing in Children
●Home Remedy for Cough - Natural Home remedies for Cough
●OTC Cough and Cold Medicines and My Child: What Do I Need to Know?
●OTC Medicines: An Introduction
●Cough Medicine: Understanding Your OTC Options
●Pain Relievers: Understanding Your OTC Options
●OTC Medicines and Pregnancy
●OTC Medicines: Know Your Risks, and Reduce Them
●Getting the Most from Your OTC Medicine
●Drug Recall Information

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A Guide to Kids' Coughs

As miserable as a cough can make your kid -- and you -- it does serve an important purpose: "That forceful exhalation of air propels mucus, bacteria, and other irritants out of the airways," explains Thomas Ferkol, M.D., director of pediatric allergy and pulmonary medicine at Washington University, in St. Louis. While that's all well and good, relief is all anyone really wants. The key to finding it? Knowing what's causing the hack to begin with. The chart below can get you on the road to peace. In the meantime, watch out for certain danger signs: If your child's been coughing for more than two weeks or develops a high fever, take her to the pediatrician. If she has trouble breathing, begins turning blue, or can't eat or swallow, head straight to the ER. And if you're tempted to give her an over-the-counter cough medicine, hold up. Studies show they're not effective, and some may even be harmful.

If your kid's cough is:

WET AND PRODUCTIVE

It means: she has mucus to clear out of her airways, or she's got postnasal drip
The likely cause is: an infection (such as a cold, sinusitis, or pneumonia), or allergies
For sweet relief: Use saline nose drops, and offer her lots of fluids to thin the mucus. If she's got a fever along with the cough, call the doctor to rule out a more serious infection.

DRY AND RASPY

It means: there's irritation somewhere in her airways
The likely cause is: an infection, allergen, or other irritant, such as dust, pollen, or smoke, that produces little or no mucus
For sweet relief: Soothe it as you would a wet cough, with nose drops and lots of fluids. If you suspect the cough is allergy-related, do your best to limit your child's exposure and wait it out.

SOUNDING LIKE A BARKING SEAL OR DOG

It means: her airways are constricted and/or inflamed
The likely cause is: croup, a viral infection that's usually worse during the night
For sweet relief: Sit with her in a steamy bathroom for 15 to 20 minutes, or go outside in the fresh air if it's cool (not cold). If she's having significant trouble breathing, go to the ER.

ACCOMPANIED BY WHEEZING

It means: she has mucus to clear out of her airways, or she's got postnasal drip
The likely cause is: asthma, or bronchiolitis, an infection of the lungs' small airways that's usually seen in kids under 3
For sweet relief: See the doctor to find out exactly what's going on. If your child has asthma, her medication may need tweaking. If she has an infection, she may need antibiotics.

A SEVERE COUGHING FOLLOWED BY A "WHOOP"

It means: she's literally coughing all the air out of her lungs, then taking in a deep breath
The likely cause is: whooping cough, a bacterial infection known as pertussis
For sweet relief: Call the doctor at once. He may prescribe antibiotics to make your child less contagious, but these won't treat the cough or shorten its duration. This can be a dangerous infection in babies, which is why staying on top of the pertussis shot is so important.

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Your Child's Cough

Coughs are one of the most common symptoms of childhood illness. Although a cough can sound awful, it's not usually a sign of a serious condition. In fact, coughing is a healthy and important reflex that helps protect the airways in the throat and chest.

But sometimes, your child's cough will warrant a trip to the doctor. Understanding what different types of cough could mean will help you know how to take care of them and when to go to the doctor.

1. "Barky" Cough

Barky coughs are usually caused by a swelling in the upper part of the airway. Most of the time, a barky cough comes from croup, a swelling of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).

Croup usually is the result of a virus, but it can also come from allergies or a change in temperature at night. Younger children have smaller airways that, if swollen, can make it hard to breathe. Kids younger than 3 years old are at the most risk for croup because their windpipes are so narrow.

A cough from croup can start suddenly and in the middle of the night. Often a kid with croup will also have stridor, a noisy, harsh breathing (some doctors describe it as a coarse, musical sound) that occurs when a child breathes in.

2. Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is another name for the pertussis, an infection of the airways caused by the bacteria bordetella pertussis. Kids with pertussis will have spells of back to back coughs without breathing in between. At the end of the coughing, the kids will take a deep breath in that makes a "whooping" sound. Other symptoms of pertussis are a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and a low fever.

Although pertussis can happen at any age, it's most severe in infants under 1 year old who did not get the pertussis vaccine. Your child should get the pertussis shot at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 4-6 years of age. This shot is given as part of the DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis).

Pertussis is very contagious. The bacteria can spread from person to person through tiny drops of fluid in the air coming from the nose or mouth when people sneeze, cough, or laugh. Others can become infected by inhaling the drops or getting the drops on their hands and then touching their mouths or noses.

3. Cough With Wheezing

If your child makes a wheezing (whistling) sound when breathing out, this could mean that the lower airways are swollen. This can happen with asthma or with a viral infection (bronchiolitis). Also, wheezing sometimes can happen if the lower airway is blocked by a foreign object.

4. Nighttime Cough

Lots of coughs get worse at night. When your child has a cold, the mucus from the nose and sinuses can drain down the throat and trigger a cough during sleep. This is only a problem if the cough won't let your child sleep.

Asthma also can trigger nighttime coughs because the airways tend to be more sensitive and irritable at night.

5. Daytime Cough

Cold air or activity can make coughs worse during the daytime. Try to make sure that nothing in your house — like air freshener, pets, or smoke (especially tobacco smoke) — is making your child cough.

6. Cough With a Fever

A child who has a cough, mild fever, and runny nose probably has a common cold. But coughs with a fever of 102° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) or higher can sometimes mean pneumonia, especially if a child is weak and breathing fast. In this case, call your doctor immediately.

7. Cough With Vomiting

Kids often cough so much that it triggers their gag reflex, making them throw up. Also, a child who has a cough with a cold or an asthma flare-up may throw up if lots of mucus drains into the stomach and causes nausea. Usually, this is not cause for alarm unless the vomiting doesn't stop.

8. Persistent Cough

Coughs caused by colds can last weeks, especially if your child has one cold right after another. Asthma, allergies, or a chronic infection in the sinuses or airways might also cause persistent coughs. If the cough lasts for 3 weeks, call your doctor.

9. When to Call the Doctor

Most childhood coughs are nothing to be worried about. However, call your doctor if your child:

* has trouble breathing or is working hard to breathe
* is breathing more quickly than usual
* has a blue or dusky color to the lips, face, or tongue
* has a high fever (especially if your child is coughing but does NOT have a runny or stuffy nose)
* has any fever and is less than 3 months old
* is an infant (3 months old or younger) who has been coughing for more than a few hours
* makes a "whooping" sound when breathing in after coughing
* is coughing up blood
* has stridor (a noisy or musical sound) when breathing in
* has wheezing when breathing out (unless you already have a home asthma care plan from your doctor)
* is weak or cranky

10. What Your Doctor Will Do

One of the best ways to diagnose a cough is by listening. Knowing what the cough sounds like will help your doctor decide how to treat your child.

Because most coughs are caused by viruses, doctors usually do not give antibiotics for a cough. If the cough is caused by a virus, it just needs to run its course. A viral infection can last for as long as 2 weeks.

Unless a cough won't let your child sleep, cough medicines are not needed. Cough medicines sometimes help a child stop coughing, but they do not treat the cause of the cough. If you do choose to use an over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine, call the doctor to be sure of the correct dose.

Do not use OTC combination medicines like "Tylenol Cold" — they have more than one medicine in them, and kids can have more side effects and are more likely to get an overdose of the medicine. Cough medicines are not recommended for children under age 4.

11.Home Treatment

Here are some ways to help your child feel better:

* If your child has asthma, make sure you have an asthma care plan from your doctor. The plan should help you choose the right asthma medicines to give.

* For a "barky" or "croupy" cough, turn on the hot water in the shower in your bathroom and close the door so the room will steam up. Then, sit in the bathroom with your child for about 20 minutes. The steam should help your child breathe more easily. Try reading a book together to pass the time.

* A cool-mist humidifier in your child's bedroom might help with sleep.

* Cool beverages like juice can be soothing. But do not give soda or orange juice, as these can hurt a throat that is sore from coughing.

* You should not give your child (especially a baby or toddler) OTC cough medicine without first checking with your doctor.

* Cough drops are OK for older kids, but kids younger than 3 years old can choke on them. It's better to avoid cough drops unless your doctor says that they're safe for your child.

Reviewed by: Iman Sharif, MD
Date reviewed: November 2008

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Coughing in Children

Coughing is a common symptom in children and usually accompanies an infection with the common cold virus, but it can indicate a more serious disorder, especially if your child is having difficulty breathing. Usual treatments can include air humidification, eliminating cigarette smoking exposure and exposure to other common irritants, and short term use of a decongestant and/or cough suppressant if your child is not have difficulty breathing (especially if the cough is interrupting sleep).

* allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or postnasal drip syndrome. Cough, plus clear runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy and/or watery eyes. May be seasonal.

* asthma: children with asthma often cough or wheeze during or after play or physical activity or after being exposed to cold air, and they may have a dry, nonproductive cough at night.

* bronchiolitis: a viral infection that can cause wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing, especially in younger children. Usually occurs after your child has had cold symptoms for a few days.

* bronchitis: a viral illness that usually begins with symptoms of a runny nose and cough, which gradually worsen over three to four days and your child may then develop a frequent, nonproductive, dry, hacking cough. The cough will continue to worsen and may become productive and he may have a low grade fever and decreased energy level. Symptoms gradually improve over the next five to ten days and do not respond to antibiotics.

* cough variant asthma: this is a form of asthma in which children only have a cough and do not have wheezing. These children have a nonproductive cough that is worse at night, may be made worse by exercise and cold air, may be seasonal and is made better with bronchodilator treatments that are usually used to treat asthma.

* croup is caused by a virus that produces a very characteristic cough that sounds like a barking seal. It usually begins in the middle of the night, especially in younger children and can cause difficulty breathing.

* cystic fibrosis: children with CF can have a chronic cough, frequent infections, poor growth and greasy, foul smelling stools.

* foreign body aspiration or ingestion: cough usually follows an episode of choking on something (food, etc). X-rays can be helpful to find metallic objects, otherwise comparing x-rays when your child is breathing in and then when he is breathing out (inspiratory and expiratory films) can help to determine if non-metallic objects have been aspirated. Sometimes it is necessary for a specialist to look down the windpipe with a scope to see if anything is there. Call your local emergency services if your child is choking and can't breath.

* irritation: children can cough if their airways are exposed to irritants, especially smoke, air pollution, strong smells, etc.

* pneumonia: can cause a productive cough and difficulty breathing.

* psychogenic cough: a chronic dry, hacking cough can sometimes be a habit, especially in adolescents who have a lot of stress, and in whom the cough disappears when he is sleeping. A brief trial of cough suppressants may help break the habit.

* reflux: in some children who have bad gastroesophageal reflux, the spitting up can trigger a cough and/or wheezing.

* sinusitis: symptoms include a yellow or green runny nose that has persisted for more than ten to fourteen days, a cough, which may be productive, and he may also have facial pain, fever and bad breath.

* upper respiratory tract infection: the common cold is usually accompanied by a runny nose (which may be yellow or green), cough, and fever, and usually lasts up to about ten days.

* other infections: including tuberculosis (usually accompanied by daily fevers, night sweats, weight loss and recent contact with someone who had TB), pertussis (whooping cough), Mycoplasma (walking pneumonia).

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Home Remedy for Cough - Natural Home remedies for Cough

1. Proper Diet for Maintaining Healthy Health

It is important for anyone with a cough to drink plenty so make up a good supply of healthy drinks such as lemon barley water, bran tea or oatmeal water and those herbal teas which will act as refreshing and sedative expectorants. Fresh fruit and vegetables are very necessary to the diet and are quite often all that anyone suffering from a catarrhal cough will fancy, but bananas, potatoes, nuts and other 'floury' fresh produce should be avoided. This will prevent cough.

2.Effective home remedy for Cough

★ Red CloverSyrup -- 25g ( loz) fresh red clover blossoms 600ml ( 1 pint) clear honey 600ml ( 1 pint) water Make sure that the flower heads are free from creepy crawlies. Heat the honey and water gently to boiling point and add the blossoms. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and leave until cold. Strain through a fine muslin cloth, pressing well to ensure that every drop of delicious syrup is through. Bottle and keep refrigerated. Take 1 or 2 tablespoons as and when needed. Red Clover Syrup is also good for colds and tummy troubles, especially diarrhoea, so it will not be wasted. This will help in the treatment of cough.

★ Pickled red cabbage -- Eaten with its vinegar and mixed with honey this will also reduce a tickly cough. This will provide relief from cough.

★ A pint whiskey, 2 boxes rock candy; 1 tbl. glycerine. Put in bottle and shake, 1 tbl. at a time.

3. Get rid of cough using Cabbage

Cabbage or leek water -- One of the most effective and nauseating-sounding cures for persistent catarrhal infections, which may cause both coughs and bronchitis, is the drinking of the warm water into which all the goodness of the cabbage or leeks has leeched during cooking. Nasty though it sounds, it does taste quite savoury and should be taken night and morning. It is also an ancient remedy for whooping-cough. This will help in treating cough.

Coriander: Grind coriander and sugar candy in equal quantity and take 1 tsp. of it with a cup of rice soaked water. It will be beneficial. This will give relief from cough.

4. Natural Home Remedies for cough

★ This is simple home remedy for cough using Sugar candy:
In case there are frequent bouts of cough, suck on a piece of sugar candy. This will prevent cough.

★ This remedy is one of the good home remedy for cough using Coffee:
If the cough is severe, take hot black coffee without milk. This is beneficial for the treatment of cough.

★ This remedy is one of the good home remedy for cough using Betel leaf:
In case of frequent bouts of cough chew a roasted piece of turmeric with a betel leaf If the cough occurs at night, chew caraway seeds with a betel leaf and do not spit it out. This will provide relief from cough.

★ This is one of the effective herbal home remedy for cough using Pomegranate:
Grind eight parts of pomegranate rind and mix one pact of rock salt, mix a little water and roll into pills. Suck on a pill thrice a day. It will provide relief from cough. This will help in reducing cough.

★ This is natural remedy for cough using Cardamom:
Eating small cardamoms provides relief from cough. This is beneficial for the treatment of cough.

5. Home remedy to cure cough using garlic

★ Simple home remedy for cough using Garlic:
(1) Boil a garlic bulb in 62 ml. of mustard oil. Massage the chest and the throat with this oil. Eat garlic with large raisins thrice a day. Do not take sour food.

(2) Mix 20 drops of garlic juice with pomegranate juice and drink it. It is beneficial in all types of cough. This will help in treating the cough.

★ Natural home remedy for cough using Water:
Drinking hot water before bedtime provides relief from cough. This will prevent cough.

6. Herbal home remedies for reducing cough

★ This is simple home remedy for cough using Mint leaves:
Drinking mint tea with a little salt is beneficial in cough. This will completely remove cough.

★ This remedy is one of the good home remedy for cough using Wheat:
Boil 20 gms. of wheat and 9 gms. of rock salt in a glass of water. When it is reduced to one-third, strain and drink it. The treatment should continue for seven days. This will help in curing cough.

★ This is natural remedy for cough using Clarified butter:
Heat some jaggery with clarified butter and eat it when comfortably hot. Massage the chest with a mixture of clarified butter and rock salt. It cures chronic cough. This will give relief from cough.

7. Mustard oil remedy for Cough Treatment

★ Traditional cough remediesfor cough using Mustard oil:
If the patient is a child, massage the chest with mustard oil. Also apply oil to the rectum. If the patient is asthmatic and has a congested chest massage it with mustard oil mixed with rock salt. It will be beneficial. This will completely remove cough.

★ Effective herbal treatment for cough using Jaggery:
Eating black sesame and jaggery in the form of laddoos in winter provides relief from cough, asthma and bronchitis. This is beneficial for the treatment of cough.

★ Natural remedy to get relief from cough using Turmeric:
If you have cough, soar throat and a congested chest, take hot water with salt in it. Suck on a piece of turmeric. It will provide relief cough.

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OTC Cough and Cold Medicines and My Child: What Do I Need to Know?

This content was developed with support from an educational grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

★ Are over-the-counter cough and cold medicines safe for children?
You can buy over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for your child without a prescription from your doctor, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. When used as directed, OTC cough and cold medicines are usually safe and may help to relieve some symptoms in children over 4 years of age. But if they are taken the wrong way, they can make your child feel worse and can even be harmful.

You may have read about OTC cough and cold medicines for children in the news recently. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended new rules for these medicines for 2 reasons:

1. Some young children have become sick after taking too much of an OTC cough or cold medicine, or after taking these medicines without their parents' knowledge.
2. Some ingredients in these medicines have not been shown to relieve symptoms in young children.

Children process medicines differently than adults do. For this reason, some OTC medicines are made just for children or have specific dosing instructions for children. Talk to your family doctor if you have any questions about giving your child OTC cough or cold medicines.

★ Can OTC medicines cure my child’s cough or cold?
No, OTC cough and cold medicines can not cure a cough or a cold. They can only help relieve your child’s symptoms, such as runny nose, fever and body aches. They also do not shorten the length of time your child will be sick.

★ What questions should I ask about OTC medicines?
If a doctor, nurse or pharmacist recommends you give your child an OTC medicine, be sure to ask these questions:

* Why are you recommending this medicine?
* How much medicine should I give my child?
* How often should I give my child this medicine?
* What effect should this medicine have on my child’s symptoms?
* Will this medicine cause any side effects?
* Is there anything my child should avoid eating or doing while taking this medicine?

★ How can I be sure I’m giving my child the right amount of medicine?
Taking too much of a medicine or taking more than one medicine at the same time can hurt your child. Read the directions on the drug label to learn how much medicine to give your child and how often to give it to him or her. If you have any questions about how much medicine you should give your child, call your family doctor or pharmacist.

Following these tips will help you give your child the right amount of medicine:

* An OTC label may say to give the medicine to your child “every 6 hours.” This generally means the medicine can be taken 4 times a day. It doesn’t usually mean you should wake your child up during the night to take medicine.
* Don’t use an ordinary kitchen spoon to measure medicine. Labels for liquid medicines are typically measured in both teaspoons (tsp) and in milliliters (mL). Instead, ask your pharmacist for a measuring device (such as a spoon made for measuring medicine, a syringe or a cup) that is labeled with both tsp and mL.
* Give only the amount recommended on the medicine’s label. Don’t assume that more medicine will work better or quicker. Giving your child too much medicine can be dangerous.
* Keep a record of which OTC medicines you are giving to your child and when you last gave your child a dose. If you take your child to the doctor, take this list with you.

Medicine syringe showing marking in milliliters and teaspoons
An appropriate medicine measuring device should be labeled with both teaspoons (tsp) and milliliters (mL).

★ How do I read a drug facts label?
It’s important that you be able to read and understand the label on any OTC medicine you buy for yourself or for your child. Labels always list the same information in the same order. Use the following as a guide. If you have any questions about a medicine, ask your family doctor or pharmacist.

1. Active Ingredient. The active ingredient is the chemical compound in the medicine that works to relieve symptoms. It is always the first item on the label. There may be more than one active ingredient in a product.
2. Uses. This section lists the symptoms the medicine is meant to treat. Uses are sometimes called “indications.”
3. Warnings. This safety information will tell you what other medicines, foods or situations should be avoided while taking this medicine.
4. Directions. This section tells you how much medicine your child should take and how often he or she should take it.
5. Other Information. Any other important information, such as how to store the medicine, will be listed here.
6. Inactive Ingredients. An inactive ingredient is anything in the medicine that isn’t meant to treat a symptom. This can include preservatives, binding agents and food coloring. This section is important for people who know they have allergies to food coloring or other chemicals.
7. Questions or Comments. A toll-free phone number for the manufacturer is given in case you have any questions or want to share your comments about the medicine.

★ Can I share my cough and cold medicines with my child?
Do not give adult medicines to children. OTC medicines intended for adults can be harmful for children. Once your child is a teenager, he or she may be old enough and big enough to take adult OTC medicines, but check with your family doctor first. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about what medicines you can give to your child.

★ What should I do if my child has a bad response to an OTC cough or cold medicine?
If your child has a bad response to any OTC medicine, tell your doctor right away. If you keep a medicine log for your child, bring it along to your child’s appointment. You will need important information about what happened, including:

* Name of the medicine
* How much was given
* What it was used to treat
* The side effects or bad response
* Names of other medicines your child was taking at the same time

★ Should I give my child cold medicine to help him or her sleep?
Some OTC cold medicines may make your child feel sleepy. This is a side effect of some of the ingredients that relieve cold symptoms, such as antihistamines. Don’t give your child cold medicine just to make him or her sleepy. If your child is having trouble falling asleep, talk to your family doctor about other things you can do to help your child sleep better.

★ What else can I do to relieve my child’s cough and cold symptoms?
There are a number of ways to help your child feel better without giving him or her medicine. The most important thing to do is make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks lots of fluids. If your child has a stuffy nose, saline nose drops can be a safe, nonirritating way to fight congestion. Placing a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room overnight can also help relieve a stuffy nose, congestion or cough. (Just be sure to keep the humidifier clean in order to prevent the growth of bacteria.) Or, turn your bathroom into a steam room by closing the door and turning the shower on hot. Sit outside the shower with your child for about 15 minutes.

★ Dos and Don'ts

* Do look for a medicine that will treat only the symptoms your child has. For example, if your child only has a runny nose, don’t pick a medicine that also treats headache and fever.
* Do make sure everyone who takes care of your child (such as school nurses, day care workers, extended family or a babysitter) knows what medicines your child is taking and when he or she should be given a dose.
* Do read the medicine’s label carefully. Take note of any special instructions, such as foods or activities your child should avoid while taking the medicine.
* Do store medicines in their original packages to keep track of important labels and expiration dates. Store them out of the sight and reach of young children.
* Don’t give OTC cough and cold medicines to a child younger than 4 years of age unless your child’s doctor says it’s OK.
* Don’t give aspirin to a child younger than 18 years of age. Aspirin can cause a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome when it is given to children.
* Don’t combine prescription medicines with OTC medicines unless your child’s doctor says it’s OK.
* Don’t combine more than one OTC cough and cold medicine unless your child’s doctor says it’s OK. They may have similar ingredients that add up to be too much. For example, many OTC medicines contain acetaminophen and antihistamines.
* Don’t use an OTC medicine after its expiration date.
* Don’t share your adult OTC medicine with your child. OTC medicines intended for adults can be harmful for children.
* Don’t wait too long to take your child to the doctor. Cold symptoms should get better quickly, and OTC medicines are only meant for short-term use. If your child has been taking an OTC medicine for several days and his or her symptoms seem to be getting worse, call your doctor.

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OTC Medicines: An Introduction

★ What does OTC mean?
OTC stands for over-the-counter. These are medicines you can buy without a prescription from your doctor. You've probably used OTC medicines many times to relieve pain and treat the symptoms of the common cold, the flu and allergies. But like prescription drugs, OTC medicines can also cause unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects you need to be aware of.

When you buy an OTC medicine, it's important to read, completely understand and follow the information on the drug label. Be sure you understand what the label says before taking the medicine. If you have any questions, ask your family doctor or pharmacist.

★ What to look for on the label

1. Active ingredient. The active ingredient is the chemical compound in the medicine that works to relieve your symptoms. It is always the first item on the label. There may be more than one active ingredient in a product. The label will clearly show this, and it will also show the purpose of each active ingredient. To reduce your risk of overdose, be sure to check that you’re not taking two medicines that contain the same ingredients or are intended for the same purpose.

2. Uses. This section lists the symptoms the medicine is meant to treat. Uses are sometimes called "indications."

3. Warnings. This safety information will tell you what other medicines, foods or activities (such as driving) to avoid while taking this medicine, as well as possible side effects of taking the medicine. The warning will also tell you if the medicine is not recommended for a particular group of people, such as pregnant women.

4. Directions. This section tells you how much medicine you should take, how often you should take it and for how long you can take it. The directions may be different for children and adults.

5. Other information. Any other important information, such as how to store the medicine, will be listed here.

6. Inactive ingredients. An inactive ingredient is a chemical compound in the medicine that isn't meant to treat a symptom. This can include preservatives, binding agents and food coloring. This section is especially important for people who know they have allergies to food coloring or other chemicals.

7. Questions or Comments. A toll-free number for the manufacturer is provided in case you have any questions or want to share your comments about the medicine.

# OTC and Prescription Medicines that Contain Acetaminophen
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/otc-center/otc-charts/acetaminophen.html
http://familydoctor.org/online/etc/medialib/famdoc/docs/otc-acetaminophen.Par.0001.File.tmp/otc_acetaminophenchart.pdf

# Drug-Drug Interactions of Common OTC Drugs
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/otc-center/otc-charts/drugdrug.html
http://familydoctor.org/online/etc/medialib/famdoc/docs/otc-drugdruginteractions.Par.0001.File.tmp/otc_drugdruginteractionschart.pdf

# Active Ingredients in OTC Medicines
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/otc-center/otc-charts/know.html
http://familydoctor.org/online/etc/medialib/famdoc/docs/otc-know-med.Par.0001.File.tmp/otc_knowingredientschart.pdf

# OTC and Prescription Medicines that Contain NSAIDs
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/otc-center/otc-charts/nsaids.html
http://familydoctor.org/online/etc/medialib/famdoc/docs/otc-nsaids.Par.0001.File.tmp/otc_nsaidschart.pdf

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Cough Medicine: Understanding Your OTC Options

1. What types of OTC cough medicines are available?
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines you can buy without a doctor's prescription. OTC cough medicines are grouped into two types: antitussives and expectorants. Dextromethorphan (some brand names: Triaminic Cold and Cough, Robitussin Cough, Vicks 44 Cough and Cold) is a commonly used antitussive. The only expectorant available in OTC products is guaifenesin (two brand names: Mucinex, Robitussin Chest Congestion).

2. Should I treat a cough?
Most of the time, a cough doesn’t require treatment. A cough from a cold or the flu will usually go away on its own. Sometimes cough medicines are used if your cough is keeping you awake or interfering with your daytime activities.

Some types of cough should not be treated with cough medicines because the cough is helping to keep the lungs clear so you can breathe. Examples include a cough caused by smoking, emphysema, pneumonia, asthma or chronic bronchitis.

3. How do OTC cough medicines work?
Antitussives are cough suppressants. They relieve your cough by blocking the cough reflex.

Expectorants thin mucus. This may help your cough clear the mucus from your airway.

Dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are sometimes combined with each other (one brand name: Robitussin DM). They are also available in combination with other drugs, such as pain relievers, decongestants or antihistamines. These combination products (such as multi-symptom cold medicines) are meant to treat many symptoms at once. However, if your main symptom is cough, be careful of the drying effect of antihistamines and decongestants in combination medicines. This effect can make mucus thicker and harder to clear from the airways, which can make a cough worse.

4. What are some common side effects of OTC cough medicines?
Healthy adults don’t usually experience side effects from OTC cough medicines. But sometimes they can cause irritability, sleepiness or dizziness. Side effects may be a concern for people who have health problems, are elderly or use cough medicines for long periods of time.

Can OTC cough medicines cause problems with any other medicines I take?
Cough medicine is often combined with decongestants, antihistamines and/or pain relievers. If you take one of these combination medicines, it’s important to understand each of the active ingredients and the interactions they may have with other drugs you’re taking.

In general, try to avoid combination products that treat many different symptoms at once. For example, you might use guaifenesin (two brand names: Mucinex, Robitussin) for a cough. Don’t use guaifenesin combined with other active ingredients like decongestants, antihistamines or acetaminophen unless you are certain you aren’t taking other medicines with those ingredients. This will help to keep you from taking too much of one of these ingredients.

5. Are there other reasons I should talk to my doctor before taking a cough medicine?
Talk to your doctor before taking cough medicine if you have any of the following symptoms:

* Fever
* Shortness of breath
* Chronic (long-lasting) cough for more than a few weeks
* Wheezing when you cough or breathe. This may mean you need a prescription medicine to treat inflammation (swelling) and narrowing of your airways.

Also, you should stop taking cough medicine and call your doctor if your cough lasts for more than 2 weeks or if it keeps coming back.

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Pain Relievers: Understanding Your OTC Options

1. What types of OTC pain relievers are available?
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are medicines that you can buy without a prescription from your doctor. Two main types of OTC pain relievers are available. One type is acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol). The second type is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also called NSAIDs). NSAIDs include the following:

* Aspirin (two brand names: Bayer, St. Joseph)
* Ibuprofen (two brand names: Advil, Motrin)
* Naproxen (one brand name: Aleve)

Some products contain both acetaminophen and aspirin (brand names: Excedrin Extra Strength, Excedrin Migraine, Vanquish).

2. How do pain relievers work?
Acetaminophen seems to relieve pain and reduce fever by working on the parts of the brain that receive pain messages and control the body’s temperature.

NSAIDs relieve pain and fever by reducing the level of hormone-like substances (called prostaglandins) that your body makes. These substances cause the feeling of pain by irritating your nerve endings. They also are part of the system that helps your body control its temperature.

3. What types of problems can OTC pain relievers help?
Acetaminophen and NSAIDs help to reduce fever and relieve pain caused by headaches, muscle aches and stiffness. NSAIDs can also reduce inflammation (swelling). Acetaminophen does not reduce inflammation.

OTC pain relievers can be helpful in treating many types of pain, such as pain from arthritis, earaches, back pain, and pain after surgery. They can also treat pain from the flu (influenza) or a cold, sinusitis, strep throat or a sore throat. Children who may have the flu or chickenpox should not take aspirin because they are at higher risk to develop a condition called Reye’s Syndrome.

Acetaminophen can be a good choice for relieving headaches and other common aches and pains. It can be used safely on a long-term basis by most people for arthritis and other chronic painful conditions.

Ibuprofen is helpful for relieving menstrual cramps and pain from inflammation (such as muscle sprains). If ibuprofen doesn’t work for you, naproxen may be an option.

4. Will an OTC pain reliever work as well as a prescription one?
For most people, OTC medicines are all that are needed to relieve pain or reduce fever. But if an OTC medicine doesn’t help your pain or fever, it may be a sign you have a more serious problem or need a prescription medicine.

5. What are some common side effects of OTC pain relievers?
Side effects from OTC pain relievers are uncommon for healthy adults who only use pain relievers once in a while. If you have health problems or use OTC pain relievers often, talk with your family doctor.

Side effects with acetaminophen are rare. However, liver damage can occur if you drink alcohol and take acetaminophen.

NSAIDs may cause upset stomach. They can also cause increased bruising or risk of bleeding in the stomach. When taken regularly, they may cause kidney damage. NSAIDs may also make high blood pressure worse.

6. Who shouldn’t take acetaminophen?
Do not take acetaminophen if you:

* Have severe kidney or liver disease
* Have three or more drinks that contain alcohol every day
* Are already taking another product containing acetaminophen

7. Who shouldn’t take NSAIDs?
Talk with your doctor before you take an NSAID, especially aspirin, if you:

* Are allergic to aspirin or other pain relievers
* Have three or more drinks that contain alcohol every day
* Have bleeding in the stomach or intestines, or have peptic (stomach) ulcers
* Have liver or kidney disease
* Have heart disease
* Take blood-thinning medicine or have a bleeding disorder.

Children and teenagers under the age of 18 who may have the flu or chickenpox should not take aspirin because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, which is a serious illness that can lead to death.

8. Can OTC pain relievers cause problems with any other medicines I take?
NSAIDs can interact with blood pressure medicines. Someone who takes medicine for high blood pressure and also takes an NSAID may find that the blood pressure medicine does not work as well as it should.

Many OTC cold medicines contain acetaminophen. Be sure to check the list of ingredients to make sure you don’t take too much acetaminophen.

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OTC Medicines and Pregnancy

1. What should women who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding know about OTC drugs?
Conception occurs about two weeks before your period is due. That means you may not even realize you’re pregnant until you’re more than three weeks along. Your baby is most vulnerable two to eight weeks after conception. This is when your baby’s facial features and organs (such as the heart and kidneys) begin to form. Any medicine you take (or anything you eat, drink, smoke or are exposed to) can affect your baby. That’s why it’s best to start acting as if you’re pregnant before you actually become pregnant.

If you need to take medicine regularly because of a health problem or conditions, talk with your doctor about your treatment before you try to get pregnant. There may be other ways to treat your condition during pregnancy rather than taking medicine. The following are some general steps that can help minimize the risk of side effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

2. Folic acid alert

Women who don’t get enough folic acid during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with serious problems of the brain or spinal cord. These problems can occur very early in pregnancy, which is why it’s important to get enough folic acid even when you’re just trying to get pregnant. The recommended amount is 0.4 mg a day. Sources include fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, bananas, milk, dry beans, grains and organ meats (such as chicken livers). Your doctor also may suggest that you take a vitamin that contains folic acid.

3. If you're pregnant

The following are some basic guidelines for taking medicine when you’re pregnant:

* Many OTC medicines have not been well studied for safety in pregnant mothers. Always talk with your doctor before taking any OTC medicine, vitamin or supplement

* Avoid using medicines during your first trimester. This is when the risk to your baby is highest.

* Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is generally considered safe for short-term pain relief.

* Avoid using aspirin. It can cause birth defects, low birth weight or problems during delivery.

* Avoid using other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), especially during the third trimester. They can cause heart defects in your baby. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).

* Do not take OTC medicines for cough, congestion, diarrhea, constipation or nausea without talking to your family doctor first.

* Avoid the use of extra-strength, maximum-strength or long-acting medicines.

* Avoid combination medicines that treat many different symptoms at once. If your doctor says it’s safe, use one medicine to treat one symptom. For example, you might use acetaminophen for a headache. But don’t use acetaminophen combined with other active ingredients like decongestants or antihistamines. This will help you minimize the number of medicines your baby is exposed to.

4. If you are breastfeeding

The following are some basic guidelines for taking medicine when you're breastfeeding:

* Take oral medicines after you breastfeed or before the infant's longest sleep period. This will give the medicine a chance to leave your system before you feed your baby again.

* Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil, Motrin) usually provide safe pain relief for women who are breastfeeding.

* Avoid using aspirin because it can cause rashes and bleeding problems in nursing babies.

* Limit long-term use of antihistamines. Just like other medicines you take, antihistamines will pass into your breast milk. They may cause side effects in nursing infants, such as drowsiness, irritability, crying and sleep disturbances. Antihistamines may also decrease the amount of milk you produce. Antihistamines include brompheniramine (Dimetapp Cold and Allergy Elixir), chlorpheniramine (Singlet, Chlor-Trimeton Allergy), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy, Nytol, Sominex) and doxylamine (Vicks DayQuil, Alka-Seltzer Plus Night-Time Cold Medicine).

* Watch your baby for any signs of side effects. These signs can include a rash, trouble breathing or other symptoms that your baby didn’t have before you took the medicine.

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OTC Medicines: Know Your Risks, and Reduce Them

★ What risks are involved in taking an OTC medicine?
You can buy over-the-counter (OTC) medicines without a prescription from your doctor. OTC medicines can help treat or prevent symptoms from illness or other health problems, such as allergies. However, sometimes OTC medicines can cause unpleasant effects, which are also called adverse effects. These adverse effects include side effects, drug-drug interactions and food-drug interactions. It is best to be aware of the risks so you know how to avoid them.

Certain situations put you at higher risk for adverse effects. Because the possible adverse effects differ from one OTC drug to another, you must carefully read the label of any OTC medicine to know what to expect.

★ What's my risk for adverse effects?
Although OTC medicines have a low risk of adverse effects when used occasionally by adults who are generally healthy, they can pose greater risks for some people, including very young children, the elderly and people taking more than one type of medicine. People who have the following conditions are also at a higher risk:

* Asthma
* Bleeding disorders
* Blood clotting disorders
* Breathing problems
* Diabetes
* Enlarged prostate gland
* Epilepsy
* Glaucoma
* Gout
* Heart disease
* High blood pressure
* Immune system problems
* Kidney problems
* Liver problems
* Parkinson’s disease
* Psychiatric problems
* Thyroid problems

Even though these conditions put some people at greater risk, it is important to remember that anyone can experience an adverse effect from a medicine.

★ How will I know if I’m experiencing an adverse effect?
When you take any type of medicine, it’s important to be aware of changes in your body and how you feel. It may be hard to know whether a certain symptom is caused by your illness or by an adverse effect from your medicine. Tell your family doctor when the symptom started and if it is different from other symptoms you have had.

Tips to help you avoid adverse effects

* Don’t take medicine with alcoholic drinks.
* Don’t take a higher dose of the medicine than the label tells you to. Also, don’t take the medicine more frequently than suggested.
* Don’t take the medicine longer than recommended on the drug label.
* Don't stir medicine into your food or take capsules apart (unless your doctor says it’s okay). This may change the way the medicine works.
* If you don't understand something about the medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist about it.
* If you take any prescription medicines, ask your doctor before taking an OTC medicine.
* Keep track of any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to OTC medicines in the past. Check drug labels and avoid products that contain the same ingredients. This can help you avoid taking a medicine that may harm you or too much of a certain medicine.
* Make sure you know what ingredients the product contains and understand any warnings or possible adverse effects.
* Don't mix medicine into hot drinks unless the label tells you to. The heat may keep the drug from working as it should.
* Read the drug label carefully.
* Remember that even if you didn’t have a reaction to a medicine you took in the past, you could have a reaction when you take it now.
* Don't take vitamin pills at the exact time you take medicine. Vitamins and minerals can cause problems if taken with some drugs.
* Try to limit how often you use OTC medicines. Don’t use them unless you really need them.

★ What is a side effect?
Side effects are effects that drugs have on your body that don’t help your symptoms. They’re most often unpleasant. A few examples are nausea, feeling dizzy or bleeding in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sometimes, side effects can be useful. For example, certain antihistamines can cause sleepiness. This might be bad for people who take antihistamines during the day to treat allergies. But if you are taking an antihistamine at nighttime, this side effect might help you get the sleep you need.

★ What is a drug-drug interaction?
The body processes (metabolizes) every drug differently. When medicines are used together (whether prescription or OTC) their effect on the body can change, called a drug-drug interaction. This increases the chance that you will have side effects from each drug you are taking. The following are the main interaction types:

Duplication: If you take two medicines that have similar active ingredients, you may get more of an ingredient than you need. An example is when you take OTC ibuprofen along with a prescription anti-inflammatory medicine given to you by your doctor. Too much of either an anti-inflammatory medicine or acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol) can hurt your liver. You should be aware of all the active ingredients in the medicines you take. Be sure to check each new medicine to avoid duplication.

Opposition (antagonism): Medicines with active ingredients intended to have opposite effects on your body can interact, which may reduce the effectiveness of one or both medicines. For example, OTC decongestants can cause opposition when taken with certain medicines intended to lower your blood pressure, because decongestants may raise your blood pressure.

Alteration: One medicine may change the way the body absorbs, spreads or metabolizes another medicine. For example, aspirin can change the way certain prescription blood thinning medicines work.

If you see more than one doctor, tell each of them about the medicines you take — even if you take something for just a short time. Include any herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals you take. At least once a year, bring all of your medicines and supplements with you when you see your doctor.

★ What is a drug-food interaction?
Foods may affect how some OTC or prescription medicines are processed by your body. This is called a drug-food (or drug-nutrient) interaction. Sometimes what you eat and drink can affect the ingredients in a medicine you’re taking and prevent the medicine from working the way it should. For example, medicines taken by mouth (orally) must be absorbed through the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. The nutrients from the food you eat are also absorbed here. So if you take a medicine with food when it’s not recommended, one possible interaction is that your body might not be able to absorb the medicine as it should.

★ Are all OTC medicines affected by food?
No. But some OTC medicines can be affected by what you eat and when you eat it. This is why some medicines should be taken on an empty stomach (one hour before eating or two hours after eating). On the other hand, it’s easier for your body to process certain medicines when you take them with food.

Read the drug label to see if you should take your medicine with a snack or a meal, or if it should be taken on an empty stomach. If the label doesn’t give specific directions, taking the drug with or without food probably won’t affect the way the drug works. If you have any questions, ask your family doctor or pharmacist.

★ Allergic Reactions
It’s not common, but some people can be allergic to a drug. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to a drug, be sure to avoid products that contain the same ingredient. Signs of an allergic reaction include itching, hives and trouble breathing. Call your doctor right away if you think you’re having an allergic reaction.

★ Are older adults at increased risk?
Often, older adults use many drugs at the same time, including prescription and OTC medicines. Their bodies also process drugs differently than younger adults. This is why older adults need to pay careful attention to drug-drug interactions between OTC and prescription medicines. If you are an older adult, talk with your doctor about all of the drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements you take. Your doctor can tell you whether you are at risk for having an adverse effect from taking an OTC medicine. The following are a few of the problems that older adults may be at an increased risk for:

* If you use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), you may be at risk of kidney disease and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (two brand names: Motrin, Advil), aspirin, naproxen (one brand name: Aleve) and ketoprofen. NSAIDS can interact with many different prescription medicines. They can cause problems if you have high blood pressure, prostate problems, thyroid disease or heart disease.
* Decongestants like phenylephrine (two brand names: Robitussin, Sudafed) or pseudoephedrine (two brand names: Contac, Dimetapp) can cause dizziness, nervousness or problems sleeping. They can also cause problems if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a prostate condition, thyroid disease or heart disease.
* Certain antihistamines can cause drowsiness and blurred vision, which may increase your risk of falling. Be sure to read the drug label. These medicines can also cause dry mouth and trouble urinating.

★ Alcohol and OTC medicines
In general, be careful about mixing alcohol and any OTC or prescription medicine. Check drug labels for warnings about drinking alcohol while taking OTC medicines. Drinking alcohol while taking any of the following medicines is especially risky:

NSAID pain relievers. If you drink more than one alcoholic beverage per week and use NSAIDs you may be at increased risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. People who consume three or more alcoholic beverages each day should consult their physician before using any pain reliever. Examples of NSAIDS include ibuprofen (two brand names: Motrin, Advil), aspirin, naproxen (one brand name: Aleve) and ketoprofen.

Acetaminophen. This medicine is much less likely than NSAIDs to be associated with gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. However, be careful when taking acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol) if you drink alcohol because both can damage your liver.

Certain OTC antihistamines. Using these medicines while drinking alcohol can increase drowsiness.

Decongestants and cough medicines. Drinking alcohol while taking the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (two brand names: Robitussin, Vicks) can increase drowsiness.

Herbal supplements. Alcohol should not be mixed with valerian root, St. John’s wort or kava kava because it increases the risk of drowsiness.

------------------------------------
Getting the Most from Your OTC Medicine

★ What does OTC mean?
OTC is short for “over-the-counter.” OTC drugs are medicines you can buy without a doctor’s prescription. Chances are, you’ve used OTC products many times to relieve pain, constipation or nausea, or to treat symptoms of a cold or the flu.

★ Talk to your family doctor
If there is something you don't understand about a medicine you're taking or are planning to take, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you still don't understand, ask him or her to explain things more clearly. If you are taking more than one medicine, be sure to ask how the medicines will work together in your body. Sometimes medicines cause problems when they are taken together (called a drug interaction).

Ask your doctor the following questions to learn how to use each medicine correctly and safely:

* How will I know if the medicine is working?
* What are the possible side effects?
* What does the medicine do?
* When and how should I take the medicine?
* Should I avoid any activities while I'm taking the medicine?
* Are there any other medicines, foods or drinks I should avoid while taking the medicine?

★ Know about the medicines you take
You should know the following things about each medicine you take:

* How long to continue taking the medicine
* How much to take and how often to take it
* Name (generic name and brand name)
* Possible side effects and what to do if you experience them
* Reason for taking the medicine
* Special instructions (for example, taking it at bedtime or with meals)

★ Know what to avoid while taking the medicine
Read the drug label carefully to see what to avoid while you are taking an OTC medicine. Follow the instructions just as you would with a prescription medicine. If you have questions, ask your family doctor or pharmacist.

It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking most OTC and prescription medicines. Check the drug label for warnings about alcohol use while taking the medicine. See "OTC Medicines: Know Your Risk" for more information.

★ Taking medicine: Dos and don'ts

* Do read the label carefully.
* Do take your medicine exactly as your doctor instructs.
* Do make sure that each of your doctors (if you see more than one) has a list of all of the OTC and prescription medicines you're currently taking.
* Do keep a complete list of all the OTC and prescription medicines you take. Make sure a friend or family member knows where you keep that list in case of an emergency.
* Don't combine prescription medicines and OTC medicines unless your doctor says it's okay.
* Don't stop taking a prescription medicine, change how much you take, or change how often you take it without talking to your doctor first.
* Don't take someone else's medicine, whether OTC or prescription.
* Don't use medicine after its expiration date.
* Don't crush, break or chew tablets or capsules unless your doctor tells it’s okay. Some medicines won't work right unless they are swallowed whole.

If you don’t understand something about a medicine you’re planning to take, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you still don’t understand, ask him or her to explain things more clearly.

★ What’s the difference between generic and brand name OTC medicines?
Medicines come in both brand names and generics. Generic medicines generally cost less than brand name medicines. Compare the list of ingredients. If the generic has the same ingredients as the brand name, you may want to consider using it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about which medicine to choose.

★ How do I choose which OTC medicine to take?

* If you have questions, ask your family doctor or pharmacist.
* Although it can seem overwhelming, take the time to look at all your OTC choices.
* Read the label carefully and note what symptoms the medicine will treat.
* Look for a medicine that will treat only the symptoms you have. For example, if you only have a runny nose, don't pick a medicine that also treats coughs and headaches.
* Note how much medicine you should take and what side effects it may cause.
* Note what other medicines or foods you should not take with the medicine.
* Check to see if the medicine causes problems for people who have certain health problems (such as asthma or hypertension).

★ What if I don’t feel better even though I’m taking an OTC medicine?
If you're taking an OTC medicine and it doesn't seem to be working, call your family doctor. Your doctor may need to check to see why you aren’t getting better.

You should also call your doctor if you experience side effects or have any concerns about the medicine you're taking.

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Drug Recall Information

Sometimes certain medicines get taken off the market. This is called a drug recall. Generally drugs are recalled if they are unsafe for patients or if they cause serious side effects. Recently, McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalled 21 lots of its over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Medicines recalled include certain Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol PM, Children's Tylenol Meltaways, Benadryl Allergy Ultratab Tablets and Motrin IB. View a complete list of the medicines that have been recalled.

Recall of OTC Medicines

Product Name Lot Number UPC Code
BENADRYL® ALLERGY ULTRATAB™
BENADRYL® ALLERGY ULTRATAB™ TABLETS 100 count ABA567 312547170338
BENADRYL® ALLERGY ULTRATAB™ TABLETS 100 count ABA574 312547170338
Children’s TYLENOL® Meltaways
CHILDREN’S TYLENOL® MELTAWAYS BUBBLEGUM 30 count ABA544 300450519306
MOTRIN® IB
MOTRIN® IB CAPLET 24 count ACA003 300450481030
MOTRIN® IB CAPLET bonus pack 50+25 count ACA002 300450481764
MOTRIN® IB TABLET 100 count AFA060 300450463043
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength EZ TABLET 225 count ASA206 300450422378
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength EZ TABLET 50 count ABA005 300450422507
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength COOL CAPLET 24 count ABA566 300450444240
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength CAPLET bonus pack 24+12 count ACA025 300450444318
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength CAPLET 50 count AFA018 300450449078
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength CAPLET 50 count
(included in Day/Night Pack) ABA168 300450444530
TYLENOL®, Day & Night Value Pack
(contains Extra Strength CAPLET 50 count Lot # ABA168 & UPC 300450444530) AEC005 300450527103
TYLENOL®, Day & Night Value Pack
(contains Extra Strength CAPLET 50 count Lot # ABA168 & UPC 300450444530) AFC005 300450527103
TYLENOL®, Day & Night Value Pack
(contains Extra Strength CAPLET 50 count Lot # ABA168 & UPC 300450444530) ADC002 300450527103
TYLENOL®, Day & Night Value Pack
(contains Extra Strength CAPLET 50 count Lot # ABA168 & UPC 300450444530) ACA024 300450488244
TYLENOL®, Extra Strength RAPID RELEASE GELCAP 225 count AJA119 300450488251
TYLENOL® PM
TYLENOL® PM CAPLET 24 count ACA005 300450482242
TYLENOL® PM CAPLET 24 count ADA259 300450482242
TYLENOL® PM GELTAB 50 count AFA100 300450176509
TYLENOL® PM RAPID RELEASE GELCAP 20 count ACA004 300450244208

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