Over the Counter Medicines
Be Safe when you buy over the counter medicines
Chances are all of us will need a pain or cold medicine sometime in life. Ask your doctor to recommend a cold or pain medicine before you need one, rather than wait until after you need one. Follow this and the following safety tips.
- Always read the label to know what you are taking as some preparations include many different ingredients.
- Don’t take it if you don’t need it. For instance, do not take a cold medicine with a cough suppressant if you do not have a cough or do not take Tylenol PM if you have trouble sleeping but no pain.
- Buy your cold and pain medicines (and all over-the-counter pills) at the same pharmacy where you fill your prescriptions. Pay for over-the-counter medicines in the pharmacy department rather than at the general check-out counter. This way your pharmacist can check to see if there is an interaction between what you are purchasing and your prescription medicines.
- If you get your prescriptions by mail order, be sure to have a complete list of all your medicines on hand to show the pharmacist.
- Be sure to include all your medicines—including overt the counter pills and supplements—on your list as these, too, can interact with your Parkinson’s drugs. For instance, some herbal preparations, energy or weight-loss pills, and sleep aids contain stimulants similar to those in decongestants or antihistamines.
- Do not assume if it is an 'herb or natural' that it is safe. Remember many medicines are derived from chemicals found in 'natural' sources such as plants.
Learn more about cold medicines and Parkinson's.
Author: Monique L. Giroux, MD