Doc Talk #31 – Over the Counter Medications



Use of over the counter/off the shelf medication can be really helpful for some people. They are great for minor illness, sick feverish kids (who can be completely transformed with some tylenol or advil) and other ailments.

Lots of over the counter medications have the same basic ingredients.


I think I’m going to create a range of painkillers for the understated Englishman. ‘Tylenol for minor sniffles’, ‘Advil for when you’re feeling a bit under the weather and don’t really want to go to work’, maybe even ‘Alleve ManFlu and need some sympathy’


Follow the directions carefully and don’t mix multiple over the counter medications

  • Tylenol if taken in excess can damage the liver – don’t exceed the recommended dose
  • Ibuprofen, naproxen (alleve, advil etc) and other anti-inflammatories can caused stomach acid, ulcers and excess acid – they are usually best taken with food; anti-inflammatories can push up the blood pressure and aggravate asthma as well

Cough mixtures and decongestants can potentially make you sleepy, cause your heart to race, cause urinary retention if you have prostate issues.

The bottom line is that prescription medications and over the counter medications often do not mix. Make sure you ask your pharmacist or family doctor for advice!