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How to treat colds in America: a guide to buying and taking drugs


Source: Consumer Reports

To understand all the drugs on the US market and sold over the counter is very difficult. Poll from Consumer ReportsA survey among 744 adult Americans showed that most of them considered the drug buying process to be a problem.

Фото: Depositphotos

Project journalists asked 17 undercover buyers to explore pharmacies across the country, and many said the same thing: choosing the right product is very difficult. Try to understand this issue?

Multisymptomatic or monocomponent
Many brands use an integrated approach. For example, Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu Relief contains acetaminophen for the treatment of pain and fever, cough dextromethorphan, phenylephrine for cramps and doxylamine for the hypnotic effect. Is it always good?

  • Tip: Try to take products with one ingredient. The more components, the higher the risk of side effects. Try to find products designed for each of the symptoms separately. Or at least use those drugs that treat exactly your symptoms, so as not to create an extra burden on a weakened body.

Brands named or local brands
The active ingredient in branded, well-known drugs, as well as in the products of local stores (for example, acetaminophen in Tylenol and Walgreens) is chemically identical. “The real difference is the price,” pharmacists say.

  • Tip: save money and buy medicines of not very popular brands. For example, Sudafed PE Congestion and Wal-Phed PE by Walgreens contain 10 mg of phenylephrine for relieving spasm in the bronchi. But 36 tablets Sudafed cost 13 dollars, and 36 tablets Wal-phed cost less than 6 dollars.

Tablets, syrups or powders
Experts say that liquid substances are somewhat faster in the bloodstream, but for most products the difference is insignificant.

  • Tip: choose products that match your personal preferences. For example, if you have a sore throat, some people may choose a warm drink, while someone might prefer a pill. If you like liquid products, make sure that they have a measuring spoon and you follow the dosage clearly.

Danger of drug abuse
Acetaminophen, familiar to most people in the form Tylenol, found in more than 600 drugs, including many over-the-counter cold and flu medicines. Most people do not read labels carefully. As a result, you run the risk of getting too much of the same substance (this leads to 59 000 treatments per year only in the United States about liver problems, poisoning and other symptoms of overdose).

Here is the maximum dosage of the most common drugs (do not exceed!)

  • Tylenol Extra Strength - 500 mg per pill / 6 pills
  • Theraflu ExpressMax Daytime Severe Cold & Cough - 325 mg per pill / 8 pills
  • NyQuil Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief - 325 mg per pill / 2 pills

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