[IFA NOREX]. Medications should only be taken in accordance with the advice of your medical professional.
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Drug interactions with over-the-counter
cough medicines : There are two general types of cough medicine that are available
over the counter. (There are also some types of cough medicines with significant
amounts of narcotics like codeine, but these stronger cough medicines are only
available by prescription.) Some over-the counter cough medicines are antitussives.
Dextromethorphan is one of the more common ingredients in antitussives. An antitussive
is a cough suppressant. It works by partially blocking the cough reflex. It
lessens your bodyís tendency to allow a cough to be triggered involuntarily.
Some common antitussive over-the-counter cough medicines include Triaminic Cold
and Cough, and Vicks 44 Cough and Cold.
The other type of over-the-counter cough medicine is an expectorant. The main
ingredient for over-the-counter expectorants is guaifenesin. Expectorants work
by thinning the mucus that can clog your airway and cause you to cough to clear
it. Some common expectorant over-the-counter cough medicines include Mucinex
and Robitussin Chest Congestion. With any medication, including fairly tame
over-the-counter medications, you always want to be aware of the risk of it
interacting adversely with some other medication - over-the-counter or prescription
- that you are taking. In the case of over-the-counter cough medicine, the primary
risk is consuming too much of an ingredient because youíre not aware itís in
multiple medications youíre taking. This happens most often because some products
are designed to treat multiple symptoms of, say, a cold. So you need to read
your labels and check the ingredients.
For instance, you may be taking something you think
of as a cough medicine, when in fact if you look closely youíll see that it
treats other symptoms as well. Then if youíre also taking something else for
those other symptoms, you could be inadvertently doubling up. You might be taking,
say, an antihistamine, a decongestant, and/or a pain reliever, and if one or
more of these is also contained in your cough medicine, then you may exceed
the recommended dose. Or, your cough medicine may indeed be solely a cough medicine,
but you may be also taking a general cold remedy which itself contains cough
medicine, thus exceeding the recommended dosage in that way. Beyond that, there
is a small risk of an over-the-counter cough medicine interacting adversely
with certain prescription drugs. If you are on any prescription medications,
always ask your doctor before taking cough medicine, or any other medication.
Specifically, some patients taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), a prescription
drug used to treat depression among other conditions, have had problematic interactions
with over-the-counter cough medicines.