How many consumers realize that almost all over-the-counter drugs were at one time prescription medications? “Don't ever think that because they are now available to purchase from your local drugstore they are completely safe,” advises medical expert, Dr. Ray Strand, M.D., in his book, Death by Prescription: The Shocking Truth Behind an Overmedicated Nation. “We must have the same respect for over-the-counter drugs as we do prescription drugs.”
—William Comanor, PhD, director of the UCLA program on pharmaceutical economics and policy, professor of health services at UCLA, and professor of economics at University of California at Santa Barbara.
CASE 1: Over-the-counter medications cause an estimated 16,000 deaths per year, according to a report published in American Family Physician.
CASE 2: There are growing reports of deaths, convulsions, rapid heart rates and some loss of consciousness associated with pediatric cold medicines--and there is no evidence they provide any relief to children suffering from colds, according to an article published in the New York Times.
CASE 3: Ibuprofen, the popular over-the-counter painkiller found in Advil and Motrin, may increase the risk of heart problems in patients with osteoarthritis who take daily aspirin to help lower their cardiovascular risk, according to a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Dr. Strand's book recommends the following to minimize your risk of developing serious adverse reactions to over-the-counter drugs.
“It’s the holy grail that every drug company tries to acheive,” according to a former director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Federal drug agency who said: “One-dose-fits-all is a marketing myth.” [More]