Ibuprofen, which is the primary component of Advil or Motrin, is a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to treat or alleviate fever, inflammation and pain. But ibuprofen is far from harmless. Bangor Daily News reports that ibuprofen has caused "16,000 deaths per year and sent 100,000 people to the emergency room in the U.S.," due to ulcers, stomach bleeding and serious heart problems. A nine year study of 29,000 individuals from Denmark showed that those taking ibuprofen had a 31 percent higher risk of heart attacks.
Benedryl is an anticholinergic drug for allergies and colds. It contains acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important in "learning and memory formation," says Study.com. The use of benedryl can impair cognition, according to research compiled by the University of Washington School of Pharmacy. They monitored 3500 seniors for 10 years who regularly took anticholinergic drugs and discovered they had "a 54 percent higher risk of developing dementia."
Acetaminophen is taken world wide as a pain reliever and often utilized for chronic conditions over extended periods of time. It has been linked to kidney, heart, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems. More recent studies suggest acetaminophen can also reduce empathy and "dull the brain's response to new information." Because acetaminophen depletes glutathione in the liver, it can lessen "the liver's ability to detoxify" the body, leading to increased toxicity over time.
When bothered by a persistent, nagging cough, you may have picked up a bottle of cough suppressant like Nyquil, Robitussin. Others use these over the counter medications to help them sleep. But look at the small print on that bottle you will probably see dexatromethorphan. Not only could one become addicted to this ingredient, if it is ingested over an extended period of time, it can cause "liver damage and multiple mental problems." Due to its availability and ease of purchase, Drugabuse.com reports that younger people are the "common abusers" of dexatromethorphan, also known on the street as DXM. Studies in rats show that DXM creates memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction.
Who hasn't been advised to take an aspirin? Unfortunately, this too is an NSAID drug with similarities to ibuprofen. People who take an aspirin daily are at a much higher risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin sold with an enteric coating is perceived to be gentler on the stomach, but the risk of ulcers remain.
As you can see, many of these over the counter medications are used for minor to medium pain, inflammation, colds, coughing or flu symptoms. But the side effects are quite serious. It is critical to consider alternative remedies and therapies, as well as the bevy of healing herbs provided by Mother Nature.