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Monday 23 January 2017

Pharmaceutical Drugs on sale at the pharmacy are no safer

In America there are few restriction on the advertising of pharmaceutical drugs. In Britain, however, there are more restrictions, which divide drugs into two types, prescription drugs, and 'over-the-counter' (or OTC) drugs. These are pharmaceutical drugs readily available for sale at chemists and supermarkets without the supervision of doctors.

Most people believe that OTC drugs are safer as they can be bought and taken without medical supervision. But is this true?

Note. For the 1000's who read this blog from outside Britain, a warning! The OTC drugs sold in other countries may not have the same names, but whatever they are called, they contain the same harmful and dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients. Having multiple names for the same drug is part of obfuscation routinely practice by the drug companies!

Want to avoid paracetamol, as you know it has dangerous side effects? Have some Calpol instead then. Problem is that the main ingredient of Calpol is paracetamol (acetamorphen)!

The message is clear. Just because pharmaceutical drugs are readily available without the approval of doctors, in pharmacies, and over the internet, does not make them any safer than prescription drugs!

Most OTC drugs are designed to treat pain, stomach ailments, and mouth and throat ailments. The ingredients of most OTC drugs are drugs that normally can only be prescribed by doctors because they are considered to be potentially harmful. Links below take you mainly to the website where you can see a description of the serious side effects caused by the linked drug. Often, OTC drugs are a mixture of different drugs, and we have very little knowledge of drug interactions.

Alka Sultzer
An 'fizzy' antacid drug and pain reliever that contain a mixture of aspirin, sodium bicarbonate, and anhydrous citric acid.

A painkiller, a mixture of paracetamol (acetamorphen), ibuprofen, aspirin and other ingredients such as caffeine.

Beechams Powders
Powders advertised to relieving aches, pains and fever associated with colds and flu, headaches, sore throat, nerve pain (neuralgia), period pain, toothache, and other aches and pains. The main ingredient is aspirin and caffeine.

A range of cough syrups containing ingredients such as codeine, dextromethorphan, pseudoephedrine, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and guaifenesin.

A painkiller for children, marketed for relieving headache, toothache, teething, earache and sore throat, reducing fever, and relieving the aches and pains associated with colds and flu. It is liquid paracetamol!

Dulcolax is a stimulant laxative that stimulates the bowel muscles to cause a bowel movement. The website informs us that it is a drug with many contra-indications (don't take it if), and some serious side effects, including muscle cramps, faintness, stomach discomfort, severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

A drug for period pain (dysmenorrhoea). It's main ingredient is Naproxen, a NASID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) painkilling drug.

A range of antacid drugs treating acid indigestion, reflux and heartburn. It's ingredients included aluminium hydroxide and magnesium carbonate. Widely advertised as 'safe' it comes with a wide range of serious side effects including gastro-intestinal, renal, musculoskeletal, metabolic side effects, and on the nervous system.

Lemsip is a brand of cold and flu remedies, aimed at relieving headache, fever, blocked nose, sore throats, and flu-related aches and pains. They are enticingly flavoured with lemon, blackcurrant and others to disguise the main ingredient, which is paracetamol (acetamorphen). Other ingredients are phenylephrine hydrochloride, a decongestant.

This is another painkiller, widely used for children, whose main ingredient is the NSAID drug, Ibuprofen.

Rennies tablets are antacid drugs used for stomach pain, bloating and sickness related to indigestion, heartburn, reflux and flatulence. The active ingredients are calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, usually alongside a flavouring. In a blog I wrote in 2015, I noted that Rennies tablets have been identified as a cause of dementia.

These are cough and cold drugs containing a number of pharmaceutical ingredients, including the painkillers paracetamol (acetaminophen) and codeine, chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine, dextromethorphan, a narcotic antitussive (with possible psychedelic effects), diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, doxylamine, a sleeping drug, guaifenesin, an expectorant, menthol, an oral anaesthetic, phenylephrine, a decongestant, and promethazine, another antihistamine.

Another range of painkilling drugs containing various amounts of paracetamol (acetamorphen), ibuprofen, caffeine and codeine.

These are throat lozenges, used to relieve sore throats and mouth and throat infections. The active ingredients are amylmetacresol and dichlorobenzyl alcohol, which are antiseptic.

The main ingredient of this painkiller is the drug Diclofenac, "a NSAID painkiller, launched in Britain in about 1993 ... been found to cause heart attacks, and banned by the MHRA in June 2013".  For more information go to the above link. The drug is widely advertised on radio programmes, notably Classic FM, so is readily available - even though its main ingredients has been banned

Another drug for treating heartburn and reflux. Its main ingredient, ranitidine, is known to cause a variety of serious side effects and diseases, including those affecting the stomach, the heart, the skin, the liver and kidneys, the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system. It is very openly on sale on the internet.

The moral of this blog is to remember that all pharmaceutical drugs are unsafe, often dangerous, and sometimes lethal; that pharmaceutical companies go out of their way not to tell us this; that doctors either don't know, or don't bother to tell us; and that OTC drugs are no safer than any other kind of pharmaceutical drugs. They are best avoided. There are other, alternative medical therapies that are safer and more effective, so rather than take any drug, it is safer to check these out.

For instance, have a look at my 'Why Homeopathy?' website.

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