How Carefully Do You Read Those Labels?

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Drugstores can be scary at the best of times. With so many options and brands available, there are literally rows of choices for every type of cough syrup, allergy suppressant, and pain reliever available.

With so many choices, it’s easy to pick up the wrong medication. Even if you’re getting the right brand.

That’s what happened to a lady in Canada. After seeing her doctor for an allergic reaction, she was advised to take “Benadryl,” an over-the-counter allergy medication. Unfortunately, this lady accidentally picked up “Benadryl Total,” and suffered a stroke within two days.

After examination, there were only two risk factors believed to be a cause of the stroke: the woman’s age, and the ingredient pseudoephedrine found in the “Benadryl Total” that she was taking. This ingredient wasn’t in the regular “Benadryl” advised by her doctor and has been linked to strokes.

It can be difficult when you’re faced with so many choices to get the right over-the-counter product. But there’s no reason not to consult the pharmacist on duty.

Make sure you shop at a store where you trust the pharmacist. Maybe that means finding a pharmacy and sticking to it. If you always go around the same time, you have a better chance of building a relationship with your pharmacist. You may find it easier to ask someone you know for help, and they will get to know you and your medical history.

You can also carry around an extra pair of reading glasses or a magnifying glass to help you read the fine print on the labels. The fine print is usually where the medicinal ingredients are listed.

And make sure your doctor writes his recommendations down clearly. You don’t want to get confused when you can’t remember what he said and can’t read what he wrote.

When taking over-the-counter medication, you’re the only one who can make sure you’re taking the right one. There’s no reason not to do everything you can to make sure you stay safe.