Does anyone reading this entry NOT have in their medicine cabinet a bottle of Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, Aspirin, Tums and or Tylenol PM? I would bet that there are no hands being raised as it is my suspicion that most people, including me, do have one or more of these above-mentioned Over the Counter (“OTC”) products. We do not consider these to be “medications” because they are not prescribed by a physician and may be readily purchased over the counter at every pharmacy and supermarket.
Are these OTC products completely harmless? We are sort of lulled into thinking this because if the government is not making us go to doctors for these, they must be safe, right? Well, you will see cautions listed on pretty much all of them. For example, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may impact negatively on the kidneys and possibly heart. Acetamenophen (Tylenol) may have deleterious impacts on the liver. Pretty much every OTC has some sort of risk associated with them.
So, let’s get back to the weight control arena: Controlling weight leads to less muscle/joint pains, less acid reflux and better sleep. These, in turn, will lead to less need for any type of medications, including OTCs.
It is not just the “high profile prescription” meds, such as blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux and other meds that are lessened by controlling weight. Add to this list a umber of OTCs and although more readily available, they still incur risk.