Not the Same Cold Medicine on the Shelf


Not the Same Cold Medicine on the Shelf

You may have noticed that some familiar cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine are now kept behind the pharmacy counter. Pseudoephedrine (“soo-doe-eh-fed-reen”) is a common ingredient in cold medicines such as Sudafed, Wal-Phed, CVS Nasal Decongestant, and others. This medicine is a decongestant. It shrinks the blood vessels in your nose which makes it easier to breathe.

Pseudoephedrine is also a major ingredient used to illegally make methamphetamine (“meth-am-fet-ah-meen”).1 Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Some people call it “speed.” It makes the heart beat faster and blood pressure go up. It can lead to permanent damage to blood vessels in the brain, causing a stroke.2 Using pseudoephedrine from cold medicine, people have found a way to make methamphetamine illegally.

As a result, drug companies have replaced the pseudoephedrine with a different decongestant called phenylephrine (“fen-el-ef-rin”). Some drug makers have added “PE” to the end of the cold medicine’s name to show that it is different (Sudafed PE, Wal-Phed PE, CVS Nasal Decongestant PE, others). People generally take LESS of the medicine with phenylephrine per dose than the medicine with pseudoephedrine. For example, if you used to take two Sudafed tablets per dose, you should take only one Sudafed PE tablet.

While the ingredients are different, the packages of the medicines are very similar to one another. Sudafed and Sudafed PE (as well as other brands) both come in red and white boxes. Inside, the foil blister packs for both medicines contain small, red tablets. The similarities are so strong, they can easily be confused.

As a result, ISMP has recently received several reports of accidental overdoses of cold medicines that contain phenylephrine.

In one case, a nurse, her husband, and her children each took twice as much Sudafed PE as they should have for 3 to 4 days. All of them experienced headaches and nausea. Her husband missed a day of work because he developed irregular heartbeats and dizziness. The nurse thought her family members were taking Sudafed as they always had. After all, it looked like the same small red tablet they were used to taking. Instead, they were taking Sudafed PE which contains phenylephrine instead of pseudoephedrine.

Another man told us a pharmacy clerk (not the pharmacist) had given him the cold medicine off the shelf with phenylephrine. The clerk told the man it was “generic” for Sudafed (pseudoephedrine). The man took 2 tablets for each of 3 doses before he read the package and discovered that he was taking too much medicine.

Both pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are safe when used as instructed. Nevertheless, if what you are taking is not what you think it is, dangerous mistakes are possible. Always read packages carefully to learn the exact main ingredients and how much to take for each dose. This is important even if the medicine is familiar to you. If you have questions, ask a pharmacist for help.


Heart Disease and Medication Safety

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) NSAIDs include both prescription and over-the-counter medicine. They are often used to relieve pain or reduce inflammation from conditions such as arthritis. However, NSAIDs can make your body retain fluid and decrease the function of your kidneys. This may cause your blood pressure to rise even higher. The extra fluid and higher blood pressure puts an added burden on your heart. [JPR1] The use of NSAIDS also can increase your risk for heart attack or stroke, particularly is used in high doses.

Source: Heart Disease and Medication Safety

Phenylpropanolamine PPA and Strokes – was it all a hoax? – Planet Chiropractic News

The news first surfaced around the weekend of November 3rd, 2000. A common cold medication and diet stimulant ingredient known as phenylpropanolamine was about to be banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Planet Chiropractic posted our first news of the topic on the morning of November 6th, 2000 as a result of news we were gathering throughout the weekend. On that same morning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory that a common medicine ingredient (PPA) may increase the risk of stroke in some individuals. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), was commonly used in prescription and over-the-counter cold and cough products as a nasal decongestant and in over-the-counter weight control products. On Nov. 7th, 2000, Planet Chiropractic sent out our first ever Public Service Announcement via e-mail. Included in the e-mail was a list of common over-the-counter medications that contained the PPA ingredient. A warning involving the increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding on the brain) was also included and readers were encouraged to contact the FDA for more information.

Source: Phenylpropanolamine PPA and Strokes – was it all a hoax? – Planet Chiropractic News

What Cold Medications Are Safe For My Heart? | The Skeptical Cardiologist

It’s the cold and flu season here in St. Louis. That means the beds in my hospital are filling up with people who have upper respiratory infections of one kind or another and have developed complications. Not uncommonly, the skeptical cardiologist is asked to consult on one of his heart patients who has developed worsening heart failure or atrial fibrillation as a consequence of the pulmonary issues. In the office it seems like every other patient has recently had a flu-like illness and is still dealing with lingering symptoms, most commonly a persistent cough.

Source: What Cold Medications Are Safe For My Heart? | The Skeptical Cardiologist

Cold Medications That Do Not Affect Blood Pressure | LIVESTRONG.COM

Overview Strong over-the-counter cold medications help people make it through the cold and flu season, but some drugs can raise blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension or heart disease should choose medicines by the cold symptoms that they treat. Sneezing, coughing and runny noses can safely be treate

Source: Cold Medications That Do Not Affect Blood Pressure | LIVESTRONG.COM

The Counter Attack – Sorry, There’s No Pill for That: About Cold Medications and What Happened to Neo-Citran

About Cold Medications and What Happened to Neo-Citran


I’ve had a million people ask me about Neo-Citran in the last few weeks and about where they might find it because it hasn’t been found on the shelves in a while. According to a Toronto Star news report , it is because the parent company Novartis had voluntarily closed their manufacturing plant down because of issues with drug mix-ups and needing to improve their manufacturing standards. (–the-gta-runs-out-of-maalox)

Source: The Counter Attack – Sorry, There’s No Pill for That: About Cold Medications and What Happened to Neo-Citran

Cahyahati: Salah terapi di chiropractic merenggut nyawa adikku dalam waktu 6 jam

Adik kami, Chicha, lahir di suatu hari di bulan Desember 1982. Saya ingat sekali, mama pamit pergi makan malam dengan kakak-kakaknya yang akhirnya berakhir di rumah sakit karena mama tiba-tiba pecah ketuban dan langsung dibawa ke rumah sakit. Papa sedang berada di luar kota waktu itu. Sesampainya di rumah, papa segera ke Bandung, waktu itu memang kami sedang berdomisili di Cimahi karena papa bertugas sebagai kepala cabang PLN di kota tersebut. Allya Siska Nadya atau sering dipanggil dengan nama kecil Chicha, lahir dengan berat 4 kilo. Dia adalah bayi yang cantik. Meskipun mengharapkan adik laki-laki ternyata memiliki adik bayi perempuan sangat menyenangkan. Walaupun kadang kami suka jahil kepadanya. Chicha adalah tipikal anak ke 4, cerdas, kemauannya keras, halus tutur bahasanya, sungkan merepotkan orang dan dia sangat peduli dengan orang sekitarnya. Pernah suatu kali saat duduk di kelas 2 di SD St. Theresia, Padang, dia datang mengoleh-olehi mama 1 tusuk sate dan 1 buah ketupat dengan meminjam uang dari supir. Dan kebiasaan mengoleh-olehkan orang di rumah pun berlanjut sampai dia dewasa. Mungkin hanya buah tangan kecil tapi kami jadi tahu bahwa dia ingat pada kami.

Source: Cahyahati: Salah terapi di chiropractic merenggut nyawa adikku dalam waktu 6 jam

Avoid These Common Stroke Risk Factors

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is a rapidly growing health threat for middle-aged women in particular. The most common type of stroke is called “ischemic stroke,” which results from an obstruction in a blood vessel supplying blood to your brain. A number of factors are likely behind the surprising rise in strokes in women, including: Increasing rates of obesity (women’s waists have grown by nearly two inches in the last 10 years) Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun exposure. Sun avoidance also increases your risk of vitamin D sulfate deficiency, which may be an underlying cause of arterial plaque buildup (a risk factor for stroke) Rising prevalence of high blood sugar level

Source: Avoid These Common Stroke Risk Factors