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TORONTO (NEWS 1130) We are in the thick of an especially bad flu season right now, but before you reach for your go to medication, make sure you know what you taking when you reach for some of those common, over the counter remedies.

it comes to treating cold and flu symptoms, a lot of people come into the pharmacy and they looking at the package just in terms of I got cough, cold, congestion this is what I want. They don always read the package. that can have some unintended consequences.

ingredients can worsen dry eyes, dry nose, dry mouth, explains Torkos.

And other side effects can be more harmful.

decongestant ingredient in some of these products can raise heart rate [and] blood pressure. It can interact with prescription medications, she says.

which is Tylenol, is added into a lot of combination formulas. And when it combined with other products that may be taken like if somebody has arthritis and they taking Tylenol Arthritis and then they taking an over the counter remedy, that has acetaminophen in it that could potentially be hard on the liver. It can actually be much worse as well, if they are combining those remedies with alcohol or other medications that are hard on the liver such as cholesterol lowering drugs. adds it always a good idea to talk to the pharmacist before buying anything, which is especially true if you already taking prescription medication.

She says another common misconception is that drugs, they only help with the symptoms, they don actually help to speed heeling or shorten the duration of an infection. you want to actually shorten the amount of time you fighting a cold or the flu, she recommends considering nutritional supplements or making changes to your diet.
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