Poison Center Cautions Use of OTC Medication

December 15, 2006

Contact: Courtney Smith (505) 272-3690; Loretta Esquibel (505) 272-4261

Over-the-counter cold medications are readily available on grocery and drug store shelves and can be purchased without a doctor's prescription. The New Mexico Poison Center reminds consumers that over-the-counter medicines require the same precautions that are used with prescription medications.

Even commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) products like pain relievers and cough medicine can be harmful if misused, abused or if taken with other medications. Pain medications and cold and cough preparations are among the top substances involved in human poison exposures.

The New Mexico Poison Center offers the following recommendations for OTC medicine safety.

  • Keep all OTC products, including vitamins, locked-up where children cannot see them or reach them. Even a small amount of some non-prescription products can be dangerous to children. Adult strength iron supplements and products containing camphor or eucalyptus oils, for example, can be harmful and even life threatening to children if swallowed.
  • Read and follow product directions. If you do not understand the directions, call the product information phone number on the label or speak with your pharmacist or doctor.
  • Follow the recommended dosage. Doubling the recommended dose of a product will not make you feel twice as good and can even be harmful.
  • If you plan to take more than one OTC product, compare ingredients. People may take several remedies, unaware that each contains the maximum safe dosage of one ingredient.
  • Some prescription medications and OTC products don't mix. Don't guess-ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you or anyone in your household takes too much medicine or the wrong kind of medicine, call the New Mexico Poison Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222, 24-hours a day,seven days a week.

Related Stories

NAMI New Mexico Annual 5k Walk

NAMI New Mexico Annual 5k Walk

The Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is gearing up to sup­port the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) through its annual 5k walk on Saturday, May 11 at Balloon Fiesta Field. In years past, SRMC staff, their friends and family have come together to raise money and awareness to help aid in the fight to overcome the obstacles of mental illness.
Center for Healthcare Equity in Kidney Disease Kickoff Event

Center for Healthcare Equity in Kidney Disease Kickoff Event

On Thursday, April 25 CHEK-D will hold a recognition and kickoff event, with a talk and presentation by Dr. Richard Larson, Vice Chancellor for Research, and Dr. Larissa Myaskovsky, CHEK-D Director, from 9 – 10 a.m. in Domenici North Wing room 2710.
UNM Distinguished Diversity Scholar Luncheon and Talk

UNM Distinguished Diversity Scholar Luncheon and Talk

UNM HSC is honored to continue our partnership with Professor Alford. We would like to invite everyone to join us as she presents the UNM Distinguished Diversity Scholar luncheon talk: Enhancing Wellness By Honoring Our Humanity on Friday, April 26.