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Potential Dangers with Some Cold Remedies

Combination of phenyleprine and acetamenophen could be risky.

Common OTC cold medications that include acetaminophen (Tylenol) may expose patients to dangerous phyenylephrine levels. These include medicines such as Tylenol Cold and Flu and DayQuil. When healthy volunteers took phenylephrine (10 mg) combined with acetaminophen (1000 mg) the blood concentration of phenylephrine was 2 times higher than when taking phenylephrine alone. Potential adverse effects include high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and nervousness.

PositiveTip: Exercise caution in using even OTC cold remedies. Saline nasal rinses or simple hydrotherapy procedures may give the same relief.

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Double Check, Don't Double Up

Overdosing on acetaminophen can lead to liver damage.

You feel icky! You have the flu. So, you take some cough and flu medicine every few hours, following the directions on the label. Now, you feel a headache coming on and you consider taking a couple of acetaminophen. Stop! Taking too much acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage. More than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications contain acetaminophen. Learn more from this infographic.

PositiveTip: Always follow the directions for taking any medication. Check the labels to make sure you don't double up on one.

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Does Acetaminophen Cause Asthma?

Acetaminophen may not be as safe for all as previously considered.

Research on an international group of 13-14 years olds from 50 countries has examined the possibility that the use of acetaminophen may increase the risk of asthma in teens. Among some 360,000 participants it was found that use of this common analgesic at least once yearly increased the asthma risk by 43%, and if used at least once monthly by 151%. While this study does not prove asthma is caused by acetaminophen use, potential mechanisms exist. More study is needed.

Cure High Blood Pressure with Diet and Exercise

I like really big population studies. The conclusions reached are valid and extremely accurate. Small studies with few participants are subject to many types of bias. The results of small studies are often debatable and not dependable.

The second Nurses’ Health Study enrolled 83,882 adult women 27-44 years of age. At the beginning of the study in 1991, all these women had normal blood pressure, (systolic 120 or less and diastolic 80 or less), and no diabetes, heart disease or cancer. These women were followed for 14 years through 2005. During the study, 12, 319 women developed high blood pressure and the rest didn’t.