April 4, 2013

Howell Foster Educates the Public about Dangers of Doubling Up on Cold, Allergy Meds on KARK

LITTLE ROCK, AR — It’s a time of the year many doctors admit can be tricky for patients, when the cold season isn’t quite over, yet the allergy season is already underway.

There are a few ways to treat both, but many aren’t aware of the dangers of treating them with over the counter medications.

Plants are blooming, but then there’s a cold snap, then warm weather followed by rainy days.

Doctors say the weather can throw your immune system for a loop this time of year.

“If you have allergy symptoms with a cold, you’re probably feeling pretty miserable,” Dr. Howell Foster, Director of Arkansas Poison Control Center says.

Dr. Foster says it’s not impossible to have symptoms for both at the same time, but treating both is where it gets tricky.

“They may actually duplicate the same drug in both products,” he says.

Sticking with over the counter medications with only one ingredient can help cut the risk of doubling up on certain ingredients.

“In a young, fairly healthy adult, duplicating therapy isn’t’ really a problem,” he says.

However, in younger or older patients, it can be a serious concern, which is why he suggests you always ask a pharmacist if you are taking multiple medications.

“If it’s later at night and you’re in Kroger and pharmacy is closed, feel free to call us and we’ll help you out,” Dr. Foster says.

The Poison Control Center is never more than a phone call away.

Dr. Foster says to remember that doubling up on certain ingredients in medications can be the same as driving under the influence, which is another reason to check with your doctor.