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Watch What You Pop pg2

Non-prescription doesn’t mean non-toxic. Here’s why you should save your over-the-counter pills until you really need them.

You can buy as many over-the-counter (OTC) medicines as you like – but should you? ‘No’, says Dr Sarah Jarvis from the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK. ‘OTC and pharmacy-only remedies are safe and effective, but you can still use them irresponsibly. Read the packet and see a doctor if you have recurring problems.

Pill-Popper #1: Painkillers Five million drivers take to the road in an unfit state every holiday due to drowsiness- inducing antihistamines.

When To Use Them: ‘Stick to non-drowsy types,’ suggests Dr Jarvis. Or try visualising a ski slope: research has suggested it reduces hay fever. Yes, really.

Pill-Popper #2: Antihistamine
Pill-Popper #3: Decongestants
Pill-Popper #4: Laxatives

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