The Happy Chemist

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The annual cold season is well under way, and if you or your family members are starting to get sick, you may be looking into cough and cold medicines. Many of these medicines can be bought from supermarkets and pharmacies. While not intended to be a cure, they are designed to ease your cold and flu symptoms.

It is important to take these medicines safely and correctly. What do you need to be mindful of when selecting your cold and cough medicines?

  1. Don’t double up

Many cold medicines contain pain relievers, such as paracetamol (Panadol). It’s very important not to take any extra paracetamol at the same time.

Many cough and cold products contain similar ingredients. Before selecting more than one product, check that the ingredients don’t double up.

If you are still unsure, ask your pharmacist what products are compatible for you.

  1. Check for interactions

Interactions are when two or more medicines or natural health products affect each other.

  • Common medications that can interact with cough and cold medicines include high blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, and warfarin (blood-thinning medication).
  • Natural health supplements can also affect your medicines. For example, many virus defence supplements contain garlic, which can interact with warfarin.

If you’re taking these or any other medicines/supplements, ask your pharmacist if they are safe to use together.

Generally, ask for your pharmacist’s help if you’re:

  • buying for a child;
  • taking antidepressants;
  • taking any other medicines to treat a cough or cold;
  • pregnant;
  • affected by high blood pressure or problems with your heart, kidney or liver.

Come into Clive’s Chemist so we can make a recommendation that’s best suited for your particular cough and cold symptoms.