Over-the-Counter Drugs Carry Dangers

A story with wide impact appeared on the June 8, 2004 online InteliHealth website and ran at headline with a stern message that read, "A Dangerous Myth: If It's Over The Counter, It Must Be Safe". The article, by Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center starts off by noting how easy it is for anyone with a symptom to go to their local store and purchase an over-the-counter drug.

The article notes that, "there is no such thing as risk-free medication". They list some of the problems that can occur which include:

The author recommends caution. He recommends that you "Read the fine print." They also recommend, "Pay particular attention to warnings about conditions you might have that would make the medicine more risky."