Why are multi-symptom cold medications be misused?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Over 700 OTC multi-symptom cold and flu remedies exist in the marketplace. The biggest misuse issue involves medications containing multiple drug ingredients that target a host of symptoms – including some you might not have. Excess medication can cause unwanted side effects and potentially dangerous drug interactions. For example, if you have a cold and you only have 1 symptom, such as nasal congestion, there’s no reason to take a product that also treats cough, headache, body aches, etc. For congestion, take a decongestant with an ingredient such as phenylephrine, which solely treats that symptom.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.