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The dangers of some non-prescription drugs

With the flu season approaching, many Pennsylvania residents might appreciate a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in connection with driving and over-the-counter medications. While many types of non-prescription cold and flu medications seem safe, those that contain antihistamines can cause drowsiness and possible confusion lasting a few hours. Even motion sickness medications can have side effects similar to a hangover that could linger in a person's system for a whole day or two, according to the FDA website.

Sick people who take these medications and then attempt to operate a car or dangerous machinery place themselves and others in double jeopardy, since the medication actually increases the drowsiness they already feel. It is important, therefore, for consumers to carefully read and follow the directions on medicine labels. If the label warns consumers to avoid driving or using heavy machinery because of the possible side effects, it is advisable that consumers who plan to do these things select an alternative medicine. The website suggests people should seek medical advice for selecting an appropriate medication or even choose non-drowsy medicine.

Moreover, warning labels tell consumers of the danger and effects of mixing the medication with tranquilizers, sedatives or alcohol and if the medicine is right for their specific condition. The medicine's active ingredients label is especially important for consumers who are taking other medications so they can avoid overdosing on those ingredients.

Under the premises liability laws, property owners are responsible to keep their property safe; otherwise, they can be held liable for damages suffered by others due to their negligence. However, a property owner might try to shift the blame on the injured person by claiming that he or she behaved carelessly while on the property. For example, if a guest was disoriented due to an adverse drug reaction and is hurt, the property owner might use that to get out of his or her responsibility to pay for the injured party's losses.

Source: CBS News, "FDA warns some over-the-counter meds may impair driving", October 07, 2014

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