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Dangers of Multiple Ingredient Cold Relief Medications: Part 1

Dangers of Multiple Ingredient Cold Relief Medications: Part 1

Once you’ve come down with a cold, the goal is to get better as soon as possible. The over-the-counter medication options can be overwhelming. Most common cold relief products include a combination of medications. These products are designed to have ingredients work together to combat symptoms with the benefit of taking only one product. For example, a combination drug can act as a multi-symptom product, as commonly seen with cold relief, and contain an antihistamine, decongestant and anti-inflammatory.  Although this offers a convenience, the multiple active-ingredient concept raises red-flags in reference to medication safety. 

According to the ConsumerMedSafety.org, published by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, two specific problems exist with multiple active-ingredient medicines: (1) taking unnecessary medication when you only need one, not all, of the active ingredients; (2) double dosing medication when an unwary user does not realize the ingredients that are contained in combination products. In this blog, we will examine the first problem. Since all medications have potential adverse effects, you don’t want to take medication if it is not going to be useful.  For example, with a cold, clinical studies indicate that antihistamines have a limited 2-day use in order to gain benefit. After 2 days (48 hours) of a cold, antihistamines should not be taken. Additionally, clinical studies reveal that antihistamines are only effective in treating runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing when used in conjunction with a decongestant. So, concomitant use is necessary to achieve any results in these first 2 days of a cold. Lastly, the type of antihistamines used for a cold must be a first-generation antihistamine. All of these are categorized as a sedative. Therefore, alcoholic beverages and other sedatives should be avoided while taking antihistamines. Medication warnings such as these reinforce the importance of only taking a medication that brings benefit. More about this topic will be discussed in a subsequent blog. 

Unlike other cold medications, Cold FAid® kits include single active-ingredient medications that will help your recovery in no time! Thus, Cold FAid® provides a superior safety profile. Cold FAid® uses: 

  • antihistamine: Chlorpheniramine Maleate; 
  • decongestant: Phenylephrine HCl, 
  • anti-inflammatory (NSAID): Naproxen Sodium. 

With these stand-alone products in our kit, you know exactly what medication you are taking and how much of it you are ingesting.

Stay healthy from a cold this summer with Cold FAid®!

Summer BBQ

Summer BBQ

With summer in full swing, finding new recipes is a way to embrace the season. Between eating seasonal produce to grilling main and side dishes, the summer months bring about an opportunity to add new variations to your meals. 

Using seasonal produce is a wonderful way to incorporate value foods with vitamins and minerals into your meals. Apples are common during the middle to end of the summer. According to the USDA and The Spruce Eats, among other fruits, apricots, cantaloupe, lemons, limes, peaches, plums and watermelons are in season. Berries, like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, also grow during summer months. Before baking or cooking with these sweet products, find a local farm near you to pick your own berries! Use PickYourOwn.org in order to find a U-pick farm near you. Bell peppers, carrots, beets, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini are summer vegetables. Many people grow herbs. With herbs, make sure to look for lively leaves and crisp stems. Basil can become bitter after flowers have grown. Garlic is the sweetest in summer and fall time. With extra fresh produce, check out canning. Here is an article that introduces canning. 

Grilling is a great summer activity. Grilled meats, vegetables, fruits, and sides can be the perfect addition to any meal.  Gas, Charcoal, Kamado, and Pellet grills are just a few of the types available. Each grill has advantages, including taste, cook time, and convenience. If debating which grill to buy, check out this article from Build.com. Once you have a grill, check out these swift grilling recipes from Food & Wine. Along with these previous links, explore other summer recipes from the New York Times and 75 Easy Dinner recipes from Delish

We, at Cold FAid®, hope you and your family enjoy healthy and delicious meals this summer. 

Sun Protection for your Skin

Sun Protection for your Skin

With the warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight, time spent outside increases during the summer. Graduation parties, parades, outdoor dining, days at the beach, sports and any other outdoor events pose a risk for UV ray exposure. Protecting your skin through use of sunscreen is essential. 

There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) light that can cause skin cancer when skin is uncovered. UVA and UVB rays are harmful when overexposure occurs. Based on the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays. UVA rays can cause the skin to age through wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays cause sunburns. One difference between the two types of rays is that UVA rays can pass through glass whereas UVB rays are blocked by window glass. Sunscreens are required to include labels in order to specify which UV rays the product products from. The term ‘broad spectrum’ signifies that the sunscreen will protect skin against both UVA and UVB. 

When picking the best sunscreen to use, the AAD recommends a two step process to ensure you are protecting your skin. First, use SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30+, broad-spectrum protection and water resistant products. Next, think about your skin’s needs and make sure that your selected sunscreen is best supporting your skin. Here is a list of recommended sunscreens by the NY Times after consulting various experts and scientific papers. 

Sunscreen is essential to reducing your chance of skin cancer and premature aging. When applying sunscreen, the AAD and Skin Cancer Foundation recommend applying about one ounce (about a shot glass) of sunscreen on your body. Remember to reapply whenever exiting water or after sweating as well as every 40-80 minutes depending on the product. If you are concerned about using sunscreen, Dr. Jennifer Lin dispels concerns about sunscreen in this article by the Harvard Health Publishing website. 

In addition to sunscreen, the best way to avoid the risk of skin cancer is through limiting sun exposure. Sun-protective clothing can help to guard skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends dark or bright colors, densely woven fabric, loose fitting clothing, as well as long sleeves and pants. 

We, at Cold FAid®, hope you enjoy the sunshine safely this summer!