The following information was included in an assignment by a Student at The Avicenna Institute. We share student assignments for the benefit of other students as well as anyone considering taking courses at The Avicenna Institute, or anyone who is interested in alternative therapies. I believe that we can all learn something from reading different points of views by different people. Since our students come from many different professions and are from all around the world I hope that you enjoy reading these thoughts as much as I have.
However, keep in mind that these are thoughts shared by students in our course and are not part of our course. In addition, the thoughts and ideas shared by students and/or in our course are not a substitute for the advice of your health care practitioner.
By Student of The Avicenna Institute
Over the counter drugs are used and abused by countless American people every day. The fact that these drugs are over the counter and thus do not require a prescription leads to people not taking seriously enough the risks involved with these substances. Many people take medicines such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen for pain multiple times a day for prolonged periods of time. It is a common misconception that if a drug or substance does not require authorization to purchase, it does not have any serious risks. The people of this planet need to be more educated about the possibilities and risks involved with taking any sort of drug, OTC or not.
People fail to realize that just because a drug is over the counter and readily available does not mean that it is entirely safe. In fact, many drugs on the market have not existed long enough to truly understand the long term effects they might have on people. Mary (name changed to protect identity) took Phenazopyridine for almost 15 years, every single day to combat bladder pain and inflammation. She stopped taking it recently when it was discovered to cause intestinal cancer. This information was never divulged until just recently though it had been on the market as an over the counter drug for quite some time.
OTC drugs may provide an immediate relief for a problem, but they never fix the cause of said problem. Too many people believe that masking their symptoms is good enough, but the body produces all symptoms for a reason. Our bodies are only trying to tell us to change something. Many people in this country abuse Tylenol and Ibuprofen without considering the possible health repercussions. For example, Ibuprofen can cause many stomach and digestive issues including diarrhea and bleeding from regular use. Tylenol has been known to cause liver damage and even liver failure. Regular use has also been linked to asthma, infertility, and hearing loss. Tylenol also has been said to give withdrawal headaches. If people continue to be poorly educated when it comes to OTC drugs, I believe they will cause more and more of a problem in our society.