Your pharmacist is a medical expert and can advise you about:
How to take your medication correctly to receive maximum health benefits.
What to do if you forget to take your medication.
Which foods or other medications could adversely interact with your medications.
How to store your medications so they do not lose effectiveness.
What side effects to expect and when to contact your doctor for unexplained reactions.
Are you confused when you need to purchase a nonprescription product? Does the large number of products, many containing similar or slightly different ingredients, make it difficult to select one?
These products are marketed to look and sound different or distinctive, to make it easier to select the best product for your condition. However, manufacturers know that certain brand names are highly recognized and thus use them on other products with different ingredients and/or uses. These products mentioned below are well-known trade names in use today.
Maalox and Mylanta When patients think of Maalox, they instantly associate this name with antacids. For many years Maalox referred only to an antacid combination containing magnesium and aluminum. However, this is no longer the case. Packages that have Maalox as the most prominent name on the label are often not antacids. For instance, Maalox Anti-Gas contains simethicone alone. Maalox Daily Fiber Therapy is a bulk laxative. Maalox Ant-Diarrheal contains loperamide for those stools.
Mylanta traditionally referred to an antacid containing magnesium and aluminum and the anti-gas ingredient simethicone. But Mylanta has also become an umbrella trade name. Mylanta Lozenges is an antacid, but contains calcium carbonate rather than the ingredients in the original Mylanta. Mylanta Gas is the new name for Mylicon, a product containing simethicone alone. Mylanta Natural Fiber Supplement is a bulk laxative.
Robitussin The trade name Robitussin has been associated for many years with guaifenesin, an expectorant, which loosens secretions to allow them to be coughed up. This ingredient is vital for a patient who has a productive cough. However, products bearing the Robitussin name have been introduced that do not contain guaifenesin Robitussin Pediatric Cough Suppressant, Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough and Cold contain only dextromethorphan, an ingredient which stops cough rather than keeping it productive. It is important to understand that you should not stop a productive cough. Use a cough suppressant only for a dry, non-productive cough.
Bayer Bayer has been associated with aspirin for many years. However, a line of products known as Bayer Select includes products for sinus pain relief and several other conditions. The line of products often includes pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, usually combined with cough suppressants, decongestants and/or antihistamines, caffeine, guaifenesin, or diuretics. All of these ingredients have different uses and warnings associated with them. You must read each label carefully and ask your pharmacist for clarification. Do not assume that all Bayer products contain aspirin.
Also, when in doubt, do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist which product is best for your particular situation.
Remember, if you have questions, consult your pharmacist!