many over-the-counter medications are unnecessary

Humex, Fervex… Many drugs have little or no beneficial effects and potentially significant side effects.

On Monday, January 23, the UFC-Que Choisir again pinpointed several drugs targeting various winter ailments such as the common cold.

Over-the-counter, Fervex, HumexLib, or even other Rhinofebra, DoliRhume… combine paracetamol and active ingredients, vitamins. But according to the consumer defense association and many specialists, they are very far from bringing any kind of well-being against infections of the upper respiratory tract.

“No proven effectiveness against the common cold”

UFC-Que Choisir recalls that “The ban on advertising for specialties containing pseudoephedrine in 2018 prompted labs to highlight their cold remedies containing antihistamines, a class usually given in allergies. This is the case with the Fervex and Humex ranges, where there are products with pheniramine or chlorphenamine”.

The association believes that these treatments “have not proven effective against the common cold”specifying :

The trials that evaluated them alone in this indication show a small action the first two days on the intensity of the symptoms, but none the following days, and they made no difference with a placebo on the runny nose, the sensation of stuffy nose and sneezing.

Significant side effects

Beyond questionable efficacy, pheniramine and chlorphenamine are accompanied, mainly in the elderly, by undesirable effects: dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, accelerated heart rate, etc.

These first-generation antihistamines can cause daytime sleepiness.

Beware of drug stacking

Beyond all this, care should be taken with the composition of these drugs. Because if you are already taking paracetamol, an overdose of paracetamol can have dramatic and irreversible consequences for the liver.

It is thus recommended, in case of a cold, to stick to paracetamol as well as sea water to clean the nose. All this, respecting the dosage indicated on the instructions for these drugs. Simply.

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