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Cold Remedy Crunch

January 6, 2012, 6:14 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Cold Remedy Crunch
SIOUX FALLS, SD - You may have noticed fewer over-the-counter flu, cough and cold medications on store shelves. That's because of a variety of factors.

If you're noticing familiar medications missing from store shelves, it may be because companies are reformulating the products.

"A lot of the combinations they're finding actually do more harm than good, so if you're treating one symptom and you're throwing four drugs at it, it's actually doing more harm than good a lot of the time," Lewis Drug Pharmacist Sara Gossen said.

Gossen says the changes come after regulators became concerned about people accidentally overdosing.

"If you start combining a cough and cold that you didn't even realize has Tylenol in it with a Tylenol over-the-counter pain medication, then you can get too much of that Tylenol and not even realize it," Gossen said.

In addition to recalls and reformulations, you might be seeing fewer products on the shelves because more people are suffering from colds and allergies.

"With the winter we're having, without those numerous hard freezes, the allergies just keep going, and we've seen more allergy products that usually get relief about this time of year or shortly before really struggling still," Gossen said.

And if you are dealing with the sniffles, you might have to look into using a different product than in the past.

"I would really hope in the next few months we would start seeing the shelves not so bare anymore," Gossen said.

An overdose of acetaminophen, which is what Tylenol includes and is contained in many medications, can cause liver damage and possibly death.

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