This morning’s news is warning pregnant women about the possible link between taking acetaminophen (the key ingredient in over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Excedrin) and having a child that subsequently develops ADHD. If you read or listen to any news, you have probably already heard this today, so I won’t repeat the details, but suffice to say that the study, which involved 64,000 Danish mothers and their children, underscores that the safest route when taking any medication is to take it as rarely as possible and at the lowest dose recommended. This is not to say fevers should be left untreated. Definitely follow the advice of your physician when it comes to treating fevers. Headaches may respond better to hydration and a nap or meditation. Minor aches and pains may just need to be rested or soaked in a tub. Simple solutions with no negative side effects are always safest.
This message should be echoed to all, not just women, and not just pregnant women. Unless a medication is lifesaving (and many are) they are usually not designed to be taken on a daily basis. I recently heard a physician say that Ambien should not be taken longer than 3-4 weeks max. If you are still having sleeping issues after 4 weeks, you should seek the advice of a sleep specialist. The side effects of Ambien and other sleeping pills can be devastating! (Anyone see the movie Side Effects?) Besides the crazy effects we hear of like sleep walking, eating and driving, what about the side effects we can’t see? We have only one body–one liver–one brain—one heart. Think before you reach for those meds that are really supposed to be taken when needed, not routinely.
Do your homework before you put anything inside that temple of yours and have a beautiful and vibrant Tuesday.