TIP OF THE WEEK

Guide to combining OTC drugs

Confused about the health risk of combining over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen? Follow these guidelines from Consumer Reports when deciding how to address minor pain:

— Fully read labels and warnings, confirming which drug is in your branded painkiller. For example, products containing acetaminophen include Tylenol, NyQuil, Robitussin, Alka-Seltzer Plus, Dimetapp, Excedrin and Midol. Advil and Motrin contain ibuprofen, and Aleve contains naproxen.

— Certain mixtures are safe; for example, if acetaminophen doesn’t help your headache, you can immediately take the recommended dose of a NSAID (naproxen or ibuprofen). But don’t exceed recommendations by taking two immediate doses of either a NSAID or an acetaminophen.

— Don’t accidentally double-dose by taking regular acetaminophen along with a cough syrup or cold and sinus medication that contains the drug.

— Aspirin is a NSAID but is no longer recommended for pain relief; it’s less effective and more likely to cause bleeding than other options.

HEALTHY DRINKING

Can diet soda affect your health?

Does drinking diet soda pose a health risk? Yes and no, reports WebMD, which summarizes recent studies as follows:

— A Boston University team seeking links between diet soda, stroke and dementia examined 10 years of health information from 4,500 adults. The soda was linked to both conditions, but in small-enough numbers to be nearly inconsequential.

— A 2014 study in the British Journal of Nutrition shows people who drink diet sodas raise their risk of type 2 diabetes by 13 percent for each 12-ounce can consumed daily.

— A 2012 study found subjects who drink diet soda daily (the average age of subjects was 69) have a 43 percent higher chance of heart attack, stroke or dying due to blood vessel problems.

— Brandpoint

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Tanezumab gets Fast Track from FDA

On June 13 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Tanezumab, which is a new class of non-opioid pain medications produced by Phizer and Eli Lilly and Company, is the first nerve growth factor (NGF) inhibitor to receive the Fast Track designation. Tanezumab is designed to treat chronic pain in patients with osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain.

SPORTS HEALTH

Soccer players have better vision than other athletes

According to a new study, the visual capabilities of competitive soccer players are superior to other healthy non-athletes. Researchers studied the visual functions of 49 soccer players from the English Premier League and 31 university-level players and found that both elite and intermediate players were significantly better at visual clarity, contrast sensitivity, near-far quickness and target capture.

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