Can I Overdose on Over-the-Counter Products?

Over-the-counter drug abuse occurs often and can be accidental or intentional. Since over-the-counter products are legal and easy to find, their risk potential may seem minimal. Individuals often use over-the-counter products to self-medicate physical or emotional pain or to achieve a high. Over-the-counter products can cause severe damage if they are abused, taken improperly and mixed with other drugs or alcohol.

What Happens If I Overdose on Over-the-Counter Drugs?

Over-the-counter products are still drugs and can affect the user’s body like other prescription or illicit drugs. Over-the-counter products contain chemical substances, and when excessive amounts are used, the body can overdose. Drugs are meant to be ingested in small doses. Large or frequent doses may become too much for the body to handle. Over-the-counter drug instructions are given because medical professionals have researched how much the body can handle at one time. If too much of a drug is taken, the body may be unable to metabolize or detoxify it fast enough to avoid an overdose. Many symptoms may arise during overdose, including the following:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Psychosis
  • Panic attacks

Overdosing on over-the-counter products can be dangerous, and medical help should be sought out immediately. The symptoms of overdose can escalate quickly, and only medical professionals will know how to treat the symptoms and remove the drug from the body.

Individuals can still overdose on over-the-counter products even when they are not abusing them. Mixing over-the-counter products with alcohol and other drugs or substances can have a negative chemical reaction, possibly causing major health complications or overdose.

What Should I Do After I Overdose on Drugs?

An overdose on any type of drug should be seen as a warning sign of drug abuse or addiction. If your intention was not to abuse, self-medicate or take the drug inappropriately, you should speak with your doctor about the drug interaction that took place. You may have an allergy or lack of tolerance to a certain substance. To prevent a future overdose or other adverse reaction, one must seek help from a medical professional.

For those who have overdosed on over-the-counter medication due to abuse, it is likely that help is needed for a drug abuse or addiction problem. Talking to a doctor, loved one or addiction counselor can guide an individual in the right direction after an overdose, providing options for treatment help.

Need Help with a Drug Abuse Problem?

Has your drug use become a problem in your life? Do you feel like you may need help for drug abuse? If so, you are not alone. Please call our toll-free helpline now to speak with an addiction counselor who can help you find drug treatment services that meet your individual needs. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions, offer assessment services and provide you with all the information you need on your options for drug abuse treatment help. Please call today.