OTC medicines can be highly addictive

The development of dependency on over-the-counter (OTC) drugs is often forgotten, warn two doctors.

OTC medicines can be highly addictive
OTC medicines can be highly addictive

Writing in the BMJ, Drs Chris Ford and Beth Good describe seeing three patients with addictions to Nurofen plus, a combination of ibuprofen and codeine phosphate.

All patients had originally used the medication for its approved indications, but their use had escalated as they became tolerant to the codeine elements. Each patient presented with side-effects related to ibuprofen.

The authors completed a search of available literature, but could find no research on the levels of addiction to OTC drugs within the UK. However, they did find numerous websites detailing cases of addiction and offering support to those people trying to withdraw from these drugs.

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