Why You Should Consider Your Work Environment When Taking OTC Medications

The common cold, headaches, backaches, congestion, and muscle pain are all a nuisance when you have to work. Not only do they impair your ability to do your job efficiently but they also make it difficult to get through the day. Most everyday ailments can easily be tended to with over the counter medications. However, before you pop a few pills on your way to work, research shows you should consider your work environment and the risks involved.

What Are Over The Counter Medications

Over the counter medications (OTC) are medications that can be purchased without a prescription from a doctor. Examples of popular OTC meds include:

  • Tylenol, Advil, Motrin
  • Benadryl
  • NyQuil/DayQuil
  • Claritin
  • Robitussin
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Zantac
  • …and more

The common American household has a cabinet full of OTC medications and most people take them without thinking twice. In fact, some people take pain relievers such as Acetemetophin or Ibuprofin daily. The risks associated with taking OTC medications according to the directions on the bottle are few and far between. However, some environments foster side-effects that can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

Factors That Affect OTC Meds

Every work environment is unique and some work environments create conditions that foster negative effects of OTC medications. Before you take any over the counter medication at work or immediately before heading to work, you should always read the label to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk. Some common factors that affect over the counter medications include:

  • Heat
  • Humidity
  • Extreme cold
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Exposure to extreme moisture

Remember, each medication is unique and carries unique risks. Even if you have taken medicine before at home, it is in your best interest to consult a medical professional before you take it at work.

Risks of Taking Medicine on the Job

Over the counter medications can cause side effects that impair your ability to do your job correctly. Antihistamines especially can impair your ability to think clearly and limit your reflexes. Other side-effects of OTC medications that can affect your work include:

  • Poor coordination
  • Lapse of memory
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Dizziness
  • Poor decision-making abilities

If your job includes driving, operating heavy machinery, moving large boxes, using mechanical equipment or extensive physical labor, you should always consult your doctor about how to treat pain and other medical ailments. An experienced medical professional will be able to educate you on the best medications for your work conditions and medical history.

Medication and Worker’s Comp Claims

If you are injured on the job while taking an over the counter medication, you should contact a trusted worker’s compensation attorney as soon as possible. Although an employer cannot deny your worker’s comp claim for taking OTC drugs while on the job, any evidence of medication will raise a red flag.

In New Hampshire, the law firm of Patch & FitzGerald is a trusted source of worker’s compensation claim representation. Attorney John B. FitzGerald was a Workers’ Compensation Hearings Officer at the New Hampshire Department of Labor before entering private practice. Patch & FitzGerald have been successfully representing clients and winning difficult Workers’ Compensation cases in New Hampshire for nearly 30 years. 

To schedule a free consultation call 603-647-2600 or contact us online today.

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