by Penny O’Kane

With the sudden change in temperature, many of us are coming down with coughs and colds.

But if you’re one of those people who likes to self-medicate, think twice before you reach for your favourite potions. The consumer magazine, 60 millions de consommateurs, has published some worrying findings for those who buy over-the-counter cold and flu medications.

The magazine tested 62 of the best-selling products, and their findings were worrying. Apparently 45% of these drugs are not only completely ineffective, but they also have quite dangerous side-effects. Some of the products specifically named are well-known brands such as Actifed Cold, Dolirhume, Nurofen Cold and RhinAdvil.

What makes these medications risky is that they contain a combination of drugs which, taken together, can cause adverse effects, including cardiovascular incidents and stroke.

But thankfully some favourite medications are safe to take and are effective – Vicks Vaporub has passed the test!

It is also recommended to avoid or strongly limit alcohol when taking some of these drugs. So it’s perfectly fine to drink a hot whisky toddy, but just don’t have a pill with it!

USEFUL VOCAB

I have a cold:  J’ai un rhume ! (je suis enrhumé)
To sneeze
: éternuer
To sniff: renifler
To have a sore throat: avoir mal à la gorge
To have a frog in your throat: Avoir un chat dans la gorge.
To have a headache: avoir mal à la tête
To examine: ausculter
To have a runny nose:  Avoir le nez qui coule
To blow one’s nose: se moucher

 

1 sneeze: ‘A tes souhaits!’
2 sneezes: ‘A tes amours!’
Reply: ‘Et que les tiens durent toujours!’

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