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What medicine labels mean

Companies come up with all sorts of terms to sell their products, but when it comes to over-the-counter medicine — you might want to pay attention to what’s written on the label.

On Tuesday during the FOX8 9:00 Morning News, consumer reporter Melissa Painter will explain what each term means. 

Here’s some of what she’ll discuss:

  • Extra Strength — That means you’re getting an extra dose of the active ingredient.  In a product like Gas-X, the extra strength version has 56 percent more of the active ingredient.  Be careful that you don’t exceed the daily recommended dosage because it’s easy to do with these products.
  • Long-Acting — The drug is made in a way so that it’s released into your body over time.  We see this a lot in cold medicines and that helps, but be careful that you follow the recommendations on when you take it.  You don’t want to accidentally double up.
  • Dual-Action — These drugs typically have two active ingredients, so be careful that you don’t take an extra drug that you really don’t need.
  • Ultra Strength/Maximum Strength — That’s basically the same as extra.  There’s no set amount for the extra active ingredient or set definitions for these terms.  Bottom line: Read the labels carefully and follow the instructions. 
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