Plop, plop, fizz, fizz – I’ll bet you didn’t know how dangerous it is.
Millions of folks rely on fizzy over-the-counter effervescent tablets like Alka-Seltzer for quick relief. But it turns out they can have a dark side. And it’s one that could send you to the emergency room, or even in extreme cases, an early grave.
So get ready to head to your medicine cabinet in a few minutes. I’ll tell you what to look for… and what you might have to toss out.
But don’t worry. I’m not going to leave you without a way to get relief from the cold, flu, and indigestion symptoms those effervescent tablets treat.
I’ve got some better and safer options to try.
“Hidden” fizzy med ingredients to avoid
Many of the fizzy meds you can grab at your local drug or grocery store contain risky ingredients you likely don’t even realize are in there.
A common one is acetaminophen or Tylenol. This painkiller is one of America’s leading causes of acute liver failure. So it’s easy to see how it alone could be a problem.
And that’s especially true if it gets accidentally combined with other products containing the drug.
But acetaminophen isn’t the only issue, of course. For example, aspirin and antacids are potentially dangerous ingredients in many effervescent medications.
But there’s one surprising ingredient lurking in many of these tablets that could take things from bad to worse.
Chances are you have no idea it’s there. And even if you did happen to spot it on the label, you’d likely dismiss it because it’s not a drug at all. It’s sodium.
Now, to be clear, I’m not the type to panic over a little extra salt here and there. I’m the first to admit that typical sodium guidelines are often impossible to meet.
But certain things, like processed foods and fast foods, can have dangerously high levels of junk sodium. And now we can add another culprit to that list… effervescent tablets similar to Alka-Seltzer.
Sodium in effervescent meds sends risks soaring
Fizzy meds, including drugs for cold, flu, upset stomach, indigestion, and pain, are often jam-packed with the stuff.
For example, the original Alka-Seltzer has 567 mg of sodium per tablet. You’re supposed to take two at a time, so that’s more than 1,200 mg right there… or almost an entire day’s worth for some high-risk patients with hypertension.
The rest aren’t much better, with a new study finding 400-850 mg of sodium per tablet or sachet of effervescent medications.
And that, the study finds, could raise your odds of…
- myocardial infarction
- heart failure
In older folks with hypertension, the use of fizzy meds increases the risk by a disturbing 59 percent.
Folks WITHOUT pre-existing hypertension do a little better. But regular users of these over-the-counter effervescent drugs can have their risk for these devasting heart issues soar by 45 percent.
Ditch effervescent meds for safer relief
The new study urges people to switch from effervescent drugs to the non-fizzy versions of the meds.
But the truth is, capsules and pills of these same ingredients still come with serious risks. They could trigger internal bleeding, lead to an accidental overdose, and more. And, of course, the long-term use of certain painkillers can still raise your cardiovascular risks.
Some simple home remedies will often do the trick without the risks.
For indigestion or sour stomach, drink lots of water. Avoid lying down right after eating. And try sipping on ginger tea which is widely available in grocery stores and online.
For cold relief, consider an old-fashioned steam treatment. I described how to do one in my earlier report 3 proven drug-free cold remedies you’ll love.
And for pain, topical rub-on ointments with soothing ingredients such as MSM and capsaicin can be very effective. And don’t overlook the power of a warm bath with Epsom salts for reducing body aches and pains.
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