When you have cold symptoms and go the pharmacy, you have two categories of choices:
Individual over-the-counter medications to treat specific symptoms, such as:
"Cocktail" (...correct terminology?) drugs, such as:
My understanding is, if you only have, say, only 2 cold symptoms, it's better (or at least, not worse) to simply take the individual medications that treat the symptoms separately rather than some "combination" drug that also treats other symptoms you might not have.
At best, that would seem like a waste of the drug, and at worse, it might have side effects.
To be 100% crystal clear, I'm assuming a reasonably intelligent layperson here who pays attention to the active ingredients and the dosages and who doesn't blindly mix and match. For example:
- I'm NOT asking about mixing e.g. Topcare Acetaminophen + Tylenol Cold, which would double-dose the acetaminophen and potentially cause liver damage. I'm assuming no overlap of active ingredients.
- I'm NOT asking about mixing 4 drugs at 2x the dosages that they would be found in a combination drug. I'm assuming the dosages are close to what they would be in the combination drugs.
- I'm NOT asking about mixing Ibuprofen + Acetaminophen, or Ibuprofen + Dextromethorphan HBr for that matter. Again, this is because I'm assuming the combinations taken are already obviously found in existing OTC drugs on the shelf at similar dosages, and in this example they're not.
Given these, am I correct that it's better (or not worse) to treat the individual symptoms here, or is it worse? For example, might I overdose on the inactive ingredients, or might they interact dangerously?