Why I Don't Take OTC Medicines.

There are many, many reasons why John and my family members think I'm a little weird. I don't like the tops of my hands being touched, for one. There's something about the thin, soft, transparent skin on the tops of my hands that grosses me out. Touch the tops of my hands, and I'll get the willies and go a bit dizzy.

For real.

I also don't like to take any pill, or medicine, for that matter. Whether it be prescribed or an over-the-counter medicine, I'm not keen on the idea of taking medicine. I don't really know how to explain it - it's not like I'd rather eat some root or rub an herb on my temples. Medicine just makes me feel funky. I'll explain more in a second.

First, here's what the innards of our medicine cabinet looks like:

I know, it's not a real 'medicine cabinet', we don't have one. We use this unit of drawers:

Some of the things you'll see in this pile are include a slew of bandages and tape, antibiotic ointments, and a digital thermometer.

You'll also find rubbing ibuprofen, rubbing alcohol, nasal strips, anti-diarrhea tablets, mucus relief tablets, and a few {probably expired} tablets of Claritin.

If you did even deeper in the drawer of goodies, you'll find some vaporizing chest rub, wart removal stuff, and some Pepto.

And, yeah, you'll notice there were some OTC medicines in our stash, but not much.

I just don't like taking medicine. I'm not on some stark political or all-natural, organic hippy movement. It's nothing to do with that. It's kind of a head trip for me, really - literally, which started as a result of a bad experience with a night-time cold and flu medicine.

I was a first year teacher and was adamant against taking a sick day. Are any of you teachers or work in education? You remember how it was when you first started - it was so challenging to take a sick day; planning for an absence, then dealing with the mess when returning was intense. So, I took some of this OTC, hunter-green, night-time cold and flu syrup the night before, in hopes that I could relieve some of the symptoms and get some rest. The symptoms were terrible: A barky cough, lots of phlegm, congestion in my nasal passages, body aches, the works! By morning, I hoped to feel a little better, and ready to take on an unruly bunch of seniors.


That night I had weird, hallucinogenic-type dreams, I tossed and turned in my own sweat all night, and woke up in a daze. I barely remember getting ready for work, and when I finally 'came to' as I was preparing to head out to my car, I realized it was probably not the best idea to drive 50 minutes to work that day. I didn't return to 'normal' {totally relative term for me...} and out of that haze until well into the afternoon.

I never took that shit again.

And, I started paying more attention to what medicine did to my body. I started to notice how I felt when I took medicine - and not just that cold and flu medicine - all of it. I felt  cloudy, spacy, jittery, anxious, agitated, and more. I would rather just ride out the symptoms of a cold, flu, or ache and pain than have an outer-body experience with OCT medicines.

The only OTC medicine that didn't totally F me up, and still doesn't, is ibuprofen. Still, when I take one {maybe two} of these little orange ibuprofen pills, I notice right away that the headache or pain I feel quickly subsides. It works really well, almost too well, for my comfort. I rarely take ibuprofen, maybe two or three times a year.

The main reason I try to avoid any and all medicines is because I can tell, literally, when the substance is in my system and I don't like the feeling. Perhaps these are simple side effects that all people feel, or perhaps I am too sensitive.

What do you think? Do over-the-counter medicines give you the crazies, too? Any bad experiences? Any good experiences? Tell me everything.


  1. I'm so similar. I don't take many medicines, period. I hate the side effects. I do take an allergy pill almost every day during my peak allergy season and I will take an Advil and/or baby aspirin to deal with a pain IF rest, and heat or cold aren't enough to alleviate it. I have one prescription that I'm supposed to take every day (for appetite supression, to kick start some lifestyle changes), but after taking it three days in a row I didn't like the side effects - so now I only take it every other day - enough that it still helps, but I don't get annoying side effects. With all of these though I've learned that eating a proper diet and getting vitamin D and some light exercise by taking outdoor walks regularly is the best prevention and keep me from having to take as many medicines - and it's practically free (except the cost of food I'd eat anyway) and has no negative side effects. :)

    1. Agreed, Amy! Proper diet is the best preventative medicine!

  2. I only keep Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen for extreme cases, otherwise we always use natural remedies for everything. We have a healing hutch where we keep all our medicinal herbs and essential oils. Even when we have to take the OTC pain killers, we always treat the body naturally too. While Acetaminophen can stop us from feeling the headache, the reason for the headache still needs to be addressed. It could be from dehydration or exposure to a chemical substance. My favorite headache remedy is lavender essential oil and a hot cup of chamomile tea.

    1. I've tried peppermint essential oil for headaches, and it's very effective for me. I'll try lavender, too!

  3. I am the SAME way. Mainly, I'm lazy and don't like taking pills. I just don't want to add it to my body. Don't want the foreign crap. Can't really explain it either, just like you. I just do not wanna take stuff. I've recently gotten into essential oils and am loving them! Pretty amazing stuff actually.

    PS- can you tell I'm bored at work and catching up on lots of your old posts? ;)

  4. There is a home made cough syrup/ decongestant that I have made several times for myself and kiddos. Chopped onion and garlic covered with a little sugar. You put a paper towel over bowl and let it sit hour or so till it produces syrup. Wonderful expectorant ,.and decongestant. Plus the garlic is antibacterial.

  5. Use herbs instead
    Natural oils are really good for the skin and other organs, helping with overall health and beauty

  6. hello,OTC medicines are essential for us for treatment of common disease although they have some adverse effect like Asthma, Breathing problems,Diabetes,Goat etc and these effect vary from man to man. So it will be wise to take OTC medicines knowing its adverse effect.Thanks

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