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Common Over-The-Counter Drugs In DUI / DWI / OUI / OWI Cases

 

ASPIRIN

Street Name (s)
Bayer, St. Joseph’s, generic aspirin
Scientific Name
salicylate analgesic
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Fever reducer, pain reliever, blood thinner. Maximum dose can have the same effect as 0.05% alcohol in your blood. When consumed prior to drinking alcohol, or during drinking, this permits the alcohol to reach your bloodstream at higher impairing levels than if no aspirin have been taken. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommend that heart patients take aspirin daily (75-325 milligrams) to prevent a second heart attack. Common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory prescription medications (Vioxx and Celebrex) can increase with the blood-thinning capabilities of aspirin or ibuprofen. Some persons cannot take aspirin, due to ulcers or other stomach maladies that can be exacerbated by this drug.

TYLENOL

Street Name (s)
Tylenol, generic acetaminophen
Scientific Name
acetaminophen
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Fever reducer, pain reliever. Can increase blood thinning effect of Warfarin (Coumadin). This drug is found in hundreds of products around the world, including many prescribed “combination” drugs used in America (example: TyloxÒ). Acetaminophen overdose or misuse results in as many as 70,000 people suffering liver damage or even death from overdose. Persons with poor liver function or disease (such as cirrhosis or hepatitis) should never take this drug without a doctor’s approval and periodic liver function monitoring. It is the leading cause of liver failure, even exceeding cirrhosis. Acetaminophen is not considered to be an anti-inflammatory medication (like Ibuprofen or Aspirin), but it can be an effective pain reliever for many.

IBUPROFEN

Street Name (s)
Nurofen, ACT-3, Brufen, Advil, Motrin, Nuprin
Scientific Name
Ibuprofen
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Fever reducer, pain reliever, blood thinner.  Maximum dose can have the same effect as 0.05% alcohol in your blood. Common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory prescription medications (commonly used for arthritis) (Vioxx and Celebrex) can interfere with the blood-thinning capabilities of aspirin or ibuprophen.  When taken in large doses, has mind or emotion altering properties, and can be fatal.

EXCEDRIN

Street Name (s)
Excedrin
Scientific Name
aspirin  (salicylate analgesic)+ caffeine
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Fever reducer, pain reliever, blood thinner.  Maximum dose can have the same effect as 0.05% alcohol in your blood.  Lab tests show that migraine-type headaches may respond better to this combination.

NAPROSYN

Street Name (s)

Naprosyn, Aleve

Scientific Name
naproxen sodium
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Fever reducer, pain reliever, blood thinner that has mind or emotion altering properties when consumed in large doses.  A normal, therapeutic dose can mimic impairment similar to a person at a 0.05% blood alcohol level.

ORUDIS

Street Name (s)
Orudis
Scientific Name
ketoprofen
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Fever reducer, pain reliever, blood thinner that has mind or emotion altering properties when consumed in large doses.  A normal, theraputic dose can mimic impairment similar to a person at a 0.05% blood alcohol level.

DRAMAMINE

Street Name (s)
Dramamine
Scientific Name

dimenhydrinate (a salt of diphenhydramine hydrochloride)

Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use

 

*Note that effects and risks of use are very similar for diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Anti-emetic, anti-vertigo (anti-nausea, anti-motion sickness). People with a prostate condition, some types of stomach ulcers, bladder problems, difficulty urinating, glaucoma, asthma, or abnormal heart rhythms should not use dimenhydrinate. Because it reduces nausea and vomiting, dimenhydrinate can hide symptoms of overdose of other medicines or the symptoms of appendicitis. Taking dimenhydrinate together with alcoholic beverages, other antihistamines, tranquilizers, or other nervous-system depressants can result in excessive dizziness, drowsiness, or other signs of nervous-system depression.

SUDAFED

Street Name (s)
Sudafed
Scientific Name

pseudoephedrine (ephedrine)alpha-[1-(Methylamino) ethyl] benzene-methanol

Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Ephedrine is an amphetamine-like stimulant that can have dangerous effects on the nervous system and heart.  Several diet drugs and formulas use this chemical, and reports of heart problems or death are cropping up.

NO-DOZ

Street Name (s)

No-doz, Vivarin, Enerjets

aFACTOID:  Caffeine is used in the treatment of pre-mature babies to assist their breathing.  In medicines, it is used in combination with ergotamine (for treatment of migraine and cluster headaches) or with certain pain relievers, such as aspirin or aspirin and acetaminophen. When used in this way, caffeine may increase the effectiveness of the other medicines. Caffeine is sometimes used in combination with an antihistamine to overcome the drowsiness caused by the antihistamine.

Scientific Name

caffeine C8H10N4O2

Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Caffeine sales are legal and unregulated in the United States.  Caffeine is a stimulant and is sold over the counter in a variety of products as well as in tablet form.  Numerous brewed beverages have naturally occurring caffeine, including coffee, tea and chocolate.  Soft drink manufacturers add caffeine to their products as a taste enhancer, and as a “drug”---a stimulant, touted to make a person more alert.  Some soft drinks, such as Mountain DewÒ and JoltÒ cola, are well known for their EXTRA caffeine.  Caffeine is addictive according to several definitions of 'addiction'. It causes withdrawal symptoms after cessation of heavy use (most commonly headaches) and regular users develop tolerance and experience cravings when ceasing use.  Regular users can also become emotionally and mentally dependent upon their daily caffeine (coffee, soda, etc).  Caffeine can contribute to heart problems in some unhealthy patients, and can be the cause of a fatal overdose (at 75mg / kg or ~4500 mg).

ROBITUSSIN

Street Name (s)
Robitussin
Scientific Name
Dextromethorphan (DMX)
Benefits / Facts / Risks of Use
Cough suppressant. This drug is in the same class as ketamine, PCP, MK-801, and several other NMDA open channel blockers Synergistic (non-linear, geometrically increased impairing effect) when combined with alcohol intake; will affect the intensity and impact of the drug. High doses can mimic LSD and cause vomiting, loss of judgment, dissociative amnesia, mild hallucinations, enhanced response to music), and disturbances in motion. DXM has some stimulant effects. Prolonged abuse of DXM can and has led to psychosis similar to PCP-induced psychosis.

 



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