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Do you have asthma? The best way to remain safe from an attack is to avoid the triggers. Check out our video to learn about asthma triggers.
Transcript: If you have asthma, an attack is always possible --even if you're not short of breath right at the moment....
If you have asthma, an attack is always possible --even if you're not short of breath right at the moment. Most people with asthma have airways that are always a bit SWOLLEN, inflamed and hyper-sensitive. When you're exposed to a TRIGGER, airways can swell up rapidly and your body may produce a lot of airway-clogging mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Knowing - and AVOIDING -- your asthma triggers is a vital step in preventing attacks, so let's run through a list of the 10 most common. SMOKE is a VERY common asthma trigger. If you smoke, seek help to quit. If you hang out with smokers, ask them to put out their cigarettes or to go outside. AIR POLLUTION is another major culprit. You probably can't avoid it altogether. Listen for air quality reports-if pollution is high, you may want to limit your time outdoors. Dust mites, mold, and rodent and COCKROACH droppings are ALL liable to spark an episode. Avoid these by keeping up with household tasks- fix water leaks, wash your sheets, vacuum, dust, and keep your home ventilated. People with asthma may not want to own a dog, cat or other furry pets due to their DANDER. If you do have one, try and keep the pet OUTSIDE and away from your bed and furniture. Otherwise, you may have to find your pet another home. Pollen also elicits attacks -50% of people with asthma developed the condition as a result of allergies. If this is you, listen to the weather reports and consider staying indoors on days with high pollen counts. Colds and flus are also common attack triggers. Everyone with asthma should get a FLU VACCINE every year. Also, try to prevent colds by avoiding sick people and washing your hands often. INTENSE EXERCISE is a common asthma trigger because increased respiration makes your lungs more sensitive. But you definitely SHOULDN'T avoid physical activity - work with your doctor to figure out which medications to use BEFORE you exercise or if you have an attack. Just like exercise, laughing is fun, and it's good for you. But INTENSE laughing--as well as yelling and crying--can actually SET OFF an attack. Emotional STRESS can spark one too. If you feel like you're ready to EXPLODE with anger or anxiety, take a break and calm down. Intense odors are known to prompt attacks, so choose the unscented versions of detergents, deodorants, hair products, and more. Some patients experience an attack after taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen. If you have a reaction to one, it's best to avoid ALL anti-inflammatories. Knowing your triggers can help you prevent an asthma attack and let you breathe much, much easier.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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When's the last time you looked at your mucus color? Noticed any mucus color changes? Understanding mucus color can help you tell your health status.
Transcript: When you blow your nose or cough up some phlegm how do you know what's a healthy color and what's not?...
When you blow your nose or cough up some phlegm how do you know what's a healthy color and what's not? Well, clear thin mucus is usually the sign of a healthy system, but if there is a CONSISTENCY and COLOR change, there may be something wrong. If you have a bacterial or viral infection your mucus turns LIGHT YELLOW or GREEN because white blood cells that respond to an infection contain a green-tinged enzyme. It mixes with the mucus in your nose or the phlegm in your lungs and throat, changing the color. Because there is a good chance this colored mucus is a symptom of a viral infection, don't run to the doctor or take antibiotics. Instead, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest to beat the bug. If you don't feel better in a week, THEN it's time to go to your physician. If your phlegm is thick and DARK yellow, DARK green or brown, it could indicate that your infection may have traveled to your LUNGS. If your primary symptom is constant coughing, BRONCHITIS is a real possibility. Smokers who have a persistent cough may have CHRONIC bronchitis, which can be a symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD - the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. If you suspect you have chronic bronchitis, quit smoking and visit your doctor. DARK YELLOW or dark green phlegm may indicate PNEUMONIA. If the cough is also accompanied by fever, shortness of breath, sweating, chills, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and chest pain, you should see a doctor. BLOODY phlegm is an alarming symptom. It can indicate all kinds of trouble including tuberculosis, lung cancer or a pulmonary embolism -- a blood clot your lungs. Head to your doctor or the emergency room immediately. You should also seek medical assistance if you're coughing up pink, frothy mucus-this symptom could indicate that you have pulmonary edema, or fluid in your lungs. However, regardless of your mucus color -if you're really feeling unwell, see your primary physician-sooner than later. To learn more about respiratory health, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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The stages of COPD include breathing problems that increase in severity. Understanding the stages can give you an idea of how well you're doing. See video for details.
Transcript: Like other chronic, progressive diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD-- is measured...
Like other chronic, progressive diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD-- is measured in stages or grades of severity. G-O-L-D -which stands for Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease--is an international organization that has established GUIDELINES for diagnosing COPD and classifying its severity. They look at ease of breathing and the number of COPD exacerbations-or acute attacks-a person has PER YEAR. They also evaluate a patient's other symptoms such as chest tightness, fatigue and breathlessness. An earlier set of guidelines identified the progressive worsening of COPD through stages - but they now call them GRADES.There are four grades of COPD: -Grade 1: the patient MAY have mild breathing problems and/or has had at MOST one acute attack a year, in which the day to day COPD symptoms become suddenly worse. They have mild miscellaneous symptoms such as fatigue or wheezing and some breathlessness. -Grade 2: this involves moderate, CHRONIC breathing problems, and/or at most one COPD exacerbation - or acute attack -- a year. A patient will have mild to MODERATE symptoms and breathlessness.Grade 3: The patient may have chronic breathing problems, moderate breathlessness, and/or two or MORE COPD exacerbations each year. -In Grade 4, a patient may have VERY severe, chronic breathing problems, almost constant breathlessness, and/or 2 or more exacerbations every year. Regardless of your grade, medication will TYPICALLY be a part of your treatment plan, with the number of medications increasing with the increasing severity of symptoms. Oxygen therapy, used by patients with low levels of oxygen in their blood, may help those with moderate to severe COPD. And surgery may be recommended in SEVERE cases when meds and other treatments have not helped enough.To get more information about COPD, watch additional videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Smoking during pregnancy will harm your fetus's health. Watch this video for details on cigarettes and pregnancy.
Transcript: Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals,...
Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, all of which enter the blood stream and head straight for your baby. Two of these in particularcarbon monoxide and nicotinenarrow the blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Since this is the babys source of oxygen, when this happens it becomes much harder for him to breathe. Oxygen deprivation in the womb can lead to stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight, learning disorders and a lower IQ. If youre a non-smoker, but your partner lights up, your baby is still subjected to serious risks. In fact, the CDC says that women exposed to secondhand smoke have a 20 percent greater chance of delivering underweight babies than women who arent exposed. Even women who spend a great deal of time around wood fires may experience similar negative effects due to inhalation of carbon monoxide. This risk, however, is smaller than the risk of smoking, and not something to be worried about if it occurs in moderation. If youre pregnant and cant stop smoking, talk to your doctor about quitting. If you can do so by week 14, youre about as likely as anyone to have a healthy baby!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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Lung Cancer and premature death can be the real cost of smoking. You can learn some eye-opening facts about smoking by watching this video.
Transcript: Up to 25 percent of Americans smokeand 400,000 of them die from the consequences of lighting up every...
Up to 25 percent of Americans smokeand 400,000 of them die from the consequences of lighting up every year. Smoking is a major health hazard, and has been dubbed the chief preventable cause of death in our society by the Surgeon General. In fact, smoking currently causes 1 out of 5 deaths in America! Not convinced yet? What do an actress, a late night talk show host, a baseball player, a singer and the founder of a multi-billion dollar corporation have in common? Each of these public figures was a heavy smoker. And each ended up dying because of their tobacco habit. If you're a smoker, the effects of tobacco spread to literally every part of your body. Let's take a closer look. A mere three seconds after the first puff of a cigarette, the 4,000 chemicals in the smoke make your eyes water and nose run. They also irritate the throat, causing the infamous smoker's cough. And continued exposure to smoking thickens the throat's membranes, resulting in cellular changes that can lead to throat cancer. Smoking's biggest impact, though, can be seen and felt in the lungs. In fact, 90 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. Why? Smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for a year has a similar impact to pouring a full cup of tar down your lungstar that is rich in cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking also increases the amount of mucus the body produces, and mucus serves as the breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. So, a smoker is more likely to come down with a cold, the flu, and bronchitis. Worse still, smokers have a harder time fighting these infections, because their white blood cells are too impaired to resist invading organisms. Smoking is hard on the heart, too. Smokers' hearts beat an extra 10 to 25 times per minute, increasing the risk of heart attack. Smoking can also cause up to a 15 percent increase in the risk of having potentially deadly heart attack and stroke. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas present in car exhaust. It also present in cigarette smoke! This chemical leads to decreased oxygen to the brain, the skin and other organs. The result can be slowed comprehension, wrinkled, grayish skin and significantly reduced energy. Cigarettes even affect bedroom activity: Men and women are considerably less likely to be fertile if they smoke, and a great number of tobacco-using men experience erectile dysfunction. And let's not forget the financial costs of smoking. Let's say you started a half-pack a day habit in high school, paying a low $4.50 a pack. By the time you're in your mid-30s, you'll have spent at least $16,420-and that's not counting the extra costs of health care! Smoking is bad for you, but it also hurts your family! Spouses of smokers are 20 percent more likely to contact lung disease, and second-hand smoke contributes to illnesses and even deaths in children. Taking the plunge to quit smoking can be scarybut it can also save your life! Talk to your doctor today about options for quitting.More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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Are you a chain smoker and want to give up? With the right plan you can! Watch this video for tips on developing the best quit smoking plan for you.
Transcript: Forty-six million Americans have quit smoking for good! Ready to join them? Keep watching! Smoking is...
Forty-six million Americans have quit smoking for good! Ready to join them? Keep watching! Smoking is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths in America, killing 400,000 people every year. But here's the good news: Your body starts to feel the positive effects of quitting just 20 minutes after you do it! Because smoking is both physically and psychologically addicting, it's a hard habit to breakbut having a plan can help. Once you've made the decision to quit, it helps to prepare yourself by understanding your personal addiction. Try keeping a smoking journal for a few days, recording every cigarette you smoke, how you felt and why you did it. Most smokers notice a pattern to their habit. By becoming aware of when you're likely to smoke, you can plan to change your environment to avoid or weaken the temptation. After you've identified your triggers, you're probably ready to take the plunge. Start by setting a quitting date and stick to it. Be sure that your environment is welcoming to a non-smoker by that date. Discard all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters in your home, car and office. As you prepare to give up smoking, remember that you probably didn't start on your ownand you don't have to quit on your own, either! Enlist the aid of family and friends. Request that fellow smokers not offer you cigarettes, and that they not smoke around you. Do not let anyone smoke in your home. And remember that smoking journal? Get it out, read it over, and prepare to come up with new behaviors to adjust your routine and avoid your triggers. For example, if you're used to smoking after a meal, come up with a new ritual, such as taking a walk or brushing your teeth. Avoid places where you used to smoke, like bars and parks. This could be a great opportunity to find a new favorite place to spend time! Be prepared for urges and have cigarette substitutes on hand. Sugar-free candy, gum, breath mints, and even toothpicks, can keep your mouth busy and help you fight the urge to smoke. While you're quitting, it can help to enlist the aid of medication, such as nicotine gum, a nicotine inhaler, or a nicotine patch. Many cessation aids are available over-the-counter, but you should still talk to your doctor about what's right for you. These medications can more than double your chances of quitting for good, but you must use them correctly: It is vitally important NOT to smoke while you're using nicotine substitutes. As you quit, it's important to be prepared for the possibility that you may relapse, and that's okay. Most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed. Just take note of why you gave in-was it a cocktail, other smokers, a bad day?-and try to remember that this trigger was too much for you. Quitting a longtime smoking habit can be incredibly difficult, but the lifelong benefits of doing so are worth the effort. Talk to your doctor about devising a smoking cessation plan that will work for you.More »
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It's pretty tough to stop smoking cold turkey. Get help -- watch this video to learn about medications to quit smoking.
Transcript: There are more recovered smokers than current smokers in America...and you can be one of them! Let's...
There are more recovered smokers than current smokers in America...and you can be one of them! Let's look at some of the medications that can help. Mark Twain once said, "Quitting smoking is easy: I've done it a thousand times." If you've tried to quit, you know how hard it can be! This is because smokers are both psychologically addicted to the act of smoking, and physically addicted to the nicotine. For this reason, the most successful treatment plan will combine lifestyle adjustments with FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy. Before beginning any nicotine-replacement therapy, it's important to remember that you must not smoke while using these products. Doing so can result in a serious nicotine overdose. Nicotine gum is an over-the-counter smoking cessation option which is sold in 2 and 4 milligram doses. Most smokers use between 10 and 15 pieces each day. Because the nicotine in the gum is absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth, it's important not to eat or drink anything for at least 15 minutes before, during or after use. Doing so could lessen the gum's effectiveness. Nicotine gum should be chewed very slowly until you notice a peppery taste. At this point, shift the product between your cheek and gum. Hold it there until the tingle is gone, then continuously repeat the process for about 30 minutes. Another O-T-C option is the nicotine patch, which delivers a measured dose of nicotine through the skin. The patch is sold in various strengths, ranging from 5 to 22 milligrams. The nicotine patch should be applied in the morning to a dry, clean area of skin below the neck and above the waist. Leave the patch on the skin for the length of time specified on the package. Two other nicotine-replacement options are available only via prescription: The nicotine inhaler and the nicotine nasal spray. The nasal spray delivers nicotine through the nose, instantly relieving withdrawal symptoms. Because this form of therapy can be particularly addictive, it should not be used for longer than 6 months. The nicotine inhaler is a plastic tube with a nicotine cartridge inside. When you puff on the inhaler, the cartridge provides an instant nicotine fix. Most smokers appreciate that this replacement is very similar to smoking. Usually, the recommended dose for the inhaler is between 6 and 16 cartridges a day for up to 6 months. A number of alternative therapies, such as the "non-nicotine" pill, hypnosis and acupuncture, are also available to help with smoking cessation. These therapies are more controversial and are usually used in conjunction with nicotine-replacement. Because smoking is psychologically and physically addictive, quitting can be difficult, but the good effects are worth it: You can expect a longer life and a thicker wallet! Remember to work in close conjunction with your doctor to find the best treatment option that will help you kick that smoking habit!More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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There are numerous methods that serve as alternative therapies to quit smoking. Get tips from this video along with traditional ways to quit smoking.
Transcript: Even if you're not keen on the idea of using nicotine-replacement therapy, there are plenty of treatment...
Even if you're not keen on the idea of using nicotine-replacement therapy, there are plenty of treatment options that can help you stop smoking-once and for all! Quitting smoking may be one of the MOST important health decisions you will ever make, but it can be a difficult process. While many smokers turn to nicotine-replacement therapy, like the gum or the patch, there are a number of other unique options available! One smoking cessation option is a prescription medication that has been called the "non-nicotine" pill. This medication, bupropion hydrochloride, is trademarked under the name Zyban. Bupropion is not new. In fact, it has also been sold as an anti-depressant medication under the name Wellbutrin since 1985. In smokers, zyban boosts the levels of the chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, a process that also occurs when you light a cigarette. The resulting effect is a sense of energy and well-being that is similar to smoking a cigarette. Zyban is usually taken twice a day for up to 12 weeks. Because it takes a week for zyban to become fully effective, it is recommended that a smoker begin taking the medication a week before quitting. It is important that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with a history of eating disorders, people taking MAO medications, and those who have seizures, all avoid taking zyban. Another non-nicotine prescription medication is called varenicline, which is sold under the brand name Chantix. Chantix is usually taken twice a day after eating. When you smoke a cigarette, the nicotine in the product enters your brain, binding to the neurotransmitter receptors there. Varenicline works by attaching to these receptors instead, creating a similar feeling of euphoria. It is important that pregnant and nursing women, as well as people with kidney disease do not take chantix. Another therapy that some ex-smokers swear by is hypnosis. Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration induced by a skilled practitioner. Once in a hypnotic state, you may be more open to suggestions from the hypnotist, and therefore be better able to recognize smoking's harmful effects. Eventually, a patient may learn to self-hypnotize, reinforcing these key messages. Those who experience the best results with this therapy use it in conjunction with other quitting aids. Some smokers also find the ancient Chinese therapy of acupuncture to be helpful in the quitting process. During this procedure, needles are placed at key points in the body, thus correcting an imbalanced flow of chi, or energy. Acupuncturists believe that once chi is corrected, health can be restored. Of course, some people who decide to quit smoking do so "cold turkey." This process involves completely giving up cigarettes with no aid from medication or therapy. While the cold turkey method works for a small percentage, many people find their psychical addiction to nicotine, and their psychological addition to smoking, to be too difficult to control without some initial help. Quitting smoking can be tough, but it's not impossible! Remember as you quit that it's important to talk to you doctor before using ANY prescription medications or alternative therapies.More »
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Many people just cannot quit smoking because they are afraid that it will lead to weight gain. Watch this video to learn more about smoking cessation and weight gain.
Transcript: Here's a piece of good news for smokers looking to quit: Weight gain doesn't have to come with smoking...
Here's a piece of good news for smokers looking to quit: Weight gain doesn't have to come with smoking cessation! Many would-be ex-smokers are afraid to quit for good, and up to 90 percent of them cite worries about weight gain as the reason. Luckily, understanding why weight gain follows from smoking cessation can often prevent it from happening! Nicotine is a stimulant, and may interfere with the body's release of the hormone insulin. Insulin is vital because it controls the release of glucose, the body's main source of energy. When insulin is blocked and less glucose is released, your body responds by slowing down the hormones that trigger the feelings of hunger. In this way, nicotine works as an appetite-suppressant. When you stop smoking, the appetite-suppressing action of nicotine stops too, and you will often end up consuming more calories. In addition, many smokers smoke when non-smokers might eat, like during the second course of a meal. Once you eliminate cigarettes however, you may find yourself reaching for that extra helping to help fill the time where you once smoked. It IS heartening to note that most smokers who give up the habit tend to gain just 5 to 8 pounds...a small amount compared to the great benefits of quitting! Luckily, avoiding even this miniscule weight gain is possible with some proactive steps! One of the best ways to avoid putting on weight is to take up regular exercise. If you're a long-time smoker, you may have trouble with highly aerobic work-outs, and that's okay. Just a half hour of exercise three days a week is a great start...and brisk walking counts! Because smoking cessation takes so much time and effort, it may be best to begin a regular exercise program a month or two before you quit. Certainly, a healthy diet is an important part of avoiding weight gain. Recognize that you may be unable to curb the urge to snack, and have healthy options available to you. Vegetable sticks, apple slices, sunflower seeds and popcorn are all low-fat, crunchy options. And keep sugarless gum, mints, or candy on hand for when you're out-and-about. What you drink also matters. As much as possible, avoid alcoholic beverages. Not only do they provide hundreds of empty calories, for many smokers, alcohol is a huge trigger to light up.It's also helpful to drink plenty of calorie-free liquids throughout the day. They fill you up and can help you burn those extra calories. Finally, prepare for moments when you'll be tempted to eat too much, like at BBQ or at an all-you-can eat buffet, and avoid them if you can. Quitting smoking is hard, and many people worry about their weight. However, preparing for the possibility that you'll gain a pound or two can help you ensure that you don't!More »
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Are you ready to quit smoking? If you're like 51 percent of college smokers, you only smoke cigarettes on a social basis, and don't consider it necessary to stop. Unfortunately, every puff bring you closer to a cancer diagnosis, or worse.
Transcript: Do you think that cigarettes pair with drinking like peanut butter with jelly? If so, you're in a growing...
Do you think that cigarettes pair with drinking like peanut butter with jelly? If so, you're in a growing group of college students. According to a Harvard University study, almost 33% of college students admit to having used tobacco in the past month. While many are everyday users, a whopping quarter of this group consider themselves, "sometimes smokers," only using tobacco on specific occasions. And the CDC attests that of all these college-aged smokers, 40% of them started smoking after high school. So why the increasing rates of cigarette use among college-aged students? For many, smoking is a social activity, that goes hand-in-hand with the college lifestyle of partying and drinking with peers. In fact, over 70% of college students have tried at least one cigarette during college, the Harvard study found. Other students admitted that they smoked to ease stress, to fit in, or as a way to control their weight. Post-college, many smokers do end up quitting the habit, with only 21% of adults classifying themselves as smokers, according to last year's Gallup poll. But because tobacco remains as deadly as ever, it's wise to consider cutting it out of your campus experience, and not waiting until later!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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Think asthma can prevent you from exercising? Think again! Learn more about exercising with asthma by watching this video.
Last Modified: 2013-10-07 | Tags »
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Phenergan with codeine is a drug which contains an antihistamine (promethazine) and a narcotic (codeine). It was approved in 1952 by the FDA. Watch our video to learn more about this drug.
Transcript: "Phenergan with codeine is the brand name for the compound that includes promethazine, an antihistamine,...
"Phenergan with codeine is the brand name for the compound that includes promethazine, an antihistamine, and codeine, a narcotic, which was approved by the FDA in 1952." Promethazine with codeine is available with a prescription, both as a generic drug and under the brand name Phenergan with codeine. Promethazine with codeine is an antihistamine with sedative and anti-tussive, or cough suppressing, properties. Here's how promethazine works: During an allergic reaction, the body releases histamine, a chemical that binds to cell receptors and leads to sneezing, itching, and increased mucus production. Promethazine binds with these cell receptors, preventing histamine from doing so, and thus ending the reaction. Codeine works by entering the central nervous system, where it binds to opioid receptors located in the brain and spinal cord. This relieves discomfort by stifling the body's natural response to pain. Promethazine with codeine is used to relieve coughing and other symptoms of various allergic conditions and the common cold. Phenergan with codeine is available to be taken in syrup form. Dosages vary greatly depending on the patient's need.Because both promethazine and codeine can be addictive, never take extra doses of this medication. The most common side effects of promethazine include drowsiness, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to sun light and constipation. The most common side effects of codeine include nausea and vomiting, but you should ask your doctor for a complete list of the side effects of both.Also, be sure to tell your doctor immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, confusion, yellowing skin, severe dizziness, involuntary tics, or other significant changes. Promethazine with codeine should not be taken in conjunction with sedatives or MAO inhibitors and should be avoided by people who have breathing problems. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with this compound. Phenergan with codeine can be extremely helpful for people who suffer from coughing associated with colds and allergic reaction. However, the medication should always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the information provided by your doctor before taking this medication. The information in this video is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise of your physician. Always consult your doctor before using this drug.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
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