National Consumers League

Your Health

Changes to our healthcare system in recent years have meant new opportunities and challenges for consumers. Keeping America’s families safe and healthy is our goal, and with Your Health NCL has got you covered.

Health IT: growing interests and concerns

Many assume that the health care system in the United States is the best in the world — at least for those who are able to access it. The reality for many people is that our system often fails to deliver quality care, misses many people who need care the most, and suffers from significant inefficiencies that lead to high costs. Even according to conservative estimates, hospital errors are the nation’s eighth leading cause of death — ahead of breast cancer, AIDS and motor vehicle accidents combined.

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OTC pain relievers and pregnancy

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, ask your doctor or nurse before taking any medication (OTC or prescription). It is especially important not to use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium during the last three months of pregnancy unless directed to do so by a doctor, because these medicines may cause problems in the unborn child, or complications during delivery.

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Answers to your questions about OTC painkillers

Every day millions of consumers turn to over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications for temporary relief of pain from headaches, colds, muscular ache, and arthritis, and to reduce fever. While these medications are largely safe when taken according to label directions, there are risks when taking any drug. Just because a medication is available on the shelf of your local grocery or discount store does not make it any safer than a drug that has been prescribed by your doctor.

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Understand your OTC Drug Facts labels

You're taking more responsibility for your own healthcare, medicating yourself for minor ailments like colds, headaches, and stomach aches. But do you know enough about the medicines you take to make informed healthcare decisions for you and your family? Looking at your medication labels carefully - and understanding what they say - will help you use them wisely and avoid problems.

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Live well with asthma: Peak flow meters

Even when you feel like you are breathing well, a peak flow meter can alert you to changes in your lung function. You may see a drop in peak flow numbers even before you have asthma symptoms (like coughing or wheezing). This device can help you manage your asthma and may reduce the number and severity of asthma flare-ups.

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