June 05, 2015

Oxymoronic Medications

When a medication is given to treat a problem that has a potential side effect of causing the same problem, that's what I call an oxymoronic medication.

A classic example of an oxymoronic medication is tylenol which is typically taken to alleviate a headache, but does have a potential side effect of causing a headache! For tylenol and many others, the oxymoronic side effect is typically due to a rebound effect, but for some others, it may be a more direct effect.

Here's a list of common oxymoronic medications and it's associated oxymoronic side effect.

• Tylenol (and other pain relievers) to treat headache may cause headache.
• Zantac (and other H2 blockers) to treat reflux may cause reflux [more info]
• Prilosec (and other proton pump inhibitors) to treat reflux may cause reflux [more info]
• Astelin nasal spray to treat sneezing due to allergies may cause sneezing.
• Afrin nasal spray to treat nasal congestion can cause nasal congestion [more info]
• Meclizine to treat dizziness can cause dizziness. 

Please comment below if you want to share any others!
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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