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SafeMedicationUse Newsletter



Check Labels Carefully When Selecting Gravol Products!


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2012-05-04

SafeMedicationUse.ca is informing consumers of another example of products with similar brand names that contain different ingredients.

In 2010, SafeMedicationUse.ca published an alert that described confusion between the original Gravol product and a Gravol Natural Source product that contains ginger. Now, a new Gravol Natural Source product, called Gravol Multi-Symptom, is also available.

The original Gravol product contains the medicine dimenhydrinate. Gravol Natural Source products do not contain any dimenhydrinate. Gravol Ginger lozenges and tablets contain ginger. Gravol Multi-Symptom contains ginger and willow bark. Willow bark contains a number of compounds, including salicin, one of a class of medicines known as "salicylates". Acetylsalicylic acid (also called ASA or Aspirin) is one well-known example of a salicylate.

If your healthcare practitioner has advised you not to take ASA or other salicylates, you should not take Gravol Multi-Symptom. For example, this product should not be taken by anyone who is allergic to salicylates or by people who are taking certain blood thinners. If you are in doubt about whether you can take Gravol Multi-Symptom, check with your pharmacist, doctor, or other primary healthcare provider. Even if you are told that you can take this product, be sure to contact your healthcare provider if you experience adverse gastrointestinal effects after using it.

It is important to remember that products with brand names that are similar to those of well-known products may contain different ingredients. When buying over-the-counter medicines or natural products, always read labels carefully, even if you have taken the medicine before. Be sure to check the active ingredients and the correct dose to take. If you are uncertain about which medicine is the right one for you, ask your pharmacist for advice.

For more information on how to prevent mistakes with medicines that have similar brand names, see our newsletter, "What's in a Brand Name?"

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