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How Do I Choose the Best Over-the-Counter Stimulant?

A doctor should be consulted before taking any stimulant.
Over-the-counter stimulants.
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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 June 2014
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Choosing the best over-the-counter stimulant is not something to be taken lightly since these products are still considered drugs and they may have serious reactions. There are a wide range of options with varying degrees of effectiveness. Although it is legal to buy many stimulants in your local pharmacy or department store, you should still consult a physician or pharmacist in order to choose the best type for your body. It is also typically a good idea to begin with the lowest potency possible before attempting to take stronger stimulants.

An over-the-counter stimulant is any stimulant which is sold without the use of a prescription. They are commonly used to boost energy, although many diet supplements also contain stimulants in order to promote weight loss. To choose the best option you should consider what you are using it for, and pick one that contains the least amount of active ingredient as possible. If it doesn’t work the way you want, slowly up your dosage within a safe level.

Caffeine is one example of an over-the-counter stimulant. It is found in foods like coffee and tea, but you can also get it in pill or capsule form. Before taking any stimulant, even those found naturally in foods, consult with a doctor. If you have any underlying health conditions or are at risk of certain conditions, you should avoid stimulants because they can lead to serious health complications.

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You should choose an over-the-counter stimulant which contains ingredients you have read and researched thoroughly. Choose one which contains only one active ingredient because options which have multiple stimulants are more likely to cause serious complications. Do not assume that just because a product is natural it is not powerful. Ephedrine, an herbal stimulant, has been known to cause serious side effects.

It is generally a good idea not to combine stimulants yourself. If you are taking an over-the-counter stimulant, you should avoid drinking too much coffee. You should also consult a pharmacist or doctor before consuming other supplements or medications while taking a stimulant. If you plan to take a stimulant in order to treat a particular health condition or symptom, there are generally more healthy ways of doing so. Your doctor can give you additional treatment options to consider.

All stimulants pose risks to your health. If you experience rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, or any other troubling symptoms, discontinue use of the stimulant and consult a physician immediately. Don’t assume that an over the counter stimulant is any safer or milder than a prescription option. Take supplements in moderation and not for extended periods of time without a doctor’s consent.

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