You’ve probably heard by now, of the sad case of Arielle Newman, the 17 year old track star, who died from using too much muscle cream. You know the products – the wintergreen scented balms with labels and ads claiming to transform the weekend athlete, into Michael Jordan in his prime. Most of these products contain the drug, methyl salicylate. Apparently, the young woman put adhesive pads over the cream, and used it in large quantities. Methyl salicylate can be toxic and cause respiratory and neurological problems. In the teen’s case, the chemical was absorbed through her skin, ultimately in lethal quantities.
Although Ms. Newman’s death from sports cream overdose, was extremely rare, the drug companies are not blameless. They overhype over-the-counter products, encouraging excessive use, exaggerating their effectiveness, and minimzing their risks. Preventable medication overdoses of over-the-counter drugs, become inevitable.