Social Question

gearedtolaugh's avatar

Why do some directions for medicine read, “Only apply to infected area”?

Asked by gearedtolaugh (304 points ) January 16th, 2012

- where else would you apply it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

chyna's avatar

Because some idiot probably ate it or stuck it in an orifice it wasn’t designed for and got sick so they ended up suing the company that made the medicine. To protect themselves, they put this disclaimer on their packages.

AmWiser's avatar

Also pharmaceutical companies have to cover their asses. If they don’t put it on the package like @chyna said, people would (and do) use medicines inappropriately.

CWOTUS's avatar

Not all medicines are “topical”, meaning “intended for application on a part of the body”. You take pills and other oral medications, don’t you? You’ve perhaps heard of suppositories?

It’s not an indication that “people are stupid” because they need instructions on what might seem like common sense to you. Not everyone knows what you know. (And some people know a lot more than you do.)

gasman's avatar

“Apply to affected area” is a standard phrase in prescribing topical medications. It’s unlikely the doctor or pharmacist would confuse this with “infected,” so more likely it was mis-heard or incorrectly transcribed by someone else in the chain of processing. Some drugs meant to be applied on certain skin conditions might actually make some infections worse! Inexcusable if it’s printed on a label from a pharmacy.

Of course, I agree with the above sentiments about cya and how their lawyers are bigger than our lawyers, etc. Some things never change.

AshLeigh's avatar

Oh my gosh. I asked this question, and it got modded. This pisses me off.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s to CYA for all involved. Sort of like the warnings on silica gel packs that say “DO NOT EAT”

Ponderer983's avatar

Legal reasons. The same reason why hot cups need to have “Caution: Contents may be hot” on it. And truly, you never know. People assume one itch medication will cure all itches, and your skin is more/less sensitive in certain areas, and what’s good for one isn’t good for another. A common rash is different from eczema.

gearedtolaugh's avatar

@CWOTUS It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? We could do without the rudeness thanks.

sleepdoc's avatar

Because some people need directions that specific… trutst me.

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