A new report examines the misuse of cold and flu medications, especially during this time of year.

Here are five of the frequent mistakes that people are making, according to an expert we interviewed.

  • 1


    Many people think a little is good, so a lot of medicine is even better (it's not). Read the dosage information carefully and don't overdo it.

    Michelle Joyce, Getty Images
  • 2


    So many products refer to the flu that people expect them to prevent or get rid of the virus. The best they can do is ease some of the symptoms.

    David Paul Morris, Getty Images
  • 3

    Too many products

    Many people take multiple products for different symptoms, not realizing they may all contain acetaminophen, which can be deadly in heavy doses.

  • 4


    These medications are often left where small children can get to them. The number of unintentional poison cases increases when kids see their parents taking these products.


    Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images
  • 5


    Consuming alcohol while taking products containing acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage.

    A can of Budweiser beer (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)