Over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals are medicines that are offered directly to a consumer without the need for a prescription from a healthcare professional, as opposed to prescription drugs, which can only be provided to consumers who have a valid prescription. Drugs available without a prescription include antihistamines for allergies, decongestants for congestion, and pain relievers such as aspirin and Tylenol.
Prescription drugs must be prescribed by a doctor and require a medical exam before they are given. The doctor will review your medical history and conduct a physical examination before writing you a prescription. This ensures that only people who need the medication and no one else are taking it. It also helps prevent harmful side effects by avoiding prescriptions for patients in poor health.
People often think that if a product has a label saying "over-the-counter" on it, then it can be bought without a prescription. This is not true. Some OTC medications do require a prescription while others do not. For example, some OTC pain relievers such as Tylenol cannot be purchased without a prescription because they contain acetaminophen, which is a strong analgesic that can be toxic at high doses. An overdose of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage or failure.
Over-the-Counter Medicines: An Overview OTC medication is also known as nonprescription medicine or OTC medicine. All of these names allude to medications that may be purchased without a prescription. They are safe and effective when used in accordance with the guidelines on the label and as advised by your health care provider. Examples of over-the-counter medications include antihistamines, decongestants, antacids, cough medicines, and pain relievers.
Some people think that if a medication can be bought without a doctor's script then it must be of no value. Some medications require special handling or conditions for effectiveness such as time or temperature requirements. Other medications have ingredients that cause problems when taken by certain classes of people (for example, aspirin should not be taken within 72 hours of surgery). Still other medications cannot be taken with other medications or foods that affect how they are absorbed in the body (for example, taking calcium supplements with iron pills will not work properly). A pharmacist can help determine what uses each of your medications has and whether any drug interactions are possible.
Sometimes doctors give medications too quickly after hospitalization or during emergency room visits without checking to see if you're able to take them. These medications are called "as-needed" drugs because they are only needed when a problem arises. Taking these medications too often results in higher than necessary doses being used up which can lead to side effects.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are those that may be purchased without a prescription. Some over-the-counter medications ease aches, pains, and itches. Some, such as tooth decay and athlete's foot, prevent or treat illness. Others assist in the management of persistent issues such as migraines and allergies. All require only a look, feel, or sniff to determine whether they will work for you.
Many OTC drugs can be purchased without a prescription because there is no risk of addiction or dangerous side effects. However, some people may need a doctor's help before they take certain medications, especially if they have a history of heart problems or other medical conditions. A health care professional should review your list of medications with you before you start taking them so that you don't have any unpleasant surprises after you get your medication box. This is especially important if you are taking more than one new drug at a time.
It is very important not to share your medications with others unless instructed to do so by your physician. If you stop taking your medications, you could become seriously ill.
Illegal drugs can be extremely harmful to your health. They can cause you to lose control of your actions, lead you to engage in activities you would never normally consider, and potentially kill you. It is best to avoid drugs even if someone offers you some free or easy access to them. Help protect yourself and those around you by avoiding illegal drugs.
Without a prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, equipment, and goods are available. Many of these goods are available at your local drugstore or grocery shop. Others can be purchased online, in specialty stores, or from catalogs. It is important to understand the difference between prescription and OTC medications and which ones are allowed to be taken together.
Generally, your doctor will be able to write a prescription for any medication that he or she has determined is needed to treat an illness or condition. Some medications require a prescription because they are intended to be used only under the supervision of a physician and would be ineffective if taken by someone other than a patient's guardian or caregiver. Other medications are available without a prescription but should not be taken by individuals who have not been advised by a doctor of their proper use.
Some OTC drugs may be prescribed by doctors when more effective options are unavailable. For example, antibiotics are often recommended as a first choice treatment for sore throats to prevent the development of complications such as strep throat. However, many people experience relief from the symptoms of a cold or flu with the use of OTC medications such as decongestants or pain relievers.