Key Points to Note About Over the Counter Drugs
There are two very different types of medications that people might get from a pharmacy. The first is called prescription medications, which have to be written by a trained medical professional (such as a doctor). The second is called over the counter drugs, which are often shortened to OTC drugs. There is a common misconception that OTC drugs are safe no matter what because they do not require a prescription; however, this is not the case. Two of the most common OTC drugs are Tylenol and Motrin. It is still possible to overdose on these medications, which can lead to kidney and liver failure. Therefore, it is important for everyone to keep a few important points in mind when it comes to OTC drugs.
Follow the Guidelines on the Package
First, it is important for everyone to read the guidelines on the package. Just because a drug is sold over the counter doesn’t mean that it is going to be safe no matter what. This is particularly true for children, who are much smaller than adults and usually take much smaller dosages. For example, the dosing limit on Motrin is 10 mg per kg of body weight every six hours. Notice that the weight on this package is in kg, not pounds. Therefore, parents who have concerns should always talk to their doctor before giving their child this medication.
Think About Other Medications Being Taken
In addition, it is possible for OTC drugs to interact with prescription medications. Therefore, anyone who is also taking other drugs to talk with their doctor first. Some OTC drugs can interact with prescription medications, either increasing or decreasing their levels in the blood. This can lead to dangerous side effects that could place someone in the hospital. It is critical for everyone to think carefully about OTC drugs and how they might interact with other medications and health supplements they put in their body.
Over the Counter Drugs Are More Accessible
The biggest benefit of drugs that are sold over the counter is that they are more accessible than prescription medications. They are readily available from the shelves of most grocery stores and pharmacies; however, it is critical for everyone to treat OTC drugs with the same level of caution as prescription medications. Finally, anyone who has questions or concerns about OTC drugs should be sure to speak to a trained medical professional before taking them. OTC drugs have the potential to help people with numerous health conditions and concerns.