There are so many nonprescription over-the-counter medications available today that it can be extremely overwhelming to know just the right one to buy. On top of that, just because a medication is sold over-the-counter doesn’t automatically make it safe for everyone.
One way to learn about these medications and whether they are the right ones for you or your children to take is to talk to the pharmacist. It’s a good idea to discuss natural supplements with your pharmacist as well. Pharmacists can tell you about any adverse side effects you can expect, and whether it is the right medication or supplement to treat your specific symptoms.
Your pharmacist can also pull up your record of medications in their computer quickly to make sure there will be no interactions with any other prescription medications you might be taking. If you try and stick to using the same pharmacy each time you get a prescription filled, they will have a complete record of the drugs you have taken and are currently taking.
Pharmacists are a great resource of knowledge and they are usually more than happy to help you.
Here are some excellent resources that are very helpful for choosing over-the-counter (OTC) medications safely and correctly:
- Checklist for Choosing Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine for Adults (FDA)
- OTC Medicines: Know Your Risks, and Reduce Them (familydoctor.org)
- Be Medwise Quiz (BeMedwise.org)
Some OTC medications relieve aches, pains and itches. Others prevent and cure diseases or help to manage recurring problems like migraine headaches. It is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. who decides which are safe enough to be sold over-the-counter. All medications carry risks, though, whether they are approved or not, so make sure you are in-the-know about your medications at all times.