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OTC vs Prescription Medicines

Medicines are produced for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, cure or mitigation of disease. There are two types of medicines made available in pharmacies to be purchased by people. One is OTC (over-the-counter) medications and the other is prescription medications. Prescription medications are those which require an official written note from a licenced medical professional to be shown at a pharmacy to buy those medications. OTC medications are those who do not require a prescription and are allowed to be bought by anyone at a pharmacy. OTC medications are usually less potent than prescription medications as they treat common diseases or disorders like cold, headache, stomach problems, etc. Therefore, they are available in pharmacies for anyone to buy which saves both the doctor and the patient’s time. Prescription medications however, are much stronger and they need a doctor’s approval as it can affect the patient’s body if not taken with proper dosage.

Even though OTC medications are taken by the patients themselves, there are certain instructions and guidelines to be followed by the patient to minimize the side effects of the medicine. Consuming OTC medications in the wrong ways can affect your body and mind. Taking these medicines in the wrong frequency and the wrong dosage can be dangerous. Sometimes, long-term use of such medications can develop certain complications in the body. Prescription drugs are provided with proper dosage and instructions regarding the frequency and intake of the doses. The pharmacy is allowed to sell these medications after getting a legitimate prescription but only in limited amount which the doctor has prescribed. This means that the prescription can only get a limited amount of medicine to the patient and can be used only once. The patient can buy the same dose without a new prescription, i.e., without another medical check-up.

Though, both of these medications can be misused either intentionally or accidentally. Some people misuse them intentionally for recreational purposes. Mostly, prescription medications are misused recreationally but it is also possible with OTC medications. These medications should be kept away from children as they can get misused accidentally. And they should be kept away from people with drug or alcohol addiction as they can be harmful to the person and can even be fatal. If your treatment is complete and you have some doses left, you should flush the medication before it being misused by anyone. There are some medications which are sold illegally and commonly misused for recreational purposes around the world. This is why, pharmaceutical companies, distributors and pharmacies need to be more careful about who they are selling medications to.

Education regarding correct use of medications is necessary for a safe and healthy body. A medication is only used to treat a particular disease or disorder. Also, during the intake of the medication, proper instructions are required to be followed so that the purpose of the medicine is fulfilled successfully and no harmful side effects are generated in the body. This only comes from basic knowledge about medications and this knowledge needs to be induced into every individual.

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