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Over-the-counter Medications
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Over-the-counter Medications Overview

Written by sshowalter.

Over-the-counter drugs are those which can be sold directly to the consumer and can be purchased without a prescription from a physician. Common examples of over-the-counter drugs include aspirin, anti-dandruff shampoos and sunscreen. These and many other products can be purchased right off of a store shelve. However, some over-the-counter medications do require the patient to speak with the pharmacologist before receiving the drug though no prescription or visit to a physician is necessary (e.g. emergency contraceptive drugs).

How It Works

Over-the-counter drugs often work by helping to manage the symptoms of certain health challenges. Since they can be used by the individual without consent of a doctor, many people find that they try many over-the-counter medications before seeing their doctor. It is speculated that prolonged use of certain over-the-counter medications can be harmful, and can cause an individual to build up an immunity to the drug. Therefore, it is important to use over-the-counter medications sparingly and to discuss the use of them with a doctor before adding any prescription medications to a treatment regime.



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