We all probably know what O-T-C’s are. When you experience dysmennorhea, headache, common cough and cold and fever, you need not go to the hospital just to get a prescription first before you can buy your much needed medicines. Thanks to OTCs also known as our over-the-counter drugs. When we say over-the-counter drugs, these are the drugs available on drugstores that you can buy without a doctor’s prescription. These drugs help you find relief and cure for certain diseases/illness without having to go for a check-up first. This is somewhat convenient for those people on-the-go who are too busy and does not have enough time to drop by a clinic/hospital when they are down with a common cold/fever. You can see advertisements of them on tv, on the radio, over the internet, among newspapers etc., and it is no doubt that people nowadays are used to using OTCs.
All of these drugs have their own pros and cons; their risks and their benefits. Here are some guidelines/tips you can bear in mind that can be of great help when it comes to OTCs:
- Read and follow the instructions provided on the container of the medicine before taking any of it. It’s better to be sure than be sorry. If, after reading you found out that you are allergic to any of the drugs contents, then good for you. You can skip taking it and find other medicine tgat you’re not allergic with.
- For the correct dosage and any other infos, double check the container of the medicine. Although it is the job of the pharmacist to ensure the quality of each and every drug that they are dispensing, it is also an equal responsibility of the patient to double check the medicine that he/she will be taking.
- You can always ask the pharmacist/doctor about the common discomforts that you might feel/encounter while taking the drug. It is just normal for us to feel worried about what we will encounter/common side effects of the medicines, so a little discussion with your doctor/pharmacist helps.
- NO! Don’t take that extra dose! Please, even if you think it’s harmless to take an extra dose of that OTC medicine, never,ever, ever take more than the recommended dose. At first it may not have any effect, but sooner or later, it will. You wouldn’t want to be overdosed!
- Don’t take an OTC medicine longer than the time suggested on the carton/ label. As I said above, your safety should always be a priority.
- If you experience anything unusual or any adverse reaction, stop taking the medicine.
No matter, how we are used to taking these drugs, we all should bear in mind that each and every one of us are different individuals. We should take caution before we take any medicine because what might work on another person may not work so well with us. Just because it is a greatly advertised drug doesn’t ensure its effectiveness for all people because we have different genetic make-up.
Bear in mind that though you want to have fast relief for any pain/symptom/illness that you are feeling, your safety should not be compromised. That’s why medicine/drug/pharmaceutical companies are continuously developing and improving the quality of these over-the-counter drugs to ensure the balance of safety and effectiveness of the drugs being sold to the public.
Don’t take your health for granted. When you feel like it’s not a minor symptom anymore, you should go seek medical attention as soon as possible.