Over The Counter Medications; How To Use Them Safely And Effectively
At one point or the other, we have all sought medication for minor ailments at the stores without a doctor’s prescription, this is known as over the counter medication commonly abbreviated as OTC. There are different types of OTC medicines used to treat problems such as allergies, body aches, flu and even fever.
Where Can One Find Over The Counter Medications?
One can easily find OTC medicines at the pharmacies, supermarkets or at the next store on your street. The display of these drugs will depend on the type. Take for instance; a headache relief tablet will be displayed on the shelves ready for purchase while the birth control pill will be behind the shelves. This is because some drugs need the pharmacist’s assessment of the buyer before selling it to them; It is in line with the set pharmaceutical guidelines.
How To The Medication Safely And Effectively
Noting that OTC medicines are sold to customers who are seeking self-treatment, I compiled a few important tips that will be of help in getting not only the best but also the safest from these drugs.
Pregnant and lactating mothers are strongly advised to keep off any OTC medicines. If any need arises, then they should consult with their health service provider. The same rules apply to children.
Read The Labels
Check out for the directions for use, the expiry dates, dosage limits and so on. The labels will also notify you of any possible side effects and what to do should they occur.
Do Not Store OTC Medicines For Too Long
Agreed, it is a prudent thing to have a number of medications at home just to be safe on a rainy day but don’t store them for too long. The change in temperatures may reduce their effectiveness. Always remember to store all medicines in a cool dry place.
Do Not Administer Drugs Meant For Adults To Children And Vice Versa
I know, the temptation of giving children half dose of what’s meant for the adults is real, but please don’t! Drugs and medicines work differently. Take for instance, Aspirin works perfectly by sweeping out fever in adults but it is unsuitable for children unless your doctor says it.
Seek medical attention if any symptoms persist even after taking over the counter medication.
Get professional medical help if you have taken OTC medication without success. You might be shocked to find out that you have been treating the wrong disease.
If in any case the OTC drugs do not work for you and you are forced to see a doctor, make him know about any drug that you have used and for how long. As a matter of fact, bring the remaining drugs or the packaging with you.
Minor Ailments That Can Be Treated Without A Prescription
OTC drugs have continuously been used to help relieve body pains, aches, allergies and sprains, and skin conditions to mention but a few.
For Flu, Drugs such as antihistamines and decongestants help one in handling flu and its symptoms until they get to seek medical help. Antihistamines are also known to suppress most allergic reactions.