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Understanding the difference between prescription and OTC products

Spread awareness and save lives!

Understanding the difference between prescription and OTC products

There are numerous drugs discovered so far but instead of getting into their detailed classification, let's sort them according to their prescribing pattern that is the requirement of a prescription for their acquirement. There are basically two types of medication:

1. Prescription medications

2. OTC (over the counter) products

Understanding prescription drugs

A prescription drug is a medication that legally requires a medical prescription to be dispensed. These are also sometimes called controlled substances which means that they are to be taken in minute quantities. These include the opioid analgesics, the anti-depressants, central nervous system stimulants, antibiotics, hormonal preparations etc. Such medications cannot be dispensed without the prescription of a physician hence called as "prescription drugs."

OTC products

Over the counter products or medications include those that sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional. These are non-injurious to health and are easily available for use on the pharmacies. These include the multivitamins, minerals, pain killers, contraceptives pills etc.

The present dilemma

Nowadays, the general public lack awareness regarding the appropriate use of medicines and mixed practices are coming on the scene and this is usually due to:

• People have no idea about the difference between OTC and prescription

• Most of the prescription medications are available over the counter

• Medical stores sell all drug categories for building their own goodwill

What can be done for resolution?

• Trust your physician, she or he will give you the best treatment

• Do not rely on medical quacks

• Seek help from your pharmacist, he is the best-authorized person to guide you with the knowledge of OTC and prescription drugs

• Do not practice self-medication

• Never wait to visit the physician for serious issues

Therefore the written order from the physician should be followed and the help of pharmacist should be sought in order to understand the medication.

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