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Over-the-counter medicine is also known as “OTC” or a “non-prescription drug”.  Both these terms refer to medicine that consumer can buy without a prescription.  They are considered safe and effective when you follow the directions on the label and as directed by your health care professional.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are more than 300,000 over-the-counter drug products on the market, with several classes to treat a variety of symptoms ranging from sunscreen to cough and cold medicines.

Medication

Over-the-Counter versus Prescription

What are the main differences between over-the-counter medications and prescription medications?  Prescription medications always require a prescription from a doctor and can typically be purchased at a pharmacy, whereas OTC medications do not require a doctor’s prescription and can typically be purchased off-the-shelf in any store.  Some medications sold as OTC might come in a generic form. These generic medications are copies of brand-name drugs, but they usually have the exact same dosage.  However, there are many OTC products under the same name with different dosages and active ingredients, which can lead to product confusion and medication errors.

In 2010, the FDA announced that they had received five reports of serious medication errors involving consumers who used Maalox Total Relief, the upset stomach reliever and anti-diarrheal medication, by mistake, when they had intended to use one of the traditional Maalox liquid antacid products.  Due to the potential for serious adverse events from product confusion, the maker of Maalox brand products has agreed to change the name of Maalox Total Relief to one that will not include the name “Maalox” and revise the graphics and information displayed on the front of the product container to help distinguish the active ingredients and uses of this product from the traditional Maalox antacids.

Consumers should read the active ingredients, uses and warnings in the “Drug Facts” box prior to purchasing any OTC products, and check with a healthcare professional or pharmacist if they are not sure what OTC product is right for them.  In addition, OTC medications can still carry a risk of side effects, drug interactions, or harm due to excessive use, even though they are considered safe and effective and do not require a prescription.

Benefits of A Prescription

What are the benefits to prescription medications? Well, patients will receive the best guidance provided by their doctor during their visit since prescriptions must be prescribed by doctors or healthcare professionals.  Also, many health insurances will cover the cost of prescription products.

There are many prescription benefit plans from which to choose.  Many different health insurances are available and each cover different medications and medical devices. Be sure to visit your insurer’s website to review a list of prescriptions your plan covers.  If you have questions about whether or not your insurance will cover the cost of your prescriptions, talk to your doctor or other health care provider during your visit.

Wound Treatment

We’re accustomed to dealing with small scrapes at home; we just throw a band-aid on top. However, more serious wounds may require a visit to the doctor. During your visit, your doctor might assess your risk of infection. A cleaning solution, such as Dakin’s, might be prescribed in order to help treat the wound. When treating wounds, it’s important to take care of them properly to prevent future infections. During the healing process, your wound might change colors and this can be a great indicator of how a wound is healing. Click here to learn more about Dakin’s products.

Century Pharmaceuticals sells to most US wholesalers who supply major pharmacy chains like CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade. If your doctor has recommended a specific drug, a pharmacist may be able to order it, even if it’s not on the store shelves.

Consult Your Doctor

It’s important to ask your doctor any questions you may have about your wound and effective treatment of that wound. Although Dakin’s Solution doesn’t require a prescription to be purchased, a visit to the doctor is always the safe and responsible thing to do when seeking treatment options.