Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines

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Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a prescription compared to prescription drugs, which may only be sold to consumers with a prescription. Some OTC medicines relieve aches, pains and itches. Some prevent or cure diseases, like tooth decay and athlete's foot. Others help manage recurring problems, like migraines. When it comes to treating such common ailments as coughs and colds, fever, heartburn, and aches and pains, people are using more types of non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines than ever before.

Once consisting of a relatively small number of medications, OTC medicines now account for the majority of all medications used, including many that were once available only by prescription. There are more than 100,000 OTC products on the market today, and the market is worth £500million-plus a year and is growing every year. Some of the most common examples of OTC drugs are pain relievers, antihistamines, cough medicines. Pain relievers are medicines used to treat pain caused by any number of conditions. They can be used to treat headaches, joint pain, muscle cramps or minor injuries.

Some examples of OTC painkillers are Anacin Tylenol and Excedrin. Generic versions of these brand-name medications can also be found. Some generic examples include aspirin, ibuprofen, and ketoprofen. Antihistamines are medications used to treat or prevent the symptoms of allergies. OTC antihistamines can be divided into two types: first and second generation. Some examples of first-generation antihistamines are Dimetapp, Benadryl. Second-generation examples include Claritin and Zyrtec. While both types can be used to treat allergies, first-generation antihistamines can also be used to treat colds. Both types can be mixed with other medications, such as painkillers, to treat several symptoms at once.

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OTC cough medicines are split into two separate categories: antitussives and expectorants. Antitussives function as cough suppressants. They relieve coughing fits by blocking the reflex to cough. Expectorants thin the mucus that causes coughing, making it easier to break up and lessening the duration of the cough. Examples of OTC antitussives include Triaminic Cold and Cough and Robitussin Cough. Examples of OTC expectorants include Mucinex and Robitussin Chest Congestion. The benefits of OTC drugs are the costs to the patients and the NHS.

People seeking relief from symptoms of common ailments and some diseases can avoid the cost of a doctor's visit by purchasing OTC drugs and can still have confidence that the medicine meets necessary criteria. Also, OTC drugs are generally less expensive than prescription medicines this both benefitting the NHS and the patient. Some problems with OTC drugs have arisen with patients abusing ovOTCr the counter drugs. They are readily available to the general public. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of people abusing prescription and OTC drugs jumped from 4.7 million to 6.9 million between 2005 and 2007.

OTC drugs are deemed safe if used as directed. However, it seems clear that not everyone is following the directions. A big reason OTC drug abuse is prevalent is because these drugs are accessible and relatively cheap. Many people already have OTC drugs in their medicine cabinets or cupboards. There is no need to hide the drugs for fear of raising suspicions or getting arrested. Illegal drugs, which can produce the same effect as OTC drugs, are more dangerous to obtain and typically more costly. As well as abuse of OTC drugs there’s addiction Alone, codeine phosphate is only available on prescription. But it has been available OTC in low doses and in combination with aspirin, paracetamol, or ibuprofen for many years.

The most common addiction is to the OTC drug Solpadeine - a combination of paracetamol and codeine. There are 4,000 known people registered that are currently have this problem. In conclusion OTC drugs can have there pluses and negatives on the general public. It saves a lot of NHS money by having over the counter drugs by saving a lot of doctor’s time for minor ailments. However there have been a lot of problems with abuse and addictions that have arose from this questioning where some are safe for patients to be getting such access to.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines essay

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