Posted by William on August 14, 2009
There are many medications available without a prescription at the drugstore. Most affirm that they can cure your symptoms quickly and safely, whether it is an annoying cough, a runny nose or a bad case of indigestion. While over-the-counter medications can effectively deal with some symptoms, you should not assume that a drug is safe merely because you can get it without a prescription. Even a well known drug like Tylenol can lead to life-threatening liver failure if taken in excess. Hence, it is critical to know how to select the safest over the counter products.
Here are a few tips for picking the correct ones.
To ensure that you select only safe over-the-counter medications, know how to read the label. It’s amazing how many people don’t read and try to understand the fine print on a non-prescription drug label. The details put on a label are typically in a common format that is the same for all medications. This is the way to know what each part of the information means.
How to Read the Label When Choosing a Safe Medication without Prescription
The element of the drug that treats the symptoms is the active ingredient and it is the first ingredient that appears on the drug label. The label will list the active ingredient and the amount contained in each pill or capsule. Sometimes, an over-the-counter medication will have multiple active ingredients. It is vital to be certain that you don’t have a past allergy or adverse reaction to the active substance before taking this medication. If you wonder how the active ingredient functions, inquire with your pharmacist.
This is generally the second piece of information to appear in an over-the-counter medication label. The label will tell you which conditions the drug treats. This gives you a chance to see if the medication is effective at handling your symptoms. Don’t take an over-the-counter medication if you have a symptom that doesn’t appear in this section
The warnings section must be read thoroughly and followed completely. It tells you if you should avoid certain foods or medications while using this treatment. For instance, Tylenol cautions consumers not to take it if you drink more than three glasses of alcohol a day. It also provides guidelines as to whether it is safe to use the medication when expecting a baby or to administer it to children. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications if you currently take prescription medications. Check with your physician prior to taking two or more over-the-counter medications.
Consult with your doctor before combining over-the-counter medications. Always only take the recommended dosage. If not utilized properly, there can be bad side effects from over-the-counter medications. For children, different dosages are listed if it is safe for children to take this medication. Never treat a child under the age of twelve with the dosage intended for an adult.
This is a list of substances in the medication that don’t have anything to do with relieving symptoms. Among these, we can find preservatives, food colorings, or fillers. If you are allergic to any kind of food or medication, look at this area with caution to be certain you don’t have a sensitivity to one of these substances.
It is very important to look at the expiration date. Whenever you get a new over-the-counter medication, be sure to circle the expiration date so you will know when you should get rid of it. Any adverse reactions to over-the-counter medications should be written down for future reference, including the name of the drug and the active and inactive ingredients. Give these details to your doctor and pharmacist and maintain personal records.
Knowing how to read medicine labels will let you have an easy time picking safe OTC medications for yourself as well as your family. It is of critical importance to read the fine print.