Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Over the counter

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Self medication of minor ailments is steadily increasing in popularity.  This is mainly due to do ability of a wider choice of safer, more effective, and inexpensive over the counter drugs.

Modern consumers are better educated and enjoy greater accessibility to more health information than ever before.  Advertising helps tremendously of course.  Consumers can make informed choices about what is available to them and where to buy it.

Its is significantly advertising affects self medication practices. But many believed that education  not advertising, that influences self medication practices.  Less educated people are less likely to self medicate.  But while the practices of self medication is clearly beneficial, it is not entirely risk free and consumers should be aware that OTC drugs do have side effects.

Most drugs can be classified as over the counter (OTC) or prescription only medication (POM). Drug classified and regulations differ from country to country but as a general rule  many ( but not all) OTCs must still be brought from a Pharmacy and some can only be sold to you under the direct supervision of the pharmacist herself.

In some region, despite regulations to the contrary, it is a simple matter to buy POMs from a disinterested drug sore clerk, over the counter and with out the doctors prescription.  If you are aware of this status of the medication that you are buying, ask the pharmacist herself not the drug store clerk.  To protect your health and wellbeing, never self medicate with prescription only medication and never take medication that has been prescribed for someone else.

If you are in budget, compare the price of your branded medicine wit its generic counterpart. Always ask the pharmacist to advise you.

To reduced the risk of side effects, read the label carefully and take as instructed.  Never take more than the recommended dosage or more often than directed.  Read the precautions.  You may find you need to avoid alcohol or other medications.  Some medicines can cause drowsiness ( especially antihistamines), so you'd be unwise to drive or operate machinery while taking them.

Many medicines shouldn't be given to children.  Kids aren't miniature adults, they metabolize drugs in a different way from us.

A pregnant woman should never take any medication without first seeking the advice of her doctor.  Some drugs has adverse effect on the developing fetus.  Ask your doctor for advice if yo are breastfeeding, because your  milk will contain traces of any drugs you take.


imelda said...

when i got to the US it was hard to buy anti biotics wtout prescription

josie said...

some opted to self-medicate because of the high cost of doctor's consultation fee.

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