WHAT IS CONSIDERED OTC MEDICATION?
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are those that can be sold directly to people without a doctor’s prescription. OTC medicines treat various diseases and their symptoms, including
- Coughs and colds
Some active ingredients in OTC medicines may have the potential for misuse at more than recommended dosages.
WHAT IS THE MOST COMMONLY USED OTC MEDICATION?
The most commonly used over-the-counter medications include:
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen
- Medicines for heartburn and indigestion such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, cimetidine, and aluminum hydroxide
- Laxatives such as bisacodyl and calcium docusate
- Antidiarrheal drugs such as bismuth subsalicylate and loperamide
- Motion sickness medicines such as dimenhydrinate
- Nasal steroids such as fluticasone and triamcinolone
- Cough medicines such as guaifenesin
- Antihistamines such as fexofenadine and loratadine
- Emollients and mild corticosteroids creams
WHAT ARE THE 10 MOST COMMON MEDICINES?
The 10 most common over-the-counter medicines used worldwide include:
WHAT ARE THE 3 MOST ABUSED OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS?
Certain active ingredients in over-the-counter medicines have the potential for abuse if taken more than the recommended dose, and these include:
- Pseudoephedrine is used in cold medicines and can cause the following side effects if abused:
- Dilated pupils
- Heart arrhythmias
- Skin reactions
- Dextromethorphan is used as a cough suppressant. Symptoms of dextromethorphan abuse include:
- Lack of energy
- Poor motor control
- Stomach pain
- Increased blood pressure
- Vision changes
- Slurred speech
- Loperamide used as an antidiarrheal can cause the following side effects if misused:
- Stomach pain
- Eye changes
- Loss of consciousness